Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

slow cooker ropa vieja - serve on a plate with white rice and black beans

Dinner | February 1, 2017 | By

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja ~ a delicious, simple version of a classic Cuban dish ~ flavorful shredded beer-braised slow cooked in a tomato herb sauce.

Cuba has been on my bucket list since I was in Key West, 90 miles north of Cuba. We had some amazing Cuban food there including Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja is shredded beef, peppers and onions in a rich full bodied sauce. I first ate it on the outdoor patio of a quaint restaurant in Key West. The breeze was warm, the band played a Latin-Jazz tune and we sipped fruity red Sangria. 90 miles to Cuba? It seemed like we were already there.

slow cooker ropa vieja shown on a plate with white rice and black beans

Translated, Ropa Vieja means ‘old clothes’. Some think it resembles tattered rags or clothes. This is simplified and cooks in your slow cooker so you can enjoy it anytime. 

I serve with cilantro-lime rice and depending on what I have on hand, refried or whole black beans. It even makes a light lunch over a pile of greens.

The beef is seared on both sides to bring out even more flavor then slow cooked until it’s fork-tender in a  tomato-herb sauce. A jalapeno gives it a hint of spice. 

Once the beef is fork tender, it’s removed from the slow cooker, shredded and blended with the sauce along with peas and fresh cilantro the way we had in the restaurant. 

slow cooker ropa vieja with a side of white rice and black beans

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja Ingredients:

  • beef chuck roast
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • crushed tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • white vinegar
  • garlic
  • dry oregano
  • ground cumin
  • red onion
  • jalapeno 
  •  green pepper
  • red bell pepper 
  • bay leaf
  • frozen peas
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime

How to make Ropa Vieja:

Cut the beef into 4 approximate size pieces then generously season with salt and pepper. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat then sear the beef on both sides and transfer it to the slow cooker. 

In the same skillet (don’t wash it!)  add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, grated garlic, oregano and cumin scraping any brown bits from the skillet and stirring to combine. 

Chop the onions and peppers (large pieces) and add to the beef then pour the crushed tomato blend over the top.

Nestle the bay leaf into the tomatoes then cover and cook 8 hours on high or 4 1/2 to 5 hours on low or until the beef is fork tender and shreds easily.

Remove the beef from the slow cooker, stir the peas into the sauce and let them warm while you shred the beef using two forks into then shreds.

Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker then fold in the cilantro and fresh lime juice giving it all a good stir. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as you like. 

Serve with rice and black beans. Enjoy!

slow cooked cuban style shredded beef served with white rice and black beans

What can I do with any leftovers?

Fill flour tortillas with leftover beef then add your favorite toppings for soft shell tacos.

If you tried this Ropa Vieja recipe or any other on the blog, I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating!

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pinterest pin showing ropa vieja served with white rice

slow cooker ropa vieja with a side of white rice and black beans

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

Easy Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja ~ authentic crockpot recipe. This shredded beef is tender and is served in a zesty tomato sauce with peppers and onions.
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Print Recipe
CourseMain Course
CuisineCuban
Keywordeasy ropa vieja in the slow cooker
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time5 hours
Servings4

Ingredients

  • approximately 3 pound beef chuck roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 bell pepper any color
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice

Instructions

  • Cut the beef into 4 approximate size pieces then generously season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sear the beef on both sides then transfer to the slow cooker.
  • In the same skillet add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, grated garlic, oregano and cumin scraping any brown bits from the skillet and stirring to combine.
  • Chop the onion and peppers into large pieces and add them to the beef then pour the tomatoes over the top. Nestle the bay leaf in then cover and cook 8 hours on high or 4 1/2 to 5 hours on low or until the beef is fork tender and will shred easily.
  • Remove the beef from the slow cooker, stir the peas into the sauce and let them warm while you shred the beef using two forks into then shreds.
  • Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker then fold in the cilantro and fresh lime juice. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as you like.
  • Serve with rice and black beans.

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