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Slow-Cooked Ropa Vieja

I traveled to Cuba a few years ago and had some of the best food imaginable. This dish stuck out, and when I returned home I began to experiment with making ropa vieja in the slow cooker. I hope you enjoy the flavors of Cuba as much as I do. —Joshua Boyer, Traverse City, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Cook: 8 hours
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 beef flank steak (2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine or additional beef broth
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cubanelle or mild banana pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 springs fresh oregano
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Optional: Additional fresh oregano, lime wedges and sliced green olives with pimientos


  • Cut steak into 6 pieces; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; brown meat in batches. Transfer meat to a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker. Add broth, vermouth, wine and tomato paste to pan. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Pour over meat.
  • Top with onion, carrot, red pepper, Cubanelle pepper and oregano. Cook, covered, on low until meat is tender, 8-10 hours. Remove oregano sprigs; discard. Remove meat; shred with 2 forks. Return to slow cooker; heat through. Serve with rice and, if desired, additional oregano, lime wedges and green olives.

Test Kitchen tips
  • For a spicier version, add sliced serrano or jalapeno peppers.
  • For a tangier version, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
  • For a heartier broth, add more tomato paste.
  • For a sweeter version, add more carrots.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 serving: 278 calories, 11g fat (5g saturated fat), 72mg cholesterol, 611mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 32g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 vegetable.

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    • Butcher2boy
      Jun 21, 2020

      This recipe has everything we love. Used cauliflower rice for I cannot eat rice. Delicious and will make again! VFE