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.
Note: This recipe requires Suvie 2.0 and the Suvie Starch Cooker.
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
1) Season 1 lb flank steak generously on all sides with salt and pepper; set aside. Peel onion, cut in half, and slice into thin half-moons. Stem, core, and seed bell pepper then slice into thin strips. Roughly chop 1/4 cup green olives. In a Suvie pan combine green olives, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 3 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce,1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, and 1 bay leaf. Stir to combine.
2) Cut the flank steak into two pieces, nestle into the sauce, and turn to coat.
3) Cover steak with the sliced peppers and onions. Place in the top zone of Suvie. Enter cook settings below.
4) Place the rice in the Suvie rice pot and place in the Suvie Starch Cooker, ensuring the pot is centered on the hot plate. Fill the reservoir, enter cook settings for long grain rice, and cook now or schedule.
Suvie Cook Settings
Bottom Zone: Slow Cook, Low for 10 hours
Top Zone: None
5) After cooking, shred the flank steak with two forks and stir to combine.
6) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to Suvie and broil for 10 minutes until the top of the steak, onions, and peppers begin to char.
7) Fluff the rice with a fork and season to taste with salt. Divide rice between plates and top with the ropa vieja.
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.