Ropa Vieja translated is “old clothes”, a reference to the look of the shredded beef used in the dish. Flank or skirt steak are tougher cuts of beef made fork-tender when cooked low and slow, so break out the slow cooker for this one. It’s a classic Cuban dish that I usually serve with the traditional sides, white or yellow rice and black beans. Sometimes, though, I just have a big heaping scoop on a warm tortilla with an ice cold beer. YUM. Seriously. — L. Weal
1 1/2 pound boneless flank steak
1 tablespoon adobo seco
14 ounces diced tomatoes
6 ounces tomato paste
4 ounces beef stock
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 onion, sliced into strips
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (about 3 cloves)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
ground black pepper
1 cup pitted alcaparrado
measuring cups and spoons
1. Season steak generously with adobo and place in slow cooker.
2. Add all other ingredients to the slow cooker except the alcaparrado.
3. Cook on low until steak falls apart easily with a fork — about 8 hours.
4. Shred beef with two forks.
5. Stir in alcaparrado before serving.
NOTES & TIPS
• No pitted alcaparrado? Use pimiento-stuffed olives and two tablespoons of capers.