Prep 50 mins
Cook 3 hrs
A Cuban recipe. Ropa vieja, or "old clothes," describes the shreds of meat, peppers, and onions resembling a mess of colorful rags. Robust stews such as this Cuban specialty are at the heart of West Indian cuisine. Found at epicurious.com.
For braising beef
- 3 lbs skirt steaks or 3 lbs flank steaks, trimmed
- 2 quarts water
- 2 carrots, chopped coarse
- 1 large onion, chopped coarse
- 2 celery ribs, chopped coarse
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed lightly
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 14 -16 ounces canned whole tomatoes, with juice, chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
- 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1⁄2 cup Spanish olives with pimento, drained and halved
For yellow rice with toasted cumin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1⁄4 teaspoon saffron, crumbled
- 2 cups unconverted long-grain rice
- 4 cups water
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- To braise beef: In a 5-quart kettle combine all braising ingredients and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours, or until beef is tender. Remove kettle from heat and cool meat in liquid 30 minutes. Transfer meat to a platter and cover. Strain braising liquid through a colander, pressing on solids, into a bowl. Return braising liquid to kettle and boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Stew may be made up to this point 1 day ahead. Cool braising liquid completely and chill it and the beef separately, covered.
- In kettle cook green bell peppers and onion in 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened.
- While vegetables are cooking, pull meat into shreds about 3 by 1/2 inches. To onion mixture add shredded meat, 2 cups braising liquid, tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
- While stew is simmering, in a large skillet cook red and yellow bell peppers in remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir peppers into stew with enough additional braising liquid to thin to desired consistency and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in peas and olives and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
- Serve ropa vieja with yellow rice.
- To make the yellow rice: In a heavy 3-quart saucepan heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté cuminseed 10 seconds, or until it turns a few shades darker and is fragrant. Stir in saffron and rice and sauté, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, or until rice is coated well. Stir in water and salt and boil rice, uncovered and without stirring, until surface of rice is covered with steam holes and grains on top appear dry, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and let rice stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.
this was a great dinner that i cooked in stages. i boiled the meat and veggies first, cooled the meat, reduced the boiling liquid added the tomatoes shredded the meat and refrigerated everything over night. the next day i just sauteed the peppers and added them to the reheated stew along with the peas and olives. i did add extra cumin, very good dinner. i didn't make the rice as we're low carbing.