Ropa Vieja

There’s nothing more comforting in the winter months than a big bowl of stew with rice. Expecting some guests for dinner, stew is a great choice. A one-pot meal that can stay on the stove until everyone is ready to eat is an easy, no-fuss way to feed a large group of people—one of the reasons to enjoy the winter months. A meal like this is best enjoyed when it’s cold outside.

I’ve never made ropa vieja, but have enjoyed it many times at a usual Cuban lunch spot. I was so surprised at how well this turned out. It truly tasted just as good if not better than the lunch I order from the restaurant. I even enjoyed the left overs! I like to serve this with yellow rice. For a great salsa, purée green bell peppers, cubanelle and jalapenos with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon—YUM!

Ropa Vieja
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 3 lbs flank steak
  • 1 large green bell pepper diced small
  • 1 cubanelle pepper diced small
  • 2 spanish onions diced small
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 lb campari quartered then pureed
  • 6 oz tomato Sofrito (found in Latin aisle)
  • 1 packet of Sazon
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • cayenne pepper
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Cut the flank steak into large 3"x4" pieces. Season generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Coat a dutch oven with extra virgin olive oil. Sear meat on medium high heat in batches until all sides are browned.
  3. Remove meat from the pan and set aside. Add a touch more olive oil if necessary. Saute the peppers, onions and garlic until softened. Add a pinch of salt to help release the water from the vegetables. Use this liquid to help scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan
  4. Add the sofrito and pureed tomatoes and cook for a 2–3 minutes.
  5. Place the meat back into the pot and add water until everything is just covered, about 3 cups. Add bouillon cube, Sazon packet, pinch of cumin, and pinch of cayenne (a few pinches if you like it spicy!).
  6. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and cover.
  7. Simmer for a 1½ hours stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove the meat from the pot and shred while allowing the stew to simmer and thicken.
  9. Add the shredded beef back to the pot and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  10. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve over rice!


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2 Responses to Ropa Vieja

  1. Eunice says:

    Can you give us some rice recipes? I’m horrible at it! LOL Keep up the great & delish work!!!

    • i♥cm says:

      Thanks!!! ahh yes!! I was wondering who would be the first to ask :) I will put up a post on rice.

      I will give you my go-to recipe right here…for 4 servings, I use 2 cups rice, 3 cups water and a hearty pinch of salt. For yellow rice, add a sazon packet, or yellow coloring (found in latin aisle) to the water. Bring the rice and water to a roaring boil, then put the heat on the lowest setting and cover tightly for about 20 minutes. Voila! Fluff with a fork and you’re done. If your rice is a bit too moist, cook for an additional 5–10 minutes uncovered to evaporate the extra moisture.

      Hope this helps!!