Ropa Vieja — Beef and Vegetable Stew

Ropa Vieja — Beef and Vegetable Stew

This delicious shredded beef stew is the National Dish of Cuba! The rich, warm spices and meaty aroma make it the perfect recipe for a cold Sunday afternoon. For a variation on traditional beef you can also use pork or chicken (bone-in or skin-on for the most flavor or boneless breast or thighs). Recipe and Photo by Kimberly Killebrew at The Daring Gourmet.

  • prep
  • cook
  • 6-8 servings


  • 2 pounds chuck or flank steak (ask your butcher to cut it taller than wider so you get long strands of beef along the grain)

  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 of each large green, red and yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 1 cup chicken broth (chicken broth has a stronger/deeper flavor than beef broth)

  • 1 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 large carrot, cut in half

  • 1 large stalk celery, cut in half

  • 1 cup Lindsay Crafted Medium Green Ripe Pitted Olives, rinsed and drained (you can slice them if you prefer)

  • ½ cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers, drained

  • ¼ cup Lindsay Pimientos, drained

  • 2 tablespoons Lindsay Capers, rinsed and drained

  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley

Cooking Directions

  1. Pat the beef dry and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Once very hot add the beef and brown generously on all sides. Transfer the beef to a plate. (Do not discard the drippings and blackened bits in the pot, they are key to the flavor.)

  3. Add the sliced vegetables to the pot and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until caramelized. Add the garlic and spices and cook for another minute. Add the white wine and bring it to a rapid boil, deglazing the bottom of the pan (scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan).

  4. Add the broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes.

  5. Return the roast to the pot along with the pieces of carrots and celery. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the beef is fork tender and falls apart easily. Discard the celery, carrots and bay leaves.

  6. Transfer the beef to a plate and shred it.

  7. Stir in the olives, roasted red peppers, capers and pimientos. Simmer uncovered to thicken the sauce for 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.