Cuban Ropa Vieja (Woman’s Day)

What would you call a dish of well-cooked, seasoned, shredded beef that reminds you of ragged old clothes? In Cuba, you call it “Old Clothes” (Ropa Vieja). Problem solved!

The unique seasoning of this dish is a condiment called alcaparrado, a relish made from capers and green olives stuffed with pimento. (If you can’t find something with that name, just get the olives in the capers and chop them all up. Problem solved!)

The traditional accompaniment to Ropa Vieja is Platillo Moros y Cristianos, a dish of cooked, seasoned black beans mixed with white rice. I have included a link about the dish, so you won’t wonder about it. Problem solved…again!!

2 cubanelle or Italian frying peppers, seeded and sliced
1 cup sliced onion
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon each, olive oil, cider vinegar, and minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds boneless chuck steak
½ cup chopped alcaparrado
1/3 cup pimento-stuffed olives and 2 tablespoons chopped capers
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Platillo Moros y Cristianos 

Combine peppers, onion, tomato sauce, tomato paste, olive oil, cider vinegar, minced garlic, cumin, bay leaf, and salt in a 3 ½ quart or larger slow cooker. Put steak on top of this mixture, then turn it over so both sides are coated.

Cover and cook on low 8 – 10 hours or until meat is very tender. Transfer state to cutting board. Shred the meat using two forks. Remove bay leaf from cooker.

Return shredded beef to cooker; stir in alcaparrado and chopped cilantro, and serve with moros y cristianos.


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