Authentic Cuban Shredded Beef, "Ropa Vieja" Cubana

Recipe Rating:
 7 Ratings
Serves: 6
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Cooking Method: Stove Top


2 lb beef brisket
1 1/2 large sweet vidalia or sweet onion diced small
1 1/2 large sweet red bell pepper, diced small
1 small can 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 red burgundy or merlot wine, or a good white table wine if red is not available
1/4 c diced fresh curly parsley, try not to add the stems
2 large bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp apple vinegar
1 small can tomato sauce, i use hunts or delmonte, pure tomato sauce
1 small packet sazon goya seasoning with culantro and achiote
3 sprig(s) fresh cilantro diced
1/4 c good virgin olive oil and an extra 2 tablespoons oil for the end
1 large lime juiced
1/4 c tomato ketchup
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp goya adobo seasoning
1/2 c beef brisket broth
1/4 tsp cayanne pepper, optional

The Cook

Juliann Esquivel Recipe
Well Seasoned
Key Largo, FL (pop. 44,216)
Member Since Jun 2010
Juliann's notes for this recipe:
When I first tasted this dish I was swept off my feet. It was the most delicious shredded beef recipe I had ever tasted. I quickly learned how to make it from my dear mother-in-law Yoli, short for Yolanda. Over the years I have tweaked it to my families liking. I guarantee You will love this shredded beef recipe. The name is"Ropa Vieja", meaning "Old Clothes" Served with Cuban white rice or my white lime rice and some fried plantains get yourself ready for a real treat. Enjoy with my recipes for the Cuban white rice or lime rice which have already been posted. Enjoy
Make it Your Way...

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Put brisket in a large pot of cold water add half onion, half green pepper, 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves garlic smashed or crushed and 1 tsp salt cover and cook for about four hours over medium flame until brisket is fork tender and is falling apart. If you have a pressure cooker You can do the same as above; cover and pressurize for one hour. When finished cooking; release steam carefully; remove meat and allow to cool then with two forks beging ripping pieces of meat into shredds with the forks pulling each apart untill all is shredded completely. Set aside
Next in a large deep skillet or saute pan heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the rest of the diced onion, green pepper, remaing garlic, (be sure garlic is smashed or put through a garlic press) saute these veggies until onion is translucent; next add the parsley, cilantro, diced roasted pimento, should only use one pimento, continue to saute until parsley and cilantro are limp. Next add the olives and the wine to the sauteed veggies, continue to saute for about a minute; now add the tomato sauce; ketchup, worcestershire sauce; vinegar; lime juice; bay leaf, and all the dry seasonings. Oregano, cumin powder,sazon goya packet,garlic powder,goya adobe seasoning,remaining tsp salt, black pepper,and stir very well. Keep cooking for about 2 minutes until all the seasonings are well mixed into the sauce. Now add the 1/2 cup beef broth. Stir very well and let simmer for about one more minute. Taste a little of the sauce to see if it has enough salt and seasonings you may want to add a little more salt or pepper or a little bit more of ketchup and a kiss of cayanne pepper if you like. If you like a little kick. It's up to your taste liking.
Now add the meat to the sauce and mix very very well ensuring that the meat is well mixed with this sauce. Saute the meat with the sauce for about three minutes; over a medium low flame so the sauce marries with the meat. Cover with a tight lid lower the flame to very low and leave like this for three minutes. After three minutes have passed uncover mix real good again, and serve on top of fluffy white Cuban rice or my white lime rice. Serve with the fried plantains and a salad. This shredded beef is delicious. Enjoy
I like to eat the left over shredded beef on toasty Cuban bread the next day or you can serve on toasted French or Italian bread either way it is wonderful. Buen Appetito
Save the remaining beef broth for making soup the next day or freeze for another dish.

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user Juliann Esquivel Juliann - Dec 1, 2010
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user Bonnie D. Utahn - Dec 1, 2010
Well, you blew me away with the name....I was sitting here saying to myself that ropa in Spanish is clothing, what am I missing! Ha! You sneaky little thing! LOL! This looks so delicioso!
user Juliann Esquivel Juliann - Dec 2, 2010
Thank you Bonnie this meat dish is really delicious. People who have tried it at our office party or at my home beg me for the recipe. LOL
user Trina Alaniz bagma - Dec 3, 2010
Wow Juliann, my mouth is watering by just looking at the picture lol. Another of your keepers for me. Muchas Gracias.
user R C rosycalvin - Jan 8, 2011
Very good Juliann! Awesome recipe! Authentic and when I cooked it, I was reminiscing! Thank you for keeping the traditions alive! Gracias!

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