Cuban Stew (Ropa Vieja)

Cuban Stew (Ropa Vieja)

  • Servings: 4
  • Rating:
This Cuban stew, Ropa Vieja, is made by braising beef until it can be shredded—thus the name (translated as 'old clothes'). Serve with flour tortillas or brown rice.


1 T vegetable oil
1 (1.5-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons pitted green olives, thinly sliced
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
3 T sherry or red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups lower sodium beef broth
1/2 T tomato paste
1 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Heat a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan. Add the steak to the pan and cook for 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove the steak from the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook for 7 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the olives and next 5 ingredients (through the black pepper). Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in the vinegar, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits. Cook for 2 minutes or until the liquid almost evaporates.

Stir in the broth, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Add the steak and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the steak is very tender. Discard the bay leaf.

Remove the steak from the pan and shred it with two forks. Add the shredded beef and the cilantro into pan and serve.