Ropa Vieja – literally means “old clothes,” and is an apt description of the shredded appearance of the meat. It is traditionally served with white rice and fried plantains BUT we’ll skip those side dishes and keep our sacred body vessel sugar free!
My family cannot get enough of this dish and quite honestly … neither can I. It’s absolutely delicious!
2 pounds skirt steak
2 small onions, quartered
2 tomatoes, washed & quartered
2 carrots, washed, peeled & cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, washed & cut into 1-inch pieces
2-3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
To Finish The Dish:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, washed, cored, seeded & thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
8 ounce can of tomato sauce
3 tablespoons white wine (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the beef, quartered onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves with 6 cups of water in a large pot. Optimally the water should be approximately 2 inches above all the ingredients in pot. Bring water to a boil over a high heat. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer the beef, uncovered, skimming often, until tender, 30 – 40 minutes.
- Strain the meat, reserving some broth for moistening the dish if needed or soup. Let the meat cool. Tear it along the grain, into pencil-thick strips.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, sliced onion and bell peppers and cook until soft but not brown, 3-4 minutes. Stir in meat, cumin, tomato sauce, wine, salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is well coated with the sauce and the sauce is reduced and flavorful, about 5 minutes. Correct the seasonings, to taste and add some reserved broth if needed.
- Plate and enjoy!