Cuban Ropa Vieja

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This Cuban Ropa Vieja recipe is taken from our Caribbean Islands Cuisine/Cuban Cuisine page. For more delicious dishes from the Caribbean Islands, please check those pages out. There are many offerings for you.

Cuban Ropa Vieja

Cuban Ropa Vieja (basically, seasoned, slow-cooked and shredded beef) is a classic Cuban dish, a national favorite. Similar to the pulled pork so popular in the Americas, but of course very uniquely Cuban in its spices and flavors.

Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe-


(serves 6)

  1. Season the chuck roast with salt and pepper on all sides.
  2. In a large cooking pot over medium high heat, brown the roast all over with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
  3. Add in enough water to surround the meat, but not enough to cover it.
  4. Now the yellow onion slices into the water, and bring to a boil.
  5. Once a good boil is achieved, turn the heat down to where the liquid is at a lively simmer; cover the pot and allow to cook for at least 1-1/2 hours, longer if necessary, the meat must be fully tenderized.
  6. Remove from the burner and allow to cool.
  7. Removing any excess fat as you work, shred the roast into strands, then set aside.
  8. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and sauté the bell pepper, diced white onion, and garlic for 3 or 4 minutes, until the onion is fragrant and translucent.
  9. Now add the red wine, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, cumin, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Stir and blend the mixture together well, then cover the skillet and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
  10. Put the shredded beef in the skillet, cover, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring now and then.
  11. To serve your Cuban Ropa Vieja, remove bay leaves, stir one more time, and place your Ropa Vieja on a large serving platter. Ropa Vieja is traditionally served with white or yellow rice, black beans (garnished with finely diced white onions), and also fried plantains and/or fried yucca.

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4 thoughts on “Cuban Ropa Vieja

  1. Very appealing recipe. I also checked out the Cuban Midnight Sandwich – that looks like a monster midnight munchie!

  2. I’ve long loved pulled pork, and this Cuban Ropa Vieja sounds like a delicious variation, using beef. And the seasonings sound yummy, too!

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