I have always been intrigued by Spanish and Cuban cuisine. It might be because I live in Southern Florida which has a large Spanish and Cuban presence and an abundance of specialty restaurants, which we love to dine at, all sporting their most popular dishes. One dish that I have found in most of these restaurants is a delicious meaty stew called Ropa Vieja. I have been told it is one of Cuba’s national dishes as well as one of the most popular dishes in both central and southern Spain. But no matter where it comes from, it is one flavorful meal!
I was curious as to what Ropa Vieja meant, so I asked my husband as he’s the Spanish speaker in our house, and he said it translated to “old clothes”. Now why would they call it that! Well, supposedly the shredded beef and vegetables resemble strips of colorful rags, hence old clothes. Who knew?!
This is such an easy meal to put together. All you have to do is dump everything in a crockpot and let it go. It’s perfect for busy weeknights and easily reheated for lunches or dinners during the week. You can change it up every time you have it by serving it with different sides. One day can be tortillas, one day rice or crusty bread. Whatever way you have it – it’s delicious! Enjoy!
Love Cuban? You might like to try another favorite dish of mine, Pechuga a la Plancha, or Cuban Chicken with Onions.
Crockpot Ropa Vieja
- 2-1/2 to 3 lbs. chuck roast or flank steak
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled & coarsely chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2-1 cup beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Garnish: Chopped cilantro, lime wedges
Score meat lightly and stuff pieces of garlic cloves into grooves.
Place peppers, onions, carrots and minced jalapeno pepper into bottom of crockpot. Place meat on top.
Mix remaining ingredients except for garnish and pour over meat.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 5-7 hours.
Remove meat from crockpot and shred. I usually use 2 forks and pull meat in opposite directions to shred.
Remove bay leaf. Return meat to crockpot and stir.
Ladle into serving dishes then garnish with cilantro & a lime wedge. Serve with rice, tortillas or crusty bread, black beans, plantains and sour cream.