Beef/ Healthy/ Slow Cooker

Cuban Ropa Vieja

Cuban Ropa Vieja

This Cuban stew has a whimsical name and quaint story behind it.  Ropa Vieja is Spanish for ‘Old Clothes’ which is a strange name to be associated with tenderly shredded flank steak in a spiced tomato-based sauce. Some say the shreds of meat, peppers and onions resemble remnants of colorful old rags. I can kinda see it but that’s not my favorite origin story.

Cuban Ropa Vieja

My favorite story tells of a man whose family was coming home for dinner. Being so poor, the man could not afford to buy enough food and so he gathered some old clothes from his closet and imbued them with his love (this is my favorite part). When he cooked the clothes, his love for his family turned the clothes into a wonderful beef stew. – Wikipedia

Those of us with a rational state of mind know this to be just a wonderful fairy tale but even so, it’s always great to find new ways of strengthening the saying that the secret ingredient to amazing home cooked meals is love. It gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling and makes home chefs puff up their chests with pride because cheesy or not, we believe it. Most of us, no matter how much we love cooking, can’t be bothered to cook for ourselves but throw a loved one into the mix and we’ll go through extravagant steps to whip up a feast for them.

Cuban Ropa Vieja

This is true for myself, where the most I’ll do to feed myself is tear open wrappers of breakfast bars or heat something up in the microwave, but throw Mr. Cooking Jar into the situation and I willingly subject myself to two hours in the kitchen to make sure he has a warm meal to come home to.

Update: Since this recipe cooks up a huge batch of food, you might be wondering what to do with the leftovers. I made some of them into burritos and used the very last of whatever was left to make Shredded Flank Crostini. It was really yummy!

Now that you home cooks are (hopefully) all fuzzy and warmed up inside from the origin story, let’s warm up our tables too with some Ropa Vieja!

Print

Cuban Ropa Vieja


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. flank steak
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup green olives, halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons capers (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Season the flank steak with salt and pepper
  2. Combine the onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno and spices in the slow cooker
  3. Add flank steak, cover and cook on low for 8 hours
  4. Remove meat and let it rest 10 minutes
  5. Discard bay leaf and stir in olives, capers (optional) and 1 tablespoon cilantro (optional) into the sauce
  6. Shred the meat with two forks into fine strips. Persevere!
  7. Return the meat to the sauce, stir to mix and season with salt and pepper
  8. Serve hot over steamed white rice, Cuban-style yellow rice or warm tortillas

Notes

Adapted from Food and Wine

Cuban Ropa Vieja Nutrition

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Navaneetham Krishnan
    October 28, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Interesting name with lots of flavors yet I can’t comment because its beef. There can be other meat added and I will give a try with chicken or lamb.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 28, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      You can make it with chicken as well 🙂

  • Reply
    14 Traditional Cuban Recipes That Will Wow Your Tastebuds
    March 19, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    […] Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef): Can’t go wrong with a large raise of beef served over classical white rice. The best partial is […]

  • Reply
    14 Traditional Cuban Recipes That Will Wow Your Tastebuds – Brit + Co | Nice Kitchens Designs
    March 20, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    […] everyone will certainly be begging for seconds (and thirds, and fourths…). (via Good Taste) 13. Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef): Can’t go wrong along with a big pile of meat served over classic white rice. The most effective […]

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