Make this Cuban cuisine staple in a fraction of the time using your Instant Pot! Tender shredded beef stewed in tomatoes, onion, garlic and rich spices.
This dish is considered my many as the 'National dish" of Cuba. It can be found in 99% of all Cuban restaurants throughout the country. I grew up eating this dish and now as an adult, I've decided to make it using an Instant pot to help speed up the cooking process.
Why is this dish called "Ropa vieja?"
The words "Ropa Vieja" translates to old clothes. Legend has it that this dish's name comes from a poor man not being able to afford food for his family and shredded his clothes and cooked them.
- Bay leaves
- Black Pepper
- Dried oregano
- Flank steak
- Vegetable oil
- Red bell pepper
- Green bell pepper
- White onion
- Large tomatoes
- Garlic cloves
Place your flank steak, salt, pepper, bay leaves and cumin in the Instant Pot and cook for 25 minutes. Once the steam finishes releasing, remove the beef from the pot and reserve 1 cup of the beef broth.
Using 2 forks, shred your beef and remove any fatty bits. In a large sauté pan start sautéing your peppers, onions and garlic.
In a large sauté pan, begin sautéing your peppers, onion and garlic. Once your onions are translucent, begin adding your shredded beef, pureed tomato, red cooking wine, preserved beef broth and spices. Drop your heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
If you're having a hard time finding flank steak, you can use chuck roast instead.
Typically, this dish is made with an 8oz can of tomato sauce. I prefer using fresh tomatoes because it reduces the amount of preservatives and salt in the dish. If you'd rather use the canned stuff, feel free to use that instead of the two pureed tomatoes. Be sure to adjust the amount of salt as well since the canned tomato sauce has a lot of salt.
Spice: Although Cuban cuisine is not typically spicy, if you'd like to add a little heat, feel free to add in your desired amount of red pepper flakes in the last few minutes of simmering.
Kid friendly: If you have a picky eater, use a food processor to finely mince your peppers, garlic and onion. I'm all about sneaking vegetables into my child's diet because he doesn't like them.
Olives: Some people like to add olives to this dish. I am not one of those people, but if you are you can add ¼ cup of manzanilla olives while the dish is sautéing
Keep your left overs in an air-tight container for upto 4 days.
Looking for more Cuban recipes?
Ropa Vieja Instant Pot Recipe
- 2 teaspoons cumin separated
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon salt separated
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper separated
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 lbs flank steak
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 white onion thinly sliced
- 2 large tomatoes pureed
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup preserved beef broth
- ⅓ cup red cooking wine
- In your Instant Pot place your flank steak and pour in enough water to just cover the meat.
- Add to the pot 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of cumin, ½ tablespoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.
- Cover the Instant Pot and set to 25 minutes on the Meat/Stew setting.
- Once the steam has released from the Instant Pot, remove the meat and beging shredding the flank steak using two forks. Remove any fatty bits while shredding.
- Reserve 1 cup of the beef broth from the Instant Pot.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat add your vegetable oil, peppers, onions and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes
- Add the shredded beef, pureed tomato, red cooking wine, preserved beef broth, 1 teaspoon of cumin, ½ tablespoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper and dried oregano. Mix to ensure steak is well incorporated, cover the sauté pan and drop the heat to low. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Season with additional salt if desired before serving
- If you can't find flank steak, you can use chuck roast.
- You can use 1 8oz can of tomato sauce instead of freshly pureed tomatoes
- You can store your leftovers in an airtight container inside the refrigerator for upto 4 days.
- For a more kid-friendly option, run the peppers and onion through a food processor until finely minced.