The name Ropa Vieja literally means "old clothes" which seems perfectly fitting with the rag-like shredded meat piled on the plate, but this dish is anything but dodgy. A flank steak cooked to meltingly tender shreds lends a warming spice to any meat lovers palate. After not eating beef for quite some time, this dish just exploded with flavor for me. Served simply with tortillas or on its own with some cilantro-lime rice, it is one of those one-pot meals the family will enjoy. Loaded with red and green bell peppers, onions and just the right amount of cumin, garlic and tomato, this dish will keep you from ordering that boring take-out.
Cuban Ropa Vieja
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds beef flank steak
1 cup beef broth
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 small onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Rub the flank steak with 1 tablespoon of cumin and then brown the flank steak on each side, about 4 minutes per side.
Transfer beef to a slow cooker. Pour in the beef broth and tomato sauce, then add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, remaining 2 tablespoons cumin, cilantro, olive oil and vinegar into a small bowl. Stir until well blended then add to the crock pot. Cover, and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for up to 10 hours, you just want the beef to shred easily when pulled apart with a fork. When ready to serve, shred the meat and serve with tortillas or any appealing sides and condiments like cilanto-lime rice, black beans, sliced avocado and sour cream. Serve any remaining sauce alongside.
*Inspired from All-recipes, Epicurious, Eva's Kitchen and Food.com