Cuban Ropa Vieja

  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 2:0 h
  • Ready In : 2:10 h

Literally translates to “old clothes” this dish is a Cuban classic.


  • 3 pounds of flank steak
  • onion
  • green bell pepper
  • one bay leaf
  • salt
  • 2 tomatoes or canned tomatoes
  • 1 cube of beef boullion
  • red wine
  • cumin
  • 6 cups of water




Boil the meat until tender, cut into strips and add salt.

Cut up the onions and bell peppers. Put half of this into the pot, save the other half.




The recipe in the book called for 4 garlic cloves, which I did not have. However, I did have minced garlic. I sprinkled enough minced garlic until it “looked enough”. Sorry, I don’t have the measurement for that! :)

Add one bay leaf and 2 chopped tomatoes. If you do not have tomatoes on hand, you can use canned tomatoes. We added one large 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes.

At this point you need to start boiling the meat. Add 4-6 cups of water (until meat is covered plus some) and one beef bouillon cube.

Boil meat until tender or about an 1.5 hours.

After the flank is tender you will to remove the meat from the juices and vegetables and shred the meat.

Place the juice and veggies into the food processor. Process the puree until smooth.

In the skillet, sauté the remaining onion strips and bell pepper you set aside earlier. Add 1/2 cup of red wine and cumin to the skillet.

After the veggies are tender, add the ropa vieja (the shredded beef) and the puree from the food processor in the skillet.

Simmer for about 30 minutes. We served the ropa vieja on top of rice. Black beans and plantains are also common side dishes.


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