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Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef)

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.

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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)

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, turmeric and apple cider vinegar to the slow cooker. Stir.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

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Slow Cooker Roasted Peppers and Platano

What to take to a potluck that is different and easy to carry…et voila! I love the flavours and colours of this dish. Easily made by a young chef with Mom or Dad’s supervision….

Slow Cooker Roasted Peppers with Platano & Zucchini
4 to 6 peppers – red, orange, green, or yellow or combination – Julienned
½ bottle Lawry’s Lemon Pepper Marinade
1 white onion Quartered
2 small zucchini chopped
1 Mexican Platano (this is not a banana, but a Platano macho which is bigger and firmer) chopped into 1 inch segments
Slice the peppers into julienne strips. Quarter the onion. Chop the zucchini. Place all of the vegetables into a Ziploc bag and pour ½ bottle of marinade over the veggies. Let sit a half hour.
Place all of the vegetables and the marinade into a slow cooker.
Cook on HIGH for about two hours. Stir every half hour. They will be a little crunchy. In the last half hour, add the chopped Platano. If you want them softer cook longer. You may need to reduce the heat to LOW if they are cooking too fast. You want the Platano to remain a little firm…do not overcook it…
I serve them as a side dish.
These are great as leftovers the next day on any meat sandwich!!