Ropa Vieja Recipe
One of the most traditional Cuban dishes served at Havana is our slow-cooked Ropa Vieja. The dish, which is Spanish for “old clothes,” actually finds its root in the Canary Islands, but was introduced to the Americas and the Caribbean islands with the arrival of Spanish settlers. Some say the name Ropa Vieja comes from the piles of shredded beef, peppers and onions which seem to resemble a mess of torn fabric.
Traditionally, Ropa Vieja required hours of braising beef and vegetables until they were soft and tender, however today anyone can make their own version of Ropa Vieja at home by simply using a crock-pot. To start, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 (2 pound) beef chuck pot roast
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into large wedges
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into large wedges
- 1 yellow onion, cut into wedges
- 1 sweet onion, cut into wedges
- 1/2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, or to taste
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt, or to taste
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
Next, combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook low and slow for 7-8 hours. Soon your home will be filled with the delicious aromas of traditional Cuban food while your Ropa Vieja simmers away. After athe mixture has been given time to cook, remove the pot roast and shred the beef with a fork, then return it to the mixture to soak in the juices for another 30-40 minutes.
We believe Ropa Vieja is best served over rice with a side of black beans, however there are many variations you can try such as using the beef on a sandwich or in tacos, just use your imagination and let flavor be your guide!