Cuban Ropa Vieja

Add the shredded beef to the skillet. Cook uncovered 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Last add the frozen peas and cook 3-4 minutes until the peas are warm.

Dinner | February 1, 2017 | By

Cuban Ropa Vieja ~ a delicious, simple version of a classic Cuban dish ~ flavorful shredded beer-braised beef blended into a tasty, tomato herb sauce.

My budget doesn’t allow me to travel as much as I’d like to, so the next best thing is creating food from places I’d like to go. Do you want to travel to Cuba without leaving your kitchen? You won’t even have to hassle with packing a bag!

Cuba is still on my bucket list, but I was in Key West, just 90 miles north of it where I had some amazing Cuban food like the classic sandwich, robust Cuban coffee and Cuban Ropa Vieja ~ braised shredded beef, peppers and onions in an old-world, full bodied sauce. We ate on the outdoor patio of a quaint restaurant while the warm breeze blew, the band played a Latin-Jazz tune and we sipped fruity Sangria. 90 miles to Cuba? It seemed like we were already there.

Cuban Ropa Vieja ~ delicious, simplified version of a classic Cuban dish ~ flavorful shredded beer braised beef blended into a tasty, tomato herb sauce.

Translated, Ropa Vieja means ‘old clothes’, a nod to the shredded meat some people think resembles tattered rags or clothes. This Ropa Vieja was inspired by a recipe for Lamb Ropa Vieja I saw in Eating Well Magazine shortly after we got home.

I used beef chuck roast instead, served with cilantro-lime rice and depending on what I have on hand, refried or whole black beans. We had a little left the last time  so I added it to a pile of greens for a delicious lunch.

Cuban Ropa Vieja ~ delicious, simplified version of a classic Cuban dish ~ flavorful shredded beer braised beef blended into a tasty, tomato herb sauce.

The beef is seared on both sides to bring out even more flavor then braised until it’s fork-tender in a beer, tomato, herb sauce. It’s then removed from the pot, shredded and blended, along with peas the way we had in the restaurant.

Cuban Ropa Vieja is definitely a weekend, slow-cooked meal so plan to spend some time with it,  but it’s guaranteed to bring the most incredible aroma to your house and flavor that’ll leave you hoping for leftovers. 

Cuban Ropa Vieja Ingredients:

  • approximately 3 pound beef chuck roast
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 12 ounce beer
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 3/4 cup of frozen peas
  • cooked rice
  • 1 – lime cut in wedges for serving

In a large Dutch oven or pot, drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil.

Cuban Ropa Vieja ~ delicious, simplified version of a classic Cuban dish ~ flavorful shredded beer braised beef blended into a tasty, tomato herb sauce.

Season the roast generously with salt and pepper then sear it on both sides and remove it from the pot.

Cuban Ropa Vieja ~ delicious, simplified version of a classic Cuban dish ~ flavorful shredded beer braised beef blended into a tasty, tomato herb sauce.

Add the onion, jalapeno, carrot, celery, green and bell pepper to the pot. Cook over medium high heat 2-3 minutes allowing them to brown a bit. Grate in the garlic cloves and continue cooking a couple more minutes.

Pour in the beer, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot then add the bay leaf, oregano, cumin, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar. Cover and cook over low heat 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Remove the beef from the pot, allow it to cook then shred it using your fingers or two forks.

Meanwhile, add the cilantro and peas to the broth and cook uncovered 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt as needed. Return the beef to the broth, stirring to combine.

Add the shredded beef to the skillet. Cook uncovered 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Last add the frozen peas and cook 3-4 minutes until the peas are warm.

Serve with white rice or cilantro-lime rice, black beans and a wedge of lime to squeeze over the top. I love to travel, but when time or the budget doesn’t allow it, the next best thing is taking a trip with food from that region.

I hope you enjoyed your trip to Cuba via Cuban Ropa Vieja. Leave a comment below where you’d like to go next!

Cuban Ropa Vieja ~ delicious, simplified version of a classic Cuban dish ~ flavorful shredded beer braised beef blended into a tasty, tomato herb sauce.

 
 
Cuban Ropa Vieja
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Ingredients
  1. 1 approximately 3 pound beef chuck roast
  2. salt and pepper
  3. olive oil (about a tablespoon or so)
  4. 1 medium onion, sliced
  5. 1 jalapeno, chopped (seeds and stems removed)
  6. 1 carrot (whole)
  7. 1 stalk of celery (cut in half)
  8. 1 green pepper, sliced
  9. 1 bell pepper (color of your choice), sliced
  10. 3 garlic cloves, grated
  11. 1 – 12 ounce beer (I used a craft beer)
  12. 1 bay leaf
  13. 2 teaspoons of oregano
  14. 1 teaspoon of cumin
  15. 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  16. 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  17. 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  18. 1/4 cup of cilantro, finely chopped
  19. 3/4 cup of frozen peas
  20. cooked rice
  21. 1 – lime cut in wedges for serving
Instructions
  1. In a large Dutch oven or pot, drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
  2. Season the roast generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Sear on both sides then remove the roast from the pot.
  4. Add the onion, jalapeno, carrot, celery, green and bell pepper to the pot and cook over medium high heat 2-3 minutes allowing them to brown a bit.
  5. Grate in the garlic cloves and continue cooking a couple more minutes.
  6. Pour in the beer, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot then add the bay leaf, oregano, cumin, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar.
  7. Cover and cook over low heat 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Remove the beef from the pot, allow it to cool then shred it using your fingers or two forks.
  8. Meanwhile, add the cilantro and peas to the broth and cook uncovered 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt as needed.
  9. Return the shredded beef to the broth, stirring to combine.
Notes
  1. Serve with white rice or cilantro-lime rice, black beans and a wedge of lime to squeeze over the top.
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