Ropa Vieja: Braised Beef

One of the best things about cooler weather is the fact that I can make hearty one pot meals- including my favorite: ropa vieja. The name, which translates to “old clothes” refers to the shredded meat and peppers which look like strands of old clothes, get it?

While no one version exists,the main idea tends to be the same: braised beef, peppers, onion and tomatoes. I threw all the ingredients for this recipe in my slow cooker on low for about 6 hours and it was heavenly. Another great bonus about this dish besides being filling and minimal clean up, is that it is a budget friendly dinner.

The meat used is not an expensive cut and since it’s mixed with vegetables in a tomato sauce, a little meat can go a long way. I don’t know what version this is recipe for ropa vieja is, but I would have it lean toward the Cuban version. Either way it’s delicious, easy and perfect on a fall night.

Yields: 4 servings

Preparation Time: 20 min

Cooking Time: 120 min


  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons lemon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 serrano pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly cut into medium sized wedges
  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and sliced
  • 2 green peppers,cored, seeded, ribbed and sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  •  salt and pepper to taste


  1. If you are using a slow cooker: add all the ingredients into the pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Shred the meat using two forks- it should just fall apart on it’s own.
  2. If you are making this over the stove: Put all the ingredients except the crushed tomatoes, in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer another 30 minutes.

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

U.S. citizen detained overnight by ICE – they thought he was undocumented

Victor Landa July 6, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1.5 minute read)  This is startling news. Up until last night at a dinner conversation I believed that the idea that an American citizen would be […]

Willie Velásquez documentary is a lesson for Latinos on the importance of voting

NewsTaco May 9, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because today is Willie Velasquez day and a quick search of his name turned up no news stories. This piece, by Mercedes Olivera, is from […]

DIECIOCHO Podcast: Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia – Trump, Gerrymandering and Money

NewsTaco June 8, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1 minute read, 34 minute listen)  It’s safe to say that the just-ended Texas legislative session was the most acrimonious in memory. We can talk for […]

Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4

Victor Landa July 5, 2017

*I’m posting this because it was mostly Latinos, organizing, protesting, making their voices heard. Everyone needs to know that Latinos in deep South Texas are standing up. VL By Patrick […]

Pence will host White House Cinco de Mayo party

NewsTaco May 4, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because there’ll be no Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House (I know, big deal – we’ll be spared the taco-bowl). VL By Hadas […]

Vietnam War veteran fears he could be deported

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*This Vietnam veteran, born in Mexico, was awarded two Purple Hearts and given U.S. citizenship after his service. He’s misplaced his documents and after paying $345 the government wants more […]

Castro will not run for U.S. Senate

NewsTaco May 1, 2017

By Victor Laneda, NewsTaco (i.5 minute read)    Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) says he will not be running for the U.S. Senate against Ted Cruz. Castro had promised to make […]

Henry Cisneros: Why Can’t Americans See Latinos Are Country’s ‘Saving Grace’?

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*Good question. I think it’s because we’re not the ones telling our story. We need to fight for our narrative. VL By Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News (1.5 minute read)  SAN […]