Ropa Vieja


Ropa Vieja or “Old Clothes” is a favorite of mine. I mean let’s face it, most of these recipes are my favorite and that’s why I share them with you. I grew up eating meat, rice, a side of salad and fried plantains. This is the perfect Sunday night dinner or meal prep dish because it keeps so well and is mighty tasty.

When I used to live in Chelsea, Manhattan there was a local diner that had the BEST Ropa Vieja dish. You better believe I’ve been trying to make that recipe ever since I tried it. Did I mention this dish pairs perfectly with my Liquid Smoke Black Beans recipe, too? YUM!!

Ropa Vieja

*No slow cooker? No problem. This recipe is for those of us without one! You can cook this recipe on the stove on the lowest setting, monitored every 2 hours (4-6 hours total) to make sure there is enough liquid in the pot. You can slow cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.


  • 1 lb. skirt/flank/hangar steak
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, cut in eighths
  • 1/2 cup onion, halved & sliced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, sliced in strips
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp picante of preference
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce or worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup water

Once cooked, you’ll need these:


  1. Start by preparing all ingredients. Everything will go in pot at once.
  2. In a pot big enough to fit meat (cut in half if needed, don’t fold it), add soy sauce or worcestershire, water, onions, tomatoes, bay leaf, and red pepper.
  3. Place steak on top.
  4. Add salt, cumin, garlic, black pepper and picante on top of steak.
  5. Turn on stove to medium high and let liquid come to a boil with the cover on.
  6. Reduce head to lowest possible flame/setting on stove. Cook for 4-6 hours, covered. Check every 2 hours to ensure there is enough liquid. Add 1/4 cup more as needed. Once you hit 4 hours, check every hour to see if meat is soft. Meat should fall apart if you try to lift it with a fork
  7. Once meat is tender enough, remove from heat.
  8. Take meat and shred with two forks, reserving liquid and contents in pot.
  9. Return meat to pot and add cilantro, Better than Bouillon. Mix well. Add olives and reheat with 1/4 cup more water if needed for 10-20 minutes.

For Slow Cooker: Alternatively, add contents to a crock pot and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Then follow directions starting at step 7. Mix in olives and cilantro and serve immediately.

Serve over rice, with black beans and a side of cole slaw and a ripe, fried plantain!

Enjoy 🙂


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