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Ropa Vieja (Fast & Slow)

FAST: 1 hour
Slow: 9 to 10 hours 40 minutes active

Ropa Vieja (Fast & Slow)

Ropa vieja, considered by many to be the national dish of Cuba, is a stewy mixture of shredded beef with tomatoes, onions and bell peppers, often accented with briny olives. The name translates as “old clothes,” a reference to the tattered look of the slow-simmered and shredded meat. We preferred flank steak for its rich, meaty flavor, and for the way its fibers shred easily after braising. Look for an extra-large flank steak, which should weigh about 3 pounds, or use multiple steaks. This recipe makes a generous amount, but leftovers reheat well. Ropa vieja traditionally is served with rice and beans; we also like a simple cabbage slaw alongside to add crunch and bright flavor.

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