Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe Tutorial

Ropa Viejo isn't just "a Cuban dish," it's the Cuban dish. What started as a peasant meal of sorts has become the official dish of the nation. Once you make it, you'll understand why. It's rich, hearty, and made to feed a crowd. It also freezes and reheats well, it's even better the next day.

Classic Cuban Ropa Vieja

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Things You\’ll Need

  • 2 lbs beef chuck roast (2-3 inches thick)

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 large carrots, chopped

  • 1 large white onion, chopped

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped

  • 1 of each large green, red and yellow bell pepper, thinlysliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine

  • 1


    cups chicken broth

  • 6 oz tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons dried cumin

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 cup green olives with pimentos

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (plus additional for garnish)

  • Rice for serving

Classic Cuban Ropa Vieja

Step 1

Liberally salt and pepper the beef on all sides

Classic Cuban Ropa Vieja

Step 2

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Sear the beef on all sides.

Classic Cuban Ropa Vieja

Step 3

Remove the steak, lower the heat to medium and add the onions, carrots, celery, and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have started to caramelize, about 15 minutes.

Classic Cuban Ropa Vieja

Step 4

Stir in the garlic, then add the wine, scraping to deglaze the bottom of the pan.

Classic Cuban Ropa Vieja

Step 5

Stir in the broth, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, and cumin. Add the beef back into the pot, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.


Don't have time to babysit this dish? Use a slow cooker! At this point, the meat, vegetables and broth can be transferred to a slow cooker. Just cook on high for 4 hours in your slow cooker, then continue with the next steps.

Classic Cuban Ropa Vieja

Step 6

While the meat is still in the pot, shred using two forks.

Classic Cuban Ropa Vieja

Step 7

Stir in the olives and parsley, cook on medium for 10 minutes. Serve over rice, sprinkle with parsley.

Classic Cuban Ropa Vieja

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