Cuban Ropa Vieja

Cuban Ropa Vieja
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Slow-cooked shredded beef and vegetables that resemble a pile of colourful rags is what Cubans call Ropa Vieja. From the Spanish term for “old clothes”, this rich beef stew is one of Cuba’s most popular and beloved dishes.

Ropa Vieja may sound exotic, but it’s the kind of meal that is universally accepted as delicious around the world. Essentially, it is a beef stew. Beef is first slow-cooked in stock and dry white wine, shredded and added to rich tomato, onion and pepper sauce. Ropa Vieja is best served with rice and beans, or some plantain chips on the side.

There’s a legend surrounding the invention (or a miracle, I should say) of Ropa Vieja. The legend talks about a man who didn’t have any money for food for his family. Out of desperation, he shredded his old clothes and put them in a pan to cook. As the clothes bubbled away, the man was praying hard to God. When his prayer was finished and he looked at the pan, the old clothes had cooked to a delicious meaty stew that was enough to feed his family and more. And that’s how the name of the Cuban stew was born: Ropa Vieja translates as ‘old clothes’ in English.

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How to Make Cuban Ropa Vieja?

Place the beef in a pan with a matching lid. Pour the white wine and stock in, add the bay leaf and peppercorns. Place in low heat and cook for 3 hours.

Lift the meat out of the stock (reserve the stock for later). Shred the meat using 2 forks (when cooked the meat should shred very easily). Cover the beef and set it aside.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

Add the spices and stir until all the vegetables are covered, then add the tomato paste and stir for a minute. Pour the stock the beef has been cooking in through a fine sieve, discarding the bay leaf and peppercorns.

Add the shredded beef back to the sauce and cook for another 10-15 minutes on medium heat, until the sauce has reduced by about a third.

In the meantime, cook the white rice following instructions on a packet.

Serve the Cuban ropa vieja on a bed of rice with some black (or kidney beans) on the side, with some fresh coriander and a lime wedge as a garnish!


If you’re cooking beef, make it something special. Some of our favourite recipes are below:

Cuban Ropa Vieja

Cuban Ropa Vieja

Slow-cooked shredded beef and vegetables that resemble a pine of colourful rags is what Cubans call Ropa Vieja. From the Spanish term for “old clothes”, this rich beef stew is one of Cuba’s most popular and beloved dishes.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 40 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 4 portions
Calories 564 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 500 g casserole beef or flank steak
  • 200 ml dry white wine
  • 450 ml beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 peppers cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 onions thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced

To Serve:

  • 240 g white rice
  • 200 g black beans or kidney beans
  • 5 g coriander roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lime

Instructions
 

  • Place the beef in a pan with a matching lid. Pour the wine and stock in, add the bay leaf and peppercorns. Place in low heat and cook for 3 hours.
  • Lift the meat out of the stock (reserve the stock for later). Shred the meat using 2 forks (when cooked the meat should shred very easily). Cover the beef and set it aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Add the spices and stir until all the vegetables are covered, then add the tomato paste and stir for a minute. Pour the stock the beef has been cooking in through a fine sieve, discarding the bay leaf and peppercorns.
  • Add the shredded beef back to the sauce and cook for another 10-15 minutes on low heat.
  • In the meantime, cook the white rice following instructions on a packet.
  • Serve the Cuban ropa vieja on a bed of rice with some black (or kidney beans) on the side, with some fresh coriander and a lime wedge as a garnish!

Nutrition

Calories: 564kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 40gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 306mgPotassium: 1228mgFiber: 8gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 449IUVitamin C: 59mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Beef Stew recipe, Cuban Beef Stew, Cuban Pulled Beef Stew, Cuban Recipes, Cuban Ropa Vieja, Pulled Beef Stew Recipe, Ropa Vieja, Ropa Vieja Recipe
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Cuban Ropa Vieja

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