My husband, the Omnivore, traveled to Miami some ten years ago and ate ropa vieja.
Since the day he returned he brought up this dish any time he heard anything remotely having to do with Cuba (whether is was politics, vacations, Cuba Gooding Jr.) and began salivating. While being a vegetarian I tried to recreate it for him – this was a few years ago – but he only raved about his original meal and never what I made for him. Now that I do eat meat I was very excited to try the dish he loved so much.
I made this dish in honor of Krystal. She and her husband are expecting their first baby and Joelen is hosting a virtual baby shower. The theme of the shower was food that highlights the parents’ heritage: Cuban and Filipino. Immediately I thought YAY BEANS! Then I realized, however, that this would be a perfect reason to finally perfect ropa vieja for my husband.
And perfect it is. This dish is so unique, no wonder the memory stuck to my husband for so long. It is easy and delicious and versatile. We ate it with rice, in burritos, mixed with steamed kale. All wonderful.
Krystal, I am sure you and your husband will have many long lasting and vivid memories of your baby. I can’t wait to hear about the milestones along the way. Congratulations!
Ropa Vieja (adapted from here)
2 lb beef brisket, top sirloin, or other roast
1 sweet vidalia onion, diced small
1 small can (3 ounce) pimentos morrones, fire roasted peeled pimentos diced
20 small pitted pimento stuffed green olives drained of the brine
8 clove fresh garlic smashed or put through a garlic press
1/4 c diced fresh curly parsley, try not to add the stems
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp apple vinegar
3 ounces tomato paste
1 small packet sazon goya seasoning with culantro and achiote
3 sprig(s) fresh cilantro diced
1/4 c tomato ketchup
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 c – 1 c beef brisket broth (reserved after slow cooking)
1 lime, sliced for serving
1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours.
2. Remove cooked meat from slow cooker and shred. My favorite method of shredding meat is to place the warm meat in the bowl of my stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and pulse the mixer on and off 6-7 times until the meat is shredded.
3. Strain pimentos and olives from beef broth and mix back in with shredded meat. Moisten shredded meat with reserved cooking liquid to desired consistency.