Picture of ropa vieja
Ropa vieja is the most amazing Cuban comfort food. Whenever I go to a Cuban restaurant, I always order the ropa vieja or the vaca frita. Both dishes are spectacular in every way.

Ropa vieja is a long-simmered shredded beef and tomato and other delicious things sort of dish - it's almost like a stew! You can eat it alone, over rice, as a sandwich or in a tortilla. 

Step 1: Ingredients:

Picture of ingredients:
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2 pounds flank steak, sliced into 1-2 inch wide strips
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup canned pimiento peppers
  • 1/2 cup green olive sliced lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
I know the list is a little daunting. I'm sorry. It's worth it! Promise.

Plus, this makes a TON. You can feed several people or two people can eat on it for a few days.

Two important things to note about this recipe:
  1. Set aside the green olives, capers, pimientos and vinegar - we'll be putting them in at the very end!
  2. Don't add any salt until AFTER the olives/capers/pimientos go in and it simmers for a bit. They provide the majority of the salt in the dish, and you don't want to over do it. :)
shantelw310 months ago
Good recipe. Wished I would have not put so much oregano and thyme. I had to make a second batch just to off set the seasonings.

Looks so good, now I'm hungry. Thanks a lot! :D

vzram1 year ago

If you are looking for "The ropa veija" recipe, look no further! This recipe rocks, and is extremely adaptable. It is delicious!!!! It is worth the time cooking it this way.

ElCubano1 year ago
Ai ke buena la ropa vieja. I ate ropa vieja so much in Cuba, and it brings back good memories!
nfrith1 year ago

Great recipe. I substituted salted pork for the bacon (it's what I had and we are snowed in here in the ATL) and I added a bit of smoked sausage (just a small link) to make up for the lack of "smokiness". Turned out great, and it goes real well with rice. Even my picky 8 yo daughter loved it. Thanks for sharing!

Aeroslin1 year ago
The first time I ever had this dish was at a Cuban restaurant here in Louisville called Havana Rumba. It is hands down my favorite dish. When I saw this recipe I decided I was going to give it a shot. jessyratfink nailed this recipe. It turned out fantastic. It will be on my list of go-to recipes forever. Thank you a million!
jessyratfink (author)  Aeroslin1 year ago
Yessss! That is just amazing. Havana Rumba is actually my favorite restaurant, along with Simpyl Thai and the Irish Rover.

I moved to Oakland a couple years ago, but Louisville will always be home. :D
Wow! Small world! I haven't been to Simply Thai yet but another friend of mine has suggested it. Never heard of Irish Rover but I just checked out their menu and Guinness Beef Stew sounds pretty good. I just made a pot a few weeks ago, would be nice to try a different recipe. Thanks for the suggestions! Go Cards! :-)
trapper6611 year ago
This recipe looks amazing though I have one question. Would beef chuck stew meat work as well or no?
jessyratfink (author)  trapper6611 year ago
Definitely! Anything with a decent amount of fat marbling will work. :D
I made this before Cuben style. Yours looks fabuloso!! :)

MAC_LADY822 years ago
im gonna make this it looks mouthwatering! !
Kona-chan2 years ago
oh, it contains alcohol, does it still does when cooked?
jessyratfink (author)  Kona-chan2 years ago
Nope - the alcohol cooks out! It's just for flavor. :)
cause i'm 13 and i can't have alcohol, and another reason :\
but it looks soooooooooooooo good
jonipinkney2 years ago
Looks yummy! Maybe the long slow phase of the cooking could be done in a crockpot?
jessyratfink (author)  jonipinkney2 years ago
Definitely! You could use a much larger piece of meat that way, too :D
illuminatis2 years ago
looks great, gotta try this.
kavadi2 years ago
Wow... I'm Cuban and I make this all the time, but the recipe looks amazing! I'm definitely going to try this one out. On a side tip, I usually use a pressure cooker; it cuts down the amount of time by a couple of hours
hunter9992 years ago
Looks good to me!
mouwlengte2 years ago
Muy gusto> looking forward to making this tonight or tomorrow @ work with http://baleinen.com
hobo marcus2 years ago
Very good