Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja is a well known Caribbean dish that contains shredded beef, vegetables, a sauce, rice and sometimes black beans. The meaning of ropa vieja roughly translates to "old clothes," describing the shredded meat, peppers and onions as mess of colorful rags. Stews such as this are at the heart of West Indian cuisine.

Ropa Vieja

Here is what you will need to cook the main dish:


Directions for Ropa Vieja:

Begin by heating three tablespoons of oil on a medium stove temperature in a skillet. Once heated, brown the meat on all sides. After browning the meat, remove it from the skillet and add in the remaining oil while stirring in the garlic, onions, and green pepper. Cook the vegetables until they loose their color and begin to look transparent. At this point stir in the black pepper, the tomato sauce, water, sofrito, and the meat that you browned earlier. Allow the meat to simmer until it is tender and shreds with ease, approximately one hour.

In the time the the meat simmers you can cook the black beans and rice (yellow or white depending on preference). Provided below is a recipe for Cuban Black Beans, or Frijoles Negros.

Black Beans Ingredients:

Start by combining all of the ingredients, with the exception of the rice, into a suacepan. Bring the mix to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and let the beans simmer uncovered until the beans reach a consistency that you like. Remove the bay leaf from the mix. The process may take anywhere from 15-25 minutes.

When the meat is done simmering, placed your desired amount of rice on a plate with some black beans next to the rice. Then serve the Ropa Vieja on top of the rice and enjoy.

Recipe adapted by Michael Pino.

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