17 March, 2013

Cuban Ropa Vieja... Another Winner!

"Ropa Vieja".... if you don't speak Spanish, don't forget to roll your "r's" like those old "Rrrruffles have Rrrridges" commercials......

Ropa Vieja when translated means "old clothes". I wondered how they got flank steak out of that, and so I went to something far more knowledgeable than me... Wiki. Here's what Wiki had to say about the origination of the name of this meal:

There are many theories as to how the dish was named. One of the more popular ones is a story about a man whose family was coming to his home for dinner. Being very poor, the man could not buy them enough food when they came. To remedy his situation, he went to his closet, gathered some old clothes (ropa vieja) and imbued them with his love. When he cooked the clothes, his love for his family turned the clothes into a wonderful beef stew.

So, that being the case.... I made this with all the love in my heart yesterday. I read through the recipe and this has a TWO TO THREE HOUR cooking time. Um, not in my house on a worknight...... SO, it had to be made ahead of time. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to eat it though, so after Hubby and I went out for the evening, I was sitting at my kitchen table at midnight in the most amazingly horrible pajamas eating a huge bowl of this. I also had it for breakfast if that tells you anything!

Here's you're ingredients:



6 oz. bacon, roughly chopped
2 lb. flank steak, cut into 1 ½″ strips
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 Cubanelle or green pepper, thinly sliced
6 oz. tomato paste
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. dried oregano
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups beef stock
1 (16-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
½ cup halved, pitted green olives
⅓ cup sliced jarred pimiento peppers
3 tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro

Cook your bacon and remove, leave the fat in pot. 

Season your steak with salt and pepper, then cook in batches until it's browned on all sides. The recipe says this takes about 6 minutes. Once browned, remove and set aside for right now. 

Throw the onions and peppers in until they are soft, then add the tomato paste, cumin, thyme, oregano, garlic, and bay leaf until caramelized. 

Add the wine and cook, scrape the bottom of your pot for one full minute.

Add the bacon and steal back to the pot, along with the stock and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 2-3 hours until the steak pulls apart with a fork. (Mine went just over two hours)

Pull your steak pieces out, shred with a fork.

Add the steak back in, along with the olives, capers, pimentos, and vinegar. Cook until your sauce thickens - roughly another 30 minutes. 

Add cilantro before serving.

I'm told this is traditionally serviced as an entree with rice and bread. Mine had this almost bbq smell to it. I had to resist the urge to make a sandwich out of it. Seriously. 

I thought it was delicious. My Husband hasn't had any of it yet, but I'm hoping he'll try it, despite the fact it has about a thousand things in it he doesn't care for. :) 

Thank you to Saveur Magazine for this awesome recipe!!!

Until Next Time,



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