I love crockpot meals because dump and go recipes allow me the flexibility to get other things done while it cooks. Every Sunday, I make a crockpot meal using my Hamilton Beach slow cooker. Knowing that I already have one meal prepped for the week, really keeps my stress at bay. Ropa vieja is my fiancé’s favorite meal to eat at our local Cuban restaurant. Due to Covid, many restaurants are take-out only and since ropa vieja doesn’t carry well, we decided to make a crockpot ropa vieja at home.
Ropa vieja is one of the national dishes of Cuba. It consists of shredded or pulled stewed beef with vegetables served over rice. Our local Cuban spot puts the stew over fries and it’s delicious! But, we opted to stick with the traditional way and we put our crockpot ropa vieja over rice.
The Best Meat To Use For Ropa Vieja
Now, if you take a look at my weekly meal plans, I’m not a huge fan of red meat. I mostly eat chicken and fish. But this recipe had me reaching for a second bowl. It’s that good! The best meat to use for this recipe is flank steak. Every ropa vieja recipe I have seen calls for flank steak. Flank steak is a more lean option and has a great intense meaty flavor. Flank steak also takes to marinades very well and some marinades help tenderize the meat.
Something important to note when dealing with flank steak, it is a tougher meat compared to other cuts because it comes from the diaphragm muscles of the animal. If not cooked properly, it will become very chewy. The best way to cook this flank steak is to cook on high for 5 hours and cut against the grain for maximum tenderness (when shredding).
Crockpot Ropa Vieja
- Slow cooker/Crockpot
- 1 lb flank steak
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- ½ yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- 3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup water
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- jalapeño optional
- Season the steak with salt and pepper.
- In the crockpot cooker, combine the diced tomatoes and their juices with the water, bell peppers, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, bay leaf and jalapeños.
- Top with flank steak and then cover and cook on high for 5 hours or until the meat is very tender.
- Take the the meat out and place on a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf.
- Stir the capers and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro into the crockpot mixture.
- Using 2 forks, shred the meat. Place the the meat back to the crockpot and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve over rice or tortillas.