Ropa vieja is a Cuban dish that translates to “old clothes”. While this may not be the most appetizing description, it refers to this dish’s signature meat, flank steak, when it breaks down to long, juicy strands of meat after a lengthy braise. While we often think of flank steak as a quick-cook cut best marinated and then grilled over red-hot coals, in this dish we skip the grill and slowly cook the meat to bring out its tender qualities. Flank steak is also a relatively lean cut so you don’t need to worry about skimming any fat after braising it. The green olives, bay leaf, and vinegar in this dish are hallmarks of Cuban cuisine. The addition of vinegar to braises lends acidity to the dish and helps balance the bold, beefy flavor. Serve over rice and feel free to garnish cilantro and lime wedges.
Slow Cook: Ropa Vieja
- 1 lb flank steak
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 yellow onion
- ¼ cup green olives, pitted
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup long-grain white rice
Season the flank steak generously on all sides with salt and pepper, set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Peel the onion, cut in half and slice into thin half-moons. Remove the stem, core, and seeds from the bell pepper then slice into thin strips. Roughly chop green olives.
In a Suvie pan combine the green olives, tomato paste, cider vinegar, soy sauce, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
Cut the flank steak into two pieces then nestle into the sauce and turn to coat.
Cover the steak with the sliced peppers and onions. Place in the upper right cooking zone.
Add the rice to a starch pan, season with 2 tsp salt, and place in the lower right cooking zone. Fill the reservoir on your Suvie, enter the Slow Cook settings and set to cook now or schedule.
LOW, 10 hours
Starch: 22 minutes
After the cook, remove the Suvie pan.
Shred the flank steak with two forks and stir into the sauce with the peppers and onions.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to Suvie and broil for 7-10 minutes until the top of the steak, onions, and peppers begin to char.
Fluff the rice with a fork and season to taste with salt. Divide rice between plates and top with the ropa vieja. Feel free to garnish with cilantro and lime, enjoy!
The bold, hearty flavors of this meal call for a big robust red wine. For a delicious taste sensation, try pairing this meal with a glass of Malbec.