Cuban Ropa Vieja

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Cook: 7 hours


8 servings

Updated: Mar. 10, 2022
I love having this as a go-to recipe for a weeknight meal. Its great authentic Cuban taste puts it at the top of my list.—Melissa Pelkey-Hass, Waleska, Georgia


  • 6 bacon strips, chopped
  • 2 beef flank steaks (1 pound each), cut in half
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Hot cooked rice


  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
  2. In same skillet, heat drippings over medium-high heat; brown steak in batches. Transfer meat and bacon to a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, beef stock, tomato paste, garlic, seasonings and vegetables; pour over meat. Cook, covered, on low 7-9 hours or until meat is tender. Shred beef with two forks; return to slow cooker. Stir in cilantro. Remove with a slotted spoon; serve with rice.

Can you freeze Cuban Ropa Vieja?

Freeze cooled meat mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Microwave, covered, on high in a microwave-safe dish until heated through, gently stirring and adding a little stock or water if necessary.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/3 cups (calculated without rice): 335 calories, 17g fat (6g saturated fat), 68mg cholesterol, 765mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 29g protein.