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An onion-pepper-tomato braise produces fork-tender flank steak

Ropa Vieja

4 hours 30 minutes active

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Ropa Vieja

Ropa vieja is a classic Cuban dish of shredded beef with tomatoes, onions and bell peppers, often accented with the briny olives. The name translates as “old dress,”a reference to the tattered look of the shredded slow-cooked meat. We preferred flank steak for its rich, meaty flavor and unique muscle structure—the fibers shred easily after braising. Look for an extra-large flank steak, which should weigh about 3 pounds, or multiple steaks if you can't find one that large. We like ropa vieja served with rice and beans, along with fresh, crunchy red and white slaw




Don't slice the bell peppers too thinly or the long cooking time may cause them to disintegrate.

4 hours

30 minutes active

Connie H.

Are there any other cuts of beef that would be suitable substitutes? Flank steak is expensive where I live and less available, but I am keen to try this technique.

Thank you!

Lynn C.

Hi Connie -

We haven't tested all of these cuts, but we think skirt, hangar, or tri-tip should all work in this recipe.

The Milk Street Team

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