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5 from 1 vote

Ropa Vieja - Cuban Shredded Beef - Recipe

A national Cuban recipe, "Ropa Vieja" is tender beef that is slowly braised with spices then finished in a seasoned tomato sauce. Serve it over rice and enjoy. Here is our version.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 40 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Cuban
Keyword: Cuban, recipe, shredded beef
Servings: 8
Calories: 261kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE INITIAL BRAISE

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 2 medium carrot peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves

FOR THE ROPA VIEJA

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped (I like to use 4 large jalapeno peppers instead for extra spice)
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 cup reserved braising liquid
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper chopped, for serving
  • Chopped parsley and lime juice/wedges for serving

Instructions

  • Slice the flank steak into 3 or 4 large pieces and set them into a large pot with the carrot, onion, pepper, garlic, allspice, salt, pepper, cloves and bay leaves. Add 5-6 cups water and bring to a quick boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, or until the beef becomes tender and can easily be shredded with a fork. Cool a bit and remove the beef. Shred it with a couple of forks and set aside.
  • Strain the broth, but reserve 1 cup of the liquid. I like to save the rest of the broth for using in other soups or stews. It freezes perfectly.
  • Next, heat the olive oil in a pot and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook down about 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add garlic, oregano, ground cloves, allspice, and tomato paste. Cook another minute, stirring.
  • Add white wine, braising liquid and reserved shredded beef. Add a bit of salt and pepper as well if you’d like.
  • Raise the heat a bit and let the whole mix simmer about 30 minutes to let the flavors develop.
  • Serve the Cuban shredded beef over rice topped with roasted red pepper, parsley and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Notes

This is PERFECT with Cuban black beans. Serves 6-8.

Nutrition

Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 597mg | Potassium: 787mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3840IU | Vitamin C: 48.8mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 3mg