Me Gusta Ropa Vieja

The Cuban side of me loves authentic Cuban cooking and I can be sure to find such cuisine here in South Florida, however I wanted to be able to show off my heritage in my own kitchen.  After searching up and down for the perfect Ropa Vieja,  I opted to use a life line- I called my mom.  We talked it out and came up with one together that could be done in the slow cooker. I executed it last night and the family (including Mom) approved!  Phew.  Now, for those of you who aced Spanish 101, you may be thinking "rope vieja" means "old clothes." Well, you're right!  There are several theories out there for the origin of its name, but my Cubana pal (Julie) tells me that in Spain they used to get a roast and cook it all week to make a broth. By the end of the week it was looking old and ragged so they would shred it and spruce it up with sauce to make it more tender, all the while resembling "old clothes."  Either way, it tastes amazing and I am so glad to have a recipe for one of my favorite dishes of all time!

Give yourself 30-45 minutes to prep everything and then once it's in the slow cooker you're pretty much done!

Print Recipe Here

Ingredients:

  • 4lb chuck roast (boneless)
  • 2 Large Green Peppers
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbs canola or olive oil
  • 1 can whole pimentos

For Seasoning:

  • 2 Tbs Paprika
  • 2 Tbs Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbs Adobo Seasoning (if you don't have any substitute in anything similar)
  • 2 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tbs Black Pepper

For Sauce:

  • ¼ Cup Red Wine
  • 1 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 6 oz cans Tomato Paste
  • 1 10 oz Beef Broth
  • 2 t Ground Cumin
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • Few dashes of Salt and Pepper

Directions (Slow Cooker):

  1. Chop green peppers and onions into one inch pieces and finely chop garlic cloves.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the "Sauce" ingredients and mix.
  3. Combine "Seasoning" ingredients together and coat roast with mixture (easiest to do if you put seasoning on a plate and dip all sides of the meat into mix).
  4. Heat a Tbs of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Sear roast on all sides until (about 2-3 minutes on each side and the edges). Set aside.
  5. Add remaining oil to the pan and sauté peppers, onions, and garlic until soft (approx 5-7 minutes).
  6. Place all ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or until meat easily shreds.
  7. Remove meat, shred, and place back into the pot. Cut pimentos into slices and at to pot. Continue to cook on low for 30-45 minutes.
  8. Remove from pot and serve hot (additional salt may be needed).

Serve with white rice, black beans, and plantains to make it an authentic Cuban dinner.
Makes 6-8 servings

Directions (Stove Top):

  1. Chop green peppers and onions into one inch pieces and finely chop garlic cloves.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the "Sauce" ingredients and mix.
  3. Combine "Seasoning" ingredients together and coat roast with mixture (easiest to do if you put seasoning on a plate and dip all sides of the meat into mix).
  4. Heat a Tbs of oil in a large pot (dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Sear roast on all sides until (about 2-3 minutes on each side and the edges). Set aside.
  5. Add remaining oil to the pot and sauté peppers, onions, and garlic until soft (approx 5-7 minutes).
  6. Stir in "Sauce" ingredients and reduce heat to low-medium. Cook for 1 1/2- 2 Hours.
  7. Remove meat, shred, and place back into the pot. Cut pimentos into slices and at to pot. Continue to cook on low for 30-45 minutes.
  8. Remove from pot and serve hot (additional salt may be needed).

Serve with white rice, black beans, and plantains to make it an authentic Cuban dinner.
Makes 6-8 servings

For photos of the Ropa Vieja making process, click here.

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