Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef with Peppers and Onions)

June 16, 2016  •  Meat & Poultry, One Dish Meals

ropa-viejaI will tell you up front, this dish looks nothing like the version I had in Cuba. There it was a dull brown dish with barely any green peppers. This version, adapted from Epicurious, is bright and colorful, and deliciously savory and tender.ropa-vieja-meat-braiseIt takes time, so start the day before by braising the beef (tip: this is a great recipe for using up any tough cuts of meat that benefit from a slow braise), and then finish the dish the day you want to serve it. It only needs some simple fluffy white rice to complete the dish, and if desired, garnish with freshly chopped parsley before serving.

Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef with Peppers and Onions)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
While this dish takes time, it's worth it! Prepare the meat and braising liquid the day before to save time.
Serves: 10
  • 3 pounds beef roast (chuck, shoulder, flank - any will work)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 carrots, chopped coarse
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarse
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped coarse
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed lightly
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into ¼-inch strips
  • 1 red onions, cut into ¼-inch strips
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 14- ounce cans chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into ¼ inch strips
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into ¼ inch strips
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add the beef, water, carrots, onion, celery,bay leaf, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, and peppercorns to a large Dutch oven and cover. Braise in the oven until the meat is fork tender, which will be from 2 to 6 hours depending on the cut of meat used. When tender, remove the meat to a cutting board and strain the braising liquid. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the pot; simmer until reduced to about 1 cup. May be prepared up to this point the day before.
  2. While the braising liquid is reducing, sauté the green bell peppers and onion in 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Pull meat into shreds about 3 by ½ inches while the vegetables cook.
  3. Combine the cooked vegetables with the shredded meat, reduced braising liquid, tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  4. While the stew is simmering, sauté the red and yellow bell peppers in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir the peppers and peas into the stew and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.


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