Ropa Vieja (Mexico)

"Tender beef is shredded and browned, then folded into warm tortillas along with crisp veggies and your choice of garnish for an upscale taco night! *Prep time does not include 30 minutes cooling."
photo by loof751 photo by loof751
photo by loof751
Ready In:
2hrs 15mins
6 tacos




  • Place meat in a large pan and cover with beef stock and water. Add the carrot and half the garlic along with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Skim the surface then recover the pan and cook the meat gently for 2 hours, or until very tender (should shred easily with a fork).
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the meat cool in the liquid. When cool enough to handle, remove from the liquid and shred with your fingers and a fork.
  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the remaining garlic, the onions, and chilies and cook until tender and onions are soft and translucent. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • Add the meat to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned and crisp. Transfer to a serving dish. Top with the onion mixture and surround with the tomatoes, cilantro, green onion and lime wedges. Serve with warmed tortillas. Enjoy!

Questions & Replies

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  1. I much prefer this recipe, with the beef fried and crisp, to the soggy Cuban version with the meat swimming in liquid. Nice work! I used to get it this way at El Jarrito (now closed) in Los Angeles for years but, tristemente, can find only the wet Cuban version in Miami.
  2. Mmmmm....good stuff! The beef had great flavor and the additional frying just enhanced that. I left the carrots & garlic that were cooked with the meat in when I sauteed it because I didn't want to lose that great flavor. I served with the tomato and lime (although I forgot to put them on the plate for the photo) and we really enjoyed this dish - thanks for sharing the recipe!


I grew up in rural east Texas and Louisiana before being transplanted to the beautiful state of Kentucky at the age of for the most part, my 'hard drive' is programmed for rich, southern style food. Recipes for things like mashed potatoes, cream gravy, pot roast, chicken fried steak and chili are burned in to my DNA!! ?I will never deny my love for rich, southern foods and I'm not a fan of stripping away all the fat and flavor in order to lighten up my favorite southern staples, however (fortunately) my culinary horizons expand beyond my roots and I love finding new foods and new ways of cooking that are just as delicious and in many cases much healthier. ?I do receive an incredible amount of joy from feeding others....a trait I definately attribute to my southern roots.
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