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Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef Stew Recipe)

User Rating 4 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


Ropa Vieja
Rinaldo Wurglitsch/Flickr
Ropa vieja literally means "old clothes" in Spanish. The name describes the shreds of meat and vegetables which resemble colorful strips of rags. This Cuban beef stew is hearty enough to eat on its own, but goes well over rice dishes and soaked up on crusty bread. The beef must be cooked and shredded first. For convenience, you can prepare the beef the day before and refrigerate overnight to save time the next day.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes


  • Steak Preparation
  • =================
  • 2 pounds flank steak (or chuck roast)
  • 1 large onion (quartered)
  • 2 cloves garlic (smashed)
  • 1 large celery rib (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • water to cover steak in stockpot
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Stew Ingredients
  • =================
  • 1 large onion (sliced into thin strips)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large green bell pepper (sliced into thin strips)
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoons cumin (ground)
  • 1/4 cup sweet peas (cooked)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Steak Preparation

1. Place the steak into a large stockpot and add water to completely cover the steak.

2. Add the quartered onion, smashed garlic, celery and salt.

3. Bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce to moderate heat and cook until steak is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

4.Transfer the meat only to a platter to cool and discard the cooking liquid.

5.When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred it with two forks. At this point you may refrigerate the meat overnight.

Stew Preparation

1. In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until soft, about 1 minute.

2. Reduce the heat to medium heat and add the sliced onion and bell pepper. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, sherry, bay leaves, cumin, and a pinch of salt.

4. Turn the heat to medium high and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

5. Remove the bay leaves.

6. Stir in the shredded beef and cook for about 10 minutes until the beef is heated through.

7. Stir in the peas. Turn of the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Servings: Serves 4 – 6 people.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Wonderful, Member chrissylou1967

I love learning new cuisine and this recipe was fantastic!!! I added a few things but the basic ingredients were fine. I cooked a chuck roast cut in 4ths in the crock pot on high for 4 hours then refrigerated it for 24 hrs in the juice that i cooked it in. Then finished it off the next day... added about a quarter cup of sherry...it was a real winner and will be a regular, The teenagers scarfed it down even though they don't like bell peppers

22 out of 22 people found this helpful.

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