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  • The Chopping Blog

Ropa Vieja

Kate S
Posted by Kate S on Dec 1, 2020

 

At the beginning of the year, Cuba was on my list of places to travel in 2020. Thanks to the pandemic, it’ll have to remain on my list (which is growing as the months pass) a bit longer. I absolutely love Cuban food, and I’ve had delicious Cuban food in Miami, New York and Chicago.

new york ropa vieja

Lunch at Rincon Criollo, New York

One of my favorite dishes is Ropa Vieja, which I was introduced to by a Cuban friend in high school. Ropa Vieja meaning “old clothes” is named for the way this braised and shredded beef dish looks once finished, like the fibers of old clothes – but trust me, this tastes way better than old clothes!

I absolutely love once the weather starts to cool because it’s the perfect excuse to start making delicious braised dishes such as this one. Braising is a cooking method in which wet and dry heat are used. You use dry heat to sear the meat, and wet heat, once it’s in the sauce, to simmer and get tender. Braising typically takes a long time (several hours) at a low temperature. Braised dishes are the perfect, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs food for the next several cold months (or anytime as far as I’m concerned!)

I love serving Ropa Vieja with white rice, black beans, and maduros (sweet plantains). This braised dish is guaranteed to warm your body and your soul, and fill your home with some amazing smells!

 

Ropa Vieja

Serves: 6

Active time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 3 hours

 

1.5 pounds flank steak

4 Tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 large onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup red wine

28 oz whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes

1 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons thyme

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons oregano

1 cup Spanish green olives with pimento, sliced

2 Tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar

TCB kosher salt and pepper, to taste

 

1. Preheat a pan (I like using a Le Creuset enameled cast iron braiser) on medium heat.

2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

3. Add 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil to hot pan.

4. Season flank steak with salt and pepper.

5. Sear flank steak on both sides and remove from pan.

searing flank stea

flank steak seared

6. Add 2 more Tablespoons grapeseed to pan and add onions and pepper, season with salt and pepper.

onions peppers-1

7. Sauté for 5-10 minutes until softened and caramelized.

garlic onion pepper

8. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, until aromatic.

9. Deglaze with red wine, and add thyme, oregano, paprika, cumin and cayenne.

deglaze wine

10. Add canned tomatoes.

canned tomatoes

11. Let the tomatoes cook for about 5 minutes until they are broken up a bit.

cooked tomatoes

12. Add seared flank steak back to the pan. It should be partially covered by the sauce.

flank steak in sauce

13. Cover and cook in oven for 3 hours.

14. After three hours, the meat should be tender and falling apart. Shred with 2 forks and incorporate into sauce.

shredded meat

15. Add vinegar and sliced olives to the meat mixture and stir to incorporate.

olives-2

olives in meat-1

16. Serve with white rice, black beans and maduros.

plated ropa vieja

I’ve found that the leftovers, if there are any, make a fantastic breakfast. Scramble some eggs, heat some tortillas, and warm up the Ropa Vieja. You’ll have the most delicious breakfast tacos! I topped mine with scallions, avocado, and hot sauce.

ropa tacos

If this braised dish has got you excited to get cooking slow and low this winter, we’ve got some virtual cooking classes that will have you making delicious braised dishes in the comfort of your own home:

Additionally, while I’m so disappointed that we can’t gather for one of Chicago’s best holiday traditions, the Christkindlmart, I’m so excited that Chef Hans Mooser who is from Germany is hosting a series of virtual German cooking classes that’ll have you in the holiday spirit! Join us for:

If all this cooking gets you thirsty, we’ve still got our 12 weeks of wine case available, as well a great variety of knives, cookware (like the Le Creuset braiser I used to make this dish), and ingredients available for curbside pickup. Just go to the SHOP tab in the top navigation of our website to see all of the products we have available.

See our class calendar

 

Yield: 6
Author: Kate Schrager
Print
Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja

Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 3 HourTotal time: 3 H & 20 M

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds flank steak
  • 4 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 28 oz whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 cup Spanish green olives with pimento, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar
  • TCB kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat a pan on medium heat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil to hot pan.
  4. Season flank steak with salt and pepper.
  5. Sear flank steak on both sides and remove from pan.
  6. Add 2 more Tablespoons grapeseed to pan and add onions and pepper, season with salt and pepper.
  7. Sauté for 5-10 minutes until softened and caramelized.
  8. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, until aromatic.
  9. Deglaze with red wine, and add thyme, oregano, paprika, cumin and cayenne.
  10. Add canned tomatoes.
  11. Let the tomatoes cook for about 5 minutes until they are broken up a bit.
  12. Add seared flank steak back to the pan. It should be partially covered by the sauce.
  13. Cover and cook in oven for 3 hours.
  14. After three hours, the meat should be tender and falling apart. Shred with 2 forks and incorporate into sauce.
  15. Add vinegar and sliced olives to the meat mixture and stir to incorporate.
  16. Serve with white rice, black beans and maduros.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Topics: beef, Recipes, cuban, ropa vieja

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