Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)

The translation for Ropa Vieja is actually old clothes, don’t know if it’s because it’s a comfort dish like old clothes or if it’s because you cook it as long as you would boil old clothes back in the day. Either way, it translates to a delicious beef dish!

This dish is even tastier the next day and is very inexpensive to make. You can use shoulder london broil which is quite cheap, so you can buy enough to feed a battalion (batallón)!

ropa-vieja-prepI used to simmer the meat in a pot on the stove top, but now I cook it a slow cooker to cook the meat. It makes it easier to shred and makes a very flavorful beef broth. You can also use a pressure cooker to cook the meat.

You can serve this over rice with twice-fried green plantains (tostones) or fried sweet plantains (plátano maduro). You can also use this as a filling for empanadas. If you want to be more health conscious you can serve it with brown rice and roasted cauliflower.

Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A flavorful Cuban beef dish.

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  • 2 lbs shoulder London Broil (Falda de Paleta)
  • 1 medium onion, minced or sliced (your preference, I went with minced)
  • 1/2 a red or green pepper (green pepper is used traditionally, but prefer the red one)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine (vino seco) I love using Artañan Vino Seco, it’s amazing!
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbs green Manzanilla olives
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


Cut the meat across the grain into two inch pieces. Place in a slow cooker with one cup of water and cook on high for four hours. (You can also cook in pressure cooker for 30 minutes or simmer on the stove top for about an hour and a half. In this case, you’ll have add more water.) Let the meat cool and then shred with two forks or by hand. Reserve the beef broth.

Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and saute until onions are tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, beef broth, wine, cumin and oregano. Simmer for another minute. Add the beef, salt and pepper and stir. Add the olives and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.








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