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.
I know it sounds a little odd, but this is a very good dish served with rice or maybe Costco Ancient Grains. As usual my slow cooker had it ready in three hours on HIGH, contrary to what the recipe says. It seems every time I use my SC I have the same problem. What do the rest of you find? Mine is a Hamilton Beach with setting – High, Low and Warm. I can never go away and leave it even on LOW…grrr. Be aware…
- 1.5 lb. trimmed flank steak
- 2 cups sliced onions
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1 T. quick cooking Tapioca, crushed
- 1 T. grated fresh ginger
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, sliced (whites and greens separated)
- 3 cups hot cooked rice (or Ancient Grains)
- Cut meat into 6 portions. In a 3.5 cup slow cooker combine meat and sliced onions.
- In a medium bowl, mix the next 6 ingredients (through garlic). Pour over the meat. Sprinkle with WHITE portions of the green onions
- Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours…or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. (3 in my case!)
- Remove meat, reserving cooking liquid.
- Slice meat across the grain or coarsely shred and return to the cooker.
- Serve over rice and sprinkle with the GREEN portions of the green onions.
Makes 6 servings.
Thought I could Thai one on since it is now summer…LOL. Sorry that there is no photo, but we were travelling and no camera available.
Thai Basil Beef Bowls
Yield: about 4 servings
- 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice or long-grain white rice for serving
- 1 lb. flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, diced into 2-inch strips
- 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chop larger leaves), plus more for garnish
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp Sambal Oleek, or more to taste (optional)
- Cook rice according to directions listed on package.
- For the sauce:
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and Sambal Oleek if using, set aside.
- For the beef and veggies:
- Toss beef with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp cornstarch. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over moderately high heat. Add beef and cook until browned on both sides but still slightly under-cooked in the center. Transfer beef to a plate while leaving oil in skillet. Reduce heat slightly, add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté until crisp tender, about 2 – 3 minutes (if needed you can add another 1 tsp of oil to the skillet). Add carrots, whisk sauce mixture once more then pour into skillet and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to skillet along with basil leaves, toss until basil has just wilted. Serve immediately over cooked rice garnished with small basil leaves and sesame seeds if desired.
- Recipe source: Cooking Classy
A 2008 survey by Heinz shows that Brussels sprouts now take the most-hated prize for Americans in general, with eggplant faring slightly worse among kids. Brussels sprouts seem to be universally loathed, practically: They make it to the top five in surveys of the most-hated vegetables around the world. From Just Disgusting, by Andy Griffiths…. check out the following link – Brussels Sprouts
I happen to be a big fan of these little gems. A simple little meal is a bunch of Brussels sprouts in a bowl with a few drops of water, microwaved with a little salt, pepper and butter. This time I decided to take it up a notch and use them in a stir fry (Thanks again to Pinterest). As Mikey would say…Try it and you will like it!
Oriental cooking is all in the preparation…so lets get chopping!
Beef Stir Fry with Brussels Sprouts
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
- 8 ounces flank or skirt steak, thinly sliced against the grain
- Kosher salt
- 4 scallions, whites chopped, greens sliced (Substitute green onions if you like)
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger or fresh grated
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1 Fresno chile or jalapeño, sliced into rings OPTIONAL
- Steamed rice (for serving)
Whisk oyster sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl; set sauce aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussel sprouts and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Cover and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; wipe out skillet.
Season steak with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add steak in a single layer; cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until nearly cooked through, about 30 seconds. Add to Brussel sprouts.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add scallion whites, garlic, and ginger and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute, adjusting heat as needed. Add carrots and chile and cook, tossing occasionally, until carrots are slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
Return Brussel sprouts and steak to skillet and add reserved sauce. Cook, tossing occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve with steamed rice and garnish with scallion greens.
I picked up this recipe years ago when I took a Chinese cooking class. It has become a standard. Hope you will enjoy it!
Beef with Baby Corn
Ingredients : You should be able to find the sesame oil, 5 spice powder, oyster sauce and baby corn in most supermarkets now. If you cannot find the potato starch or water chestnut flour, just use cornstarch!
½ lb. flank or round steak sliced diagonally and marinated at least 15 minutes
1 can baby corn drained and cut diagonally lengthwise
2 green onions, cut into 2 inch sections
1 carrot shredded into fine strips
½ teaspoon salt
You can add in some broccoli and/or water chestnuts, whatever you have.
Marinade: Mix together the following and pour over the meat –
½ tsp. sugar
1 tsp. water chestnut flour (I use potato starch)
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 Tablespoon light soy sauce
Dash of 5 spice powder
Few drops of sesame oil
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon bean flour or cornstarch
½ cup water
Mix the sauce and set aside.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil I a wok. Add salt and add in the carrot. Cook for awhile. Add in the baby corn and whatever vegetables you are using. Stir and cover the wok for one minute. Turn off the heat and set aside on a plate.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil on high heat and saute green onions and the beef until the beef is no longer red. Add in the carrots and baby corn. Stir well and then pour in the sauce. Stir until it thickens. Serve hot over Basmati or Jasmine rice.