Ropa Vieja: Compliments of Latinos Y Mas, Ocala

“Ropa vieja” literally means “old clothes” in Spanish. The name describes the shreds of meat and vegetables which resemble colorful strips of rags. This delicious Cuban Latinos Favorite is usually served with rice, beans and sweet plantains.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time:
2 hours
Total Time:
2 hours, 20 minutes


Steak Preparation

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 large onion (quartered)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 peeled carrot
  • 1 large celery rib (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tea spoon of cumin
  • 1 teas spoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • Water to cover steak in stockpot

 Stew Ingredients

  • 1 large onion (sliced into thin strips)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large green bell pepper (sliced into thin strips)
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoons cumin (ground)
  • ½ of cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 spoon of tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Green olives and sliced red roasted peppers
  • Fresh chopped cilantro


 Steak Preparation

  1. Place the steak into a large stockpot and add water to completely cover the steak.
  2. Add the quartered onion, smashed garlic, carrot, celery and salt, pepper and cumin.
  3. Bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce to moderate heat and cook until steak is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Transfer the meat only to a platter to cool.
  5. When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred it with two forks, and save some of the liquid.

 Stew Preparation

  1.  In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until soft, about 1 minute.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium heat and add the sliced onion and bell pepper. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, red wine, bay leaves, cumin, and a pinch of salt, tomato sauce and tomato paste.
  4. Turn the heat to medium high and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. Remove the bay leaves.
  6. Stir in the shredded beef and the left over liquid, and cook for about 10 minutes until the beef is heated through.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste and the cilantro.
  8. Add the green olives and red roasted peppers to decorate the plate.

 Servings: Serves 4 – 6 people.

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