Ropa Vieja ( A Cuban Shredded Meat Dish)

The translation of it means “Old Clothes”, I know not a very appetizing name. But, I can assure you that it is one of the best Cuban dishes I have ever eaten. And I must admit it was better than my mom’s. She makes it in a pressure cooker which I preferred not to use. So I made it using a recipe from Cuban Chicks can Cook by Ana Quincoces Rodriquez.  Though easy to make it does take a few hours to cook so you have to plan accordingly.

2 pounds of flank steak ( I cut in 3 pieces to fit the pan)

1 1/2 quarts of water seasoned with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoons of whole black peppercorns

1/2 cup of olive oil

2 cups tomato sauce

1 cup of cooking sherry ” vino seco” ( I used a dry white wine)

1 medium onion thinly sliced ( I cut it in half and then sliced)

1 medium green pepper thinly sliced

1 medium red pepper thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 bay leaf

1 lime (optional)

1/2 teaspoon of white pepper

1/2 cup of baby peas for garnish (optional)

In a large pot, bring the water, salt and peppercorns to a boil. Add the steak and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook till the meat is tender for about 2 hours.

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In separate pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, and pepper slices and cook for about 10 minutes.

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Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add the wine and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer or another 20 minutes.

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Once the flank steak is tender take it out of the water and let cool. Shred the beef by hand into long strips. It should come apart easily.

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Season the meat with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime(optional) and add to the tomato sauce. Stir to coat the meat. Cook over low medium heat for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve over white rice.

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