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Katie's Cucina

Deconstructed Tamales with Grilled Potatoes

I ran into my local grocery store the other day just to grab a few items, and of course the “apron’s man” was cooking up a storm and was handing out samples. How could I not give his recipe a try?  I tried it and immediately grabbed the recipe card and began filling my basket with all the items I needed to make this recipe. If you aren’t familiar with arepas–you need to be! An arepa is a flat corn patty stuffed with a mild white cheese (normally mozzarella). I always get them when we go to craft shows, and whenever we visit the fair! Arepas are my guilty pleasure, for sure! As the apron’s man carefully crafted my sample I read through the recipe card. It looked easy, but something caught me off guard. They were using a packaged fully cooked pork roast in au jus. Now, I’m not going to lie. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased any of these fully cooked meats just heat it up in minutes and you have a hot meal on the table. I was a little hesitant until I tasted the dish. I was amazed that the pork came from a package and that it was already cooked! 

Source: Publix
Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients for the Deconstructed Tamales:

  • 1/2 cup frozen sofrito (Spanish cooking sauce)
  • 1 (17-oz) package fully cooked pork roast au jus
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with garlic/onion (undrained)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (11.2-oz) box frozen arepas (fried corn and cheese patties)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese (totally forgot to top our food with this)
  • 1/2 lime (for juice), optional
  • Slice of avocado, optional


1. Thaw sofrito under cool running water, (if needed). Remove pork from packaging. Drain au jus and discard; place pork roast in large saucepan. Stir in sofrito and tomatoes; bring to a boil on medium-high, stirring to break up meat.

2. Reduce heat to medium; cook and stir 7–8 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Meanwhile, preheat medium sauté pan on medium 2–3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and coat with cooking spray. Add arepas; cook 2–3 minutes on each side or until thoroughly heated.
3. Transfer arepas to serving platter. Top with pork mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Squeeze a little lime juice over the tamale mixture to add a touch of fresh flavor, if desired. Serve.

Ingredients for the Grilled Potatoes:

  • 2 tbsp frozen sofrito (Spanish cooking sauce)
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Complete seasoning
  • 1/2 lime (for juice), optional


1. Slice potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place in microwave-safe bowl. Stir in oil and sofrito until evenly coated and cover; microwave on high 8–10 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften.

2. Preheat tabletop grill pan. Place potato slices in single layer on grill and close lid; grill 3–4 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Repeat as needed with remaining slices.

3. Remove from grill and sprinkle evenly with complete seasoning. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, if desired.


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