Cuban-Style Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


This version of ropa vieja is made with beef and accented with olives and capers. This recipe first appeared in our April 2012 issue along with Kathleen Squires's story Spanish Conquest.


  • 6 oz. bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 lb. flank steak, cut into 1 1/2″ 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
  • 12 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup (16-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 12 cup halved, pitted, green olives
  • 13 cup sliced jarred pimiento peppers
  • 3 tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 14 cup roughly chopped cilantro


Step 1

Render bacon in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Transfer to a plate, leaving fat in pot. Season steak with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes; transfer to plate. Add onion and peppers; cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add tomato paste, cumin, thyme, oregano, garlic, and bay leaf; cook until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, scraping bottom of pot, for 1 minute. Return bacon and steak to pot with stock and tomatoes; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until steak is very tender, 2–3 hours. Remove steak, and shred; return meat to pot with olives, pimientos, capers, and vinegar. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro before serving.

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