Ropa vieja (Spanish for “old clothes”) is one of the national dishes of Cuba, but is also popular in other areas of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and Panama. It consists of shredded or pulled stewed beef with vegetables. This was a dish we had in Havana in 2014. The beauty is that it is done in a slow cooker.
You can omit the olives, but trust me on this one. Serve with your favorite rice or use it with fresh tortillas.
Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef)
- 3 lbs. beef flank steak (or substitute Mexican arrachera)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
- 1 (14-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 small white onion diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced ( I used red for contrast)
- 1 cup Spanish olives – green
- 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
Cooked yellow rice for serving*
Slow Cooker Size:4-quart or larger
- Add the beef broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, turmeric and apple cider vinegar to the slow cooker. Stir.
- Add the flank steak and flip it around in the sauce so it gets coated. Add the bell pepper, onion, olives and garlic cloves, mix those items together to combine on top of the meat.
- Cover and cook on low for 9 hours on LOW without opening the lid during the cooking time. Shred the meat with 2 forks right in the slow cooker.
If you have been following me you know that our slow cooker cooks faster for some unknown reason. When I looked up cooking on HIGH (because I was short of time) it suggested 5 hours as the equivalent. Guess what? It was done in a little over 2.5 hours using an arrachera of 1.3 kilos.
LESSON—-dont let it cook while you are away at work unless you know your cooker very well. Keep checking for doneness.
What to do without Costco? I have had a bag of turkey meatballs in the freezer for awhile. The truth is we didn’t really like them! Not to waste I found this slow cooker recipe for Swedish meatballs and I got the chance to use them all up, never to buy again. If you have been following for sometime you will know that I had previously made meatballs for use with pasta. This recipe called for frozen ones. Et voila! Actually they tasted awesome…great for a buffet table.
Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs
1 can cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup, low sodium*
1 can beef broth, low sodium*
1 packet dry onion soup mix
2 tbsp. A1 steak sauce
1 (2 lb.) bag frozen meatballs
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream (1 cup)
1 (16 oz.) package egg noodles
sliced mushrooms (optional)
In a 5-6 quart slow cooker, mix undiluted soup with beef broth, onion soup mix and steak sauce. Stir well.
Then add in frozen meatballs.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-5 hours. (My slow cooker is always faster than the recipe calls for, in this case they were done in about 4 1/2 hours.
After meatball mixture is almost cooked, add in the sliced mushrooms and stir in sour cream.
At this time, put a pot of water on the oven to boil for your egg noodles (make according to package directions.) Drain noodles well when done.
Mix noodles and meatballs together. Or serve meatballs on top of noodles.
Note: Low sodium is my personal preference for this to keep it from being too salty. If I’m serving for a crowd, I will mix together noodles and meatballs and keep my crock pot on the ‘warm’ or ‘buffet’ setting. But when it’s just my family, everyone can serve themselves and grab as many meatballs, noodles and sauce as they like.
Someone in the house is not a fan of turkey at Thanksgiving, so I scoured Pinterest for this wonderful roast beef recipe, which turned out to be delicious! This is definitely one of those KISS recipes – Keep It Simple Stupid! That someone in the house really enjoyed it…serve some horse radish alongside it! As always, the words in red reflect my changes to the original recipe.
Slow Cooker Rosemary Garlic Crusted Roast Beef
Author: Slow Cooker Gourmet Serves: 6-8
- 2 pound eye of round beef roast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 or more stalks fresh rosemary
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic or more
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cans of beef broth
- Rub roast all over with olive oil
- Chop three stalks of rosemary leaves and combine with garlic, sea salt and pepper
- Rub around the outside of the roast to form a crust
- Preheat a skillet to 400 degrees
- Add roast and sear on each side until lightly browned (4-6 minutes)
- Deglaze pan with balsamic vinegar and transfer all contents to slow cooker
- Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours OR cook on high for about an hour
- Pour one or two cans of broth around the roast and more rosemary stems to taste
- Cook for another 30 minutes and check with a meat thermometer depending on the doneness you like.
- Remove and let rest for 15-30 minutes then slice to serve