Slow Cooker Cuban Ropa Vieja – the national dish of Cuba in a simple – yet authentic – slow cooker version. Shredded beef and vegetables in a tomato sauce that’s packed with flavor! Serve with white rice, black beans and tortillas.

plate of slow cooker ropa vieja with side of white rice

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, traditional Cuban dish of shredded beef, colorful bell peppers and onions and peas in a rich full bodied tomato sauce.

I first ate it on an outdoor patio of a quaint restaurant in Key West. The breeze was warm, the band was playing and we sipped fruity red Sangria.

90 miles to Cuba? It seemed like we were already there.

black plate with slow cooker ropa vieja, rice and black beans

Translated, Ropa Vieja means ‘old clothes’ because it’s said the shredded beef and vegetables resemble tattered rags or clothes.

This simplified version uses inexpensive chuck roast seared first for flavor then slow cooked in the crockpot until fork tender.

Once the beef is melt in your mouth tender, it’s removed shredded and blended with the sauce for a classic Cuban Dish you won’t soon forget.

 

what’s in Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja?

  • beef chuck roast
  • salt and black pepper
  • olive oil
  • crushed tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • white vinegar
  • garlic cloves
  • dry oregano
  • ground cumin
  • red onion
  • jalapeno 
  •  green pepper
  • red bell pepper 
  • bay leaves
  • frozen peas OR sliced green olives (I’ve had it both ways in Cuban restaurants)
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime

How to make CUBAN Ropa Vieja:

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

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat on the stove top. Sear the beef on both sides and transfer it to the crock pot.

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. 

Cut the onions and peppers into thick slices or chunks then add to the top of the beef in the crockpot.

Pour the crushed tomato blend from the skillet over the top, nestle the bay leaf in then cover and cook 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. You want the beef to be tender and easy to shred but not mushy.

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

Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker, sprinkle cilantro in and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and give it all a good stir.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper as you like.

WHAT GOES WITH ROPA VIEJA?

Here are a few options below:

  • white rice
  • brown rice
  • cauliflower rice
  • black beans
  • warm tortillas
  • green plantains
  • sweet plantains

NEED MORE SLOW COOKER RECIPES?

Braised Beef Ragu – 

Pot Roast – 

Pulled Pork – 

4-Ingredient Salsa Chicken – 

Enjoy! Get all the details in the recipe card below.

LIKE ME on FACEBOOK, FOLLOW along on TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST and SUBSCRIBE ⇓ for all the latest. 

 

pinterest pin showing ropa vieja served with white rice

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!

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

Slow Cooker Cuban Ropa Vieja

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja - authentic recipe - shredded beef and vegetables in a tomato sauce that's packed with flavor! Serve with white rice, black beans and tortillas.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 4
Calories

Equipment

  • slow cooker/crockpot

Ingredients
  

  • 2 - 2 1/2 pound beef chuck roast cut in 4 approx. size pieces
  • 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 dry oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 medium red onion cut in thick slices
  • 1 medium jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 1 medium bell pepper any color
  • 1 large bay leaf or 2 small
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas OR sliced green olives whichever you prefer - Cuban restaurants use either
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Instructions
 

  • Cut the beef into 4 approximate size pieces then generously season with salt and pepper all over.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat on the stove top. Sear the beef on both sides and transfer it to the crock pot.
  • 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. 
  • Cut the onions and peppers into thick slices or chunks then add to the top of the beef in the crockpot.
  • Pour the crushed tomato blend from the skillet over the top, nestle the bay leaf in then cover and cook 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. You want the beef to be tender and easy to shred but not mushy.
  • Remove the beef from the slow cooker, stir peas OR sliced olives into the sauce and let them warm while you shred the beef using two forks.
  • Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker, sprinkle cilantro in and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and give it all a good stir. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as you like.
Keyword cuban ropa vieja, ropa vieja, slow cooker recipes, beef chuck recipes, slow cooker ropa vieja
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe




2 Comments