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.
Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton
Braised Beef, Peppers and Onions: Ropa Vieja
3 hr
30 min
8 servings
3 hr
30 min
8 servings



Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper and cook, turning once, until well browned.

Transfer the steak with 1 bay leaf and the clove-studded onion to a large pot, with a tight-fitting lid, and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat and cool the meat in the liquid for about 30 minutes. Transfer meat to a platter and cover, to keep warm. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid. (Stew may be made up to this point 1 day ahead.)

Meanwhile, return the skillet to medium-high heat and heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add the remaining bay leaf, peppers, garlic, onion, oregano, and cumin and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until dark red, about 1 minute more. Add the 2 cups reserved liquid, tomatoes, and olives and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, pull the steak into shreds. Add the steak and peas to the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring, until just heated through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with white rice.

Trending Videos 6 Videos

Get the recipe

Grilled Sheet Pan Paella 00:48

A grill and a sheet pan are all you need to whip up paella for a crowd.

Similar Topics:


Beer-Braised Beef

Recipe courtesy of Nancy Fuller

All American Beef Taco

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Pickled Peppers and Okra

Recipe courtesy of Aaron McCargo Jr.

Ground Beef Empanadas (Picadillo)

Recipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid

Pan-Seared Steak and Onions

Recipe courtesy of Francine Segan

Pork Chop with Cider Gravy, Sauteed Apples, and Onions

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Shredded Steak with Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes (Ropa Vieja)

Recipe courtesy of Ingrid Hoffmann

Old Clothes (Beef Stew): Ropa Vieja

Recipe courtesy of Alex Garcia

Ropa Vieja

Browse Reviews By Keyword

          On TV

          Get Cooking

          Food Network Apps

          In the Kitchen

          Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

          Facebook Messenger

          Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.