Ropa Vieja is Spanish for “old clothes”. This Cuban recipe’s title describes shredded meat and colorful bell peppers which resemble tattered rags.
I learned how to make this recipe from Cuban friends who are fantastic home cooks.
Serve Ropa Vieja with a side of white or brown rice, accompanied by your fav red wine – a true comfort!
Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
2 pounds flank steak, boiled, cooled and shredded*
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 white or brown onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
One 15-ounce can Muir Glen® Organic Crushed Tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup dry Sherry or white wine
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar or brown sugar
Dash ground black pepper
1. In a 12-inch skillet or 8-quart saucepot, heat the oil on medium-high setting.
2. Stir fry the garlic, onions and bell pepper strips for 2 to 4 minutes or until the mixture is soft.
3. Stir in the shredded beef, tomatoes, cumin, bay leaves, wine, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar and dash pepper.
4. Cook on medium-high heat for 8 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon to prevent sticking.
5. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper levels. Remove and discard bay leaves.
5. Serve immediately with steamed white or brown rice. This dish can also be served with a green salad.
*Note: The flank steak can be cooked for 45 minutes a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. On day of usage, shred the cooled flank steak into shreds.
Wine pairing suggestion: Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux (reds).
Text & Photograph ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real