Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shredded Steak with Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes (Ropa Vieja)

Another beef dish! This is got to be some kind of record for me. Ropa Vieja is an easy way to prepare flavorful shredded beef. Perfect for tacos or sandwiches, this dish is a Cuban favorite and I can easily see why. While there are a lot of spices in this dish, the dish isn't actually spicy (as in heat) so don't let that put you off if you aren't a fan. I actually used chipotle cheddar to bring the spiciness up a notch, but some hot sauce would be just as good.


The original recipe called for cooking this dish on the stove top, but since the cooking time is so long I decided to use my slow cooker. If you don't have one or would prefer not to use it, then just follow the link at the bottom for alternative directions.

When I made this dish I threw everything in the pot and let it go. While the meat was super tasty after cooking 7 hours on low, the veggies were way too soft for my taste. Because of that, I would add the veggies during the last hour of cooking instead. Keep in mind that this makes a TON of food. I ended up freezing half of it since there's only three of us.

Would I make this again? Oh yes. I'm not even a beef fan and I loved this dish.

Shredded Steak with Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes (Ropa Vieja)


2 pounds flank steak
Delicioso Adobo seasoning, recipe follows
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 bottles beer
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and chopped
2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, ribbed and chopped
6 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste


1. Cut the flank steak into large pieces and place them in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the adobo and the Worcestershire sauce to make a paste. Rub the paste into the meat, add the beer, and let marinate for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

2. Transfer the meat, as well as the marinade to the crock-pot and add the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes to the mix. Cook on low for about 7-8 hours or high for 5-6 (these are just estimates!). You'll be able to easily tell when the meet is done because it will start falling apart easily.

3. During the last hour add the veggies to the slow cooker.

4. Remove the meat from the pot and shred the meat using 2 forks. To thicken the sauce you can add some cornstarch (dissolved in cold water first) or bump the temp up to high during the last part of the cooking. You could also leave out one of the beers.

Serve on top of rice with tortillas or on subs.

Delicioso Adobo:

I was able to find achoite powder in the Mexican/Latin spice section of my supermarket (with the beans and rice). It came in a bag instead of a jar and was less than $2 bucks if I remember correctly.

1 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoons lemon pepper
1 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 tablespoons achoite powder from annatto seed
1/2 tablespoon cumin powder


Source: Adapted from Ingrid Hoffmann


  1. I will leave the onions out, but otherwise wouldn't change a thing - yum!!

  2. This looks awesome...and I'd DOUBLE the onions :)

  3. Ingrid spelled "achiote" wrong; nevertheless, this dish looks amazing. I'm thinking about trying this out tomorrow. I don't consume alcohol, so I hope I can replace the alcohol with beer broth and yield successful results.

  4. I'm sorry, I'm not one to be negative, but this was a big disappointment. Although the meat was tender (due to the cooking method), there was virtually no flavor in the meat or sauce. I followed the recipe to a T. I just wanted to warn others because it was such a waste of so many ingredients.

    1. Hey, we all have our own opinions. No reason to apologize for not liking something. I don't really know what to say though. Maybe your spices were expired or the combination of flavors didn't work for you. Some of the reviewers at food network had the same issue, but I was happy with it. I did use chipotle cheddar and some hot sauce though so there's that.

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