Ropa Viejo (Cuban Pulled Beef) via Pressure Cooker

Sheri Roach Recipe

By Sheri Roach ByeByeGluten

6-12 (Depending on the size of the cut of beef and portion sizes.)
30 Min
2 Hr

Deneece Gursky [Smokeygirlxo] here on JAPC gets the credit for this one! She said it originated with an in-law from Cuba, so I consider this to be the real deal. Deneece's recipe was tempting me, but considering how hot Indiana has been this week I couldn't heat up the kitchen with a steaming Dutch oven on the stove for two hours, so I used my electric pressure cooker instead (I can set it in the garage or on the porch, keeping my kitchen cool). I think the recipe could easily be amended to work in a crockpot too. (For cooks who prefer to use a Dutch oven, look up Deneece's recipe on this site.) It would be a good choice to fix on the weekend because you'll likely get the day's dinner and then have leftovers that'll be easy to reheat in the microwave or keep in the freezer for a quick meal or two later--plus you will end up with a fair amount of beef stock to use in another recipe.

pinch tips: Basic Knife Skills


3-3.5 lb
beef flank steak or rump roast
8 Tbsp
olive oil (3 t. for browning meat, 5 t. for sauce-veggie step)
medium carrot cut in half (or i used 10 baby carrots, split in half lengthwise)
2 c
celery, cut into 1
2 large
onions, chopped coarsely (i used one red and one white onion; the first onion goes in the pressure cooker and the second is for the skillet later.)
bay leaves
water to cover the meat. (i used water left from making green beans, new red potatoes, and ham hocks yesterday.)
1 tsp
cilantro, finely chopped
3 clove
garlic, mashed and minced
1 c
small green peas (optional)
green or yellow bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped (i also added two banana peppers and may add a jalapeno next time.)
mild chili peppers, seeds removed and chopped (or take a short cut and use one small can of chopped chili peppers). when it comes to peppers only you know how much heat your family can stand, so adjust the recipe to your liking.
1/2 c
pimento, drained and chopped (the pimento adds to the flavor profile, but if you don't have them or don't like them, no biggie.)
large ripe tomatoes (or one large can of tomatoe; i used fire-roasted)
2 Tbsp
tomato paste
1 Tbsp
ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp
ground cumin
to taste
salt and pepper
rice, mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes as a complement

Directions Step-By-Step

Trim excess fat and ick off of the beef. In a skillet, add 3 Tablespoons of the oil and heat. Into the hot oil, place meat. Sear to brown completely on all sides.
Remove the browned meat to the pressure cooker and cover the meat with water. (I had leftover broth from making green beans, potatoes, garlic, and ham hocks in the day before, so I used part of that. Replacing half of the water with vegetable or beef broth would also work, but it isn't necessary.)
Add 1 of the onions, coarsely chopped, to the skillet where the meat was browned and cook until softened. This brings out the flavor in the onion. If you want to add the celery to the skillet, have at it, but I just dumped the carrots and celery--along with the softened onion--into the pressure cooker.
Add the bay leaves to the contents of the pressure cooker.
Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and close the valve. Set the pressure to high or 80p. Set to cook for 90 minutes.
When the pressure cooker's time is up, leave the beef in the cooker while you prepare the following ingredients (if the timing isn't right, just leave it on Warm until you are ready; mine was in the pot another 30 minutes and longer wouldn't have hurt anything).
In the skillet used earlier, add the remaining oil and heat. Put the other onion, chopped, in the skillet and cook until softened.
To the onion in the skillet, add the 1 t. finely chopped cilantro, 3 cloves garlic (mashed and minced), 1 cup small green peas and 1 chopped bell pepper and simmer while stirring slowly for 7 minutes.
Add the ½ c. pimiento (drained and chopped), 3 mild chilies, 4 whole tomatoes (peeled, seeded, chopped) OR 1 large can of tomatoes (I used fire roasted), and 2 t. tomato paste.
Use a measuring cup to scoop two cups of the broth out of the pressure cooker. Add to skillet mixture. Add dry powdered/ground ingredients. 1 T cayenne pepper, ½ t cumin, and salt and pepper (to taste). Stir mixture to blend well, cover the skillet, and allow to simmer for 15-20 min.
Using tongs, take the meat out of the pressure cooker and place in a large serving bowl or a platter that curves up on the sides to contain juices. Pull the beef apart (it will probably be falling apart anyway as you take it out of the cooker). Make sure you don't grab any of the bay leaves as you are transferring the meat from the cooker.
Dish up any side dishes/accompaniments and ready the table as the skillet simmers. Rice or baked potatoes go well with this entree; the beef can be ladled over either one. It would also be really good with polenta.
Five to ten minutes before serving, take the cover off of the skillet and turn the heat up to allow contents to thicken somewhat.
Pour the skillet contents over the beef and toss a bit to coat all of the beef. Tongs work well for this.
This is a dish where the flavors only improve with time, so leftovers are a plus! The recipe makes quite a bit, so I froze half of the leftovers to have for a quick meal on a night when I have little time to cook and put the other half in the refrigerator to use for sandwiches or lunches over the next couple of days.
When cleaning up, remove the bay leaves from the broth left in the pressure cooker and transfer the remaining broth to a glass jar to put in the fridge or a freezer container. Use for soup or another recipe.

You May Also Like:


Deneece Gursky Smokeygirlxo
Jul 20, 2011
Looks great Sheri! So glad you enjoyed it. Its been horrible hot here in miami too so I am glad you amended this for pressure cooker I can make it out on the patio too now lol. although with how good it smells i may have neighbors stopping by lol : )
deb baldwin messinthekitchen
Jul 20, 2011
Good idea for setting it outside to cook.
Jul 20, 2011 - deb baldwin shared this recipe with discussion groups: Dutch Oven cooking Pressure Cooking
Sheri Roach ByeByeGluten
Jul 20, 2011
You're so right, Deneece--my husband was outside (he finds AC to be too "chilly") to he was guarding ours from invaders.

Deb--Yes; with the heat index at over 100 I thought my pressure cooker would fit right in outdoors! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'm still learning the possibilities with this site!
Deneece Gursky Smokeygirlxo
Jul 20, 2011
did you get to make the porketta and your dessert sheri?
Sheri Roach ByeByeGluten
Jul 20, 2011
Our car didn't get back from the shop yet (tune up and tailpipe replacement) and I need to go to the store for the fruit in the dessert, but the porketta is in the pressure cooker right now. It smells amazing! Once I've got wheels to get the stuff I'll be making that dessert but it may be later this evening. Of course, it might be better temp-wise to wait until sundown in a couple hours anyway.
Deneece Gursky Smokeygirlxo
Jul 20, 2011
absolutely!! you are gonna love the porketta! its amazing. i used to get it in pa all the time. they dont have a clue what it is here in miami lol. when dutch posted the recipe i was so excited!
Sheri Roach ByeByeGluten
Jul 21, 2011
I had never had it before dinner this evening and it was wonderful! Frankly, even if it had tasted terrible it would almost be worth making it for the lovely aroma. Absolutely heavenly! I told Dutch my husband wanted me to keep talking to him because the food he's been getting has been so good. When Tom said that I told him you got credit for the Ropa Vieja he liked so much, and he gave hearty approval of "all of your new recipe buddies" because the past week has been pretty great. : ) I think he was starting to despair a bit after trying some of the gluten free food I had at first.
Deneece Gursky Smokeygirlxo
Jul 21, 2011
awww thats great sheri! JAP is such a wonderful place. great new recipes, revamped older recipes and then instances like this where a new method to a recipe is born. no way you can get bored with food on here : )
Sep 27, 2011 - Kim Biegacki shared this recipe with discussion group: Some Like It Hot -- Muy Caliente!
cindy sandberg cindyLs
Oct 17, 2012
Sheri-this sounds great~ I do want to clarify one it really 1Tb. of cayenne? That seems like a lot to me, but I know some people like food spicier than I do!
Oct 17, 2012 - deb baldwin shared this recipe with discussion group: Pressure Cooker Gourmet
Sheri Roach ByeByeGluten
Dec 4, 2012
For our family it is 1 Tablespoon, but of course you can adjust to taste. Within the pressure cooker I think the flavor spreads and gives a quiet "heat", but if I were making this for my parents I would probably cut the amount in half.
Oreta Rumbawa Sailormom4
Dec 25, 2012
Hi Sheri. I spent a lot of my childhood in Greencastle! Many fond memories of going to Gould's for chocolate milk of all things! My grandparents had a house on Crown Street. They were the Calhouns. I am definitely going to try your recipe! It looks delicious! We have a lot of Cuban restaurants here in the Tampa Bay Area, but working all the time, we haven't had the time to try them out. Merry Christmas!