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Cuban Beef Stew (Ropa Vieja)

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  • Prep 30 min
  • Total 4 hr 0 min
  • Servings 5
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Exotic, colorful and appetizing, Ropa Vieja is a delicious Cuban beef stew that you can easily make at home.
by: The Food in My Beard
Updated May 24, 2022
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  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cans (4 oz) Old El Paso™ Chopped Green Chiles
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup green olives stuffed with pimento
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 cups cooked white rice


  • 1
    Sear the flank steak in some oil over high heat until browned on both sides.
  • 2
    Add the peppers and onions and cook about 2 minutes.
  • 3
    Add in the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add the green chiles, tomatoes, vinegar, cumin, oregano Worcestershire, and sugar. Stir to mix, cover, and simmer on low for 3-4 hours until it shreds easily. Completely shred it.
  • 4
    Chop up the olives. Serve the stew with the rice and beans and top with olives.

Nutrition Information

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More About This Recipe

  • Ropa Vieja is absolutely amazing, but you wouldn't believe it if you knew the direct translation of the name! If you were to serve me a dish called “old clothes”, I would be turned off before the plate even made it to the table. Lucky for us, “ropa vieja” sounds a lot more exotic and appetizing (even if it translates to English as old clothes)! The dish is named after old laundry because of the vibrant colors and the long shreds of beef that form a pile on your plate. The trick to getting such long shreds: Don't use the normal stewing beef. Instead, use a whole flank steak that has grain running from end to end. This Cuban Beef Stew (Ropa Vieja) hits all the right notes you expect from Cuban food, and is super easy to put together. Top with some pimento-stuffed olives. Does this look like old clothes to you? It looks like delicious to me. Serve with some black beans and rice and you have a hearty delicious meal that sticks to your ribs!
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