A recipe for tender, juicy tacos made from slow cooked Cuban style shredded beef, or "ropa vieja", served with a Cuban mojo inspired salsa. Sure to be a hit on any taco night.
Bringing out another awesome taco recipe for you guys today, and you know what? I love it. I flat out LOVE tacos in so many ways, in so many forms. I turn foods into tacos that you might never consider for a taco. It's getting to the point where Patty is calling me "The Taco-nator", which sounds kind of odd, but when you hear it enough, it starts to stick. I mean, see our Taco Recipes page. It's growing! This recipe, though...there is nothing unusual about it. It's just crazy good, and it uses the leftover Cuban style shredded beef from one of our recent recipes - Ropa Vieja Recipe (Cuban Style Shredded Beef).
So, for this particular recipe, go make yourself some Ropa Vieja. You can use my recipe from the link above, or make your own version. The one I use ROCKS.
Making Ropa Vieja is easy enough. You'll slowly braise the flank steak with vegetables and other seasonings in water, all low and slow, for about 2 hours, or until you are able to easily shred the beef with a couple of forks. Look for that ropey meat quality. Set it aside and strain the beef broth. Next, you'll cook down some fresh vegetables, season them up and add in the stock along with tomato paste and other seasonings. Finish the beef off in this sauce for about 30 minutes to let the flavors mingle. It is traditionally served over rice, but it is SO PERFECT for making tacos. Tacos!
Ropa Vieja literally translates to "Old Clothes" in Spanish, referring to how the shredded beef looks in the pot. Because of the slow cooking and the texture of the meat, the beef is ropey in texture, and very tender. It is slow cooked in a spiced tomato sauce, though not overly spicy, as Cuban cuisine is not known for its heat, but rather its flavor.
I served these up with a salsa inspired by Cuban Mojo Sauce, which is a salsa in its own right, but is more blended and used as a marinade or finishing sauce. It is super fresh with plenty of peppers, tomato, garlic and herbs, along with both lime juice and orange juice. If you can find some sour orange, that would be even better. Simply dice all of your vegetables, mix them together and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour or so to let the flavors mingle.
Serve it all up on warmed flour tortillas and enjoy the heck out of your tacos! Don't forget the hot sauce! Hot sauce ROCKS on everything. If you're interested in making your own Cuban style hot sauce, try this recipe for Ti-Malice (Hatian Creole Hot Sauce) - it has a super interesting origin story tied to Cuban folklore, and it tastes great. Nice and spicy!
Cuban-Style Shredded Beef Tacos with Mojo Salsa – Recipe
- Ropa Vieja (Cuban-Style Shredded Beef) Recipe
- Mojo Salsa - See below
- Warmed flour tortillas
- Favorite hot sauce for serving
- FOR THE MOJO SALSA
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (or use a milder pepper as desired)
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- Juice from 1 lime
- Juice from ½ orange
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Keep your slow cooked shredded beef warm in a pot on the stove, ready for making your tacos.
- Prepare the salsa by combining all of the salsa ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Set in the fridge for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to mingle.
- Serve 2 ounces of shredded beef per warmed tortilla, then top with salsa and a bit of hot sauce. Enjoy!
A 2-pound flank steak will allow you to make 16-20 tacos, so prepare accordingly. Enjoy!