Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe Tutorial

Ropa Viejo isn't just "a Cuban dish," it's the Cuban dish. What started as a peasant meal of sorts has become the official dish of the nation. Once you make it, you'll understand why. It's rich, hearty, and made to feed a crowd. It also freezes and reheats well, it's even better the next day.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Things You'll Need

  • 2 lbs beef chuck roast (2-3 inches thick)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 of each large green, red and yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 6 oz tomato paste 
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 2 teaspoons dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup green olives with pimentos 
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (plus additional for garnish) 
  • Rice for serving
(Image: Jackie Dodd)

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Step 1

Liberally salt and pepper the beef on all sides

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 2

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Sear the beef on all sides.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 3

Remove the steak, lower the heat to medium and add the onions, carrots, celery, and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have started to caramelize, about 15 minutes.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 4

Stir in the garlic, then add the wine, scraping to deglaze the bottom of the pan.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 5

Stir in the broth, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, and cumin. Add the beef back into the pot, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.


  • Don't have time to babysit this dish? Use a slow cooker! At this point, the meat, vegetables and broth can be transferred to a slow cooker. Just cook on high for 4 hours in your slow cooker, then continue with the next steps.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 6

While the meat is still in the pot, shred using two forks.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 7

Stir in the olives and parsley, cook on medium for 10 minutes. Serve over rice, sprinkle with parsley.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)
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