close-up photo of L. Weal, co-author of The Weal MealI love classic American beef stew but sometimes I crave something similar but a little less heavy; something beefy without the stick-to-your-ribs potatoes and carrots. That’s when I think of this meat stew known as Ropa Vieja. I serve it over hot white rice but if you drain off some of the sauce, you can also use this recipe to fill an empanada or tortilla.  — 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

slow cooker
measuring cups and spoons

1. Season steak generously with adobo and place in slow cooker.
2. Add all other ingredients, except alcaparrado, into slow cooker.
3. Cook on low, stirring occasionally, until steak falls apart easily with a fork — about 8 hours.
4. Shred beef with forks.
5. Stir in alcaparrado before serving.

• No pitted alcaparrado? Use pimiento-stuffed olives.

8 hours

4 servings