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  • Writer's pictureJeff & Jo's

Ropa Vieja

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

This dish takes beef and braises it for a long time until it is so tender that you can shred it with just a fork. The long cooking method helps this dish develop deep complex flavor. All you need to make it the perfect meal, is just a side of white rice. Make sure you have a little bit of time, this is one recipe that you don't want to start just when you are about to get hungry.


1.5 lbs flank steak (or other beef roast)

2 tbs oil

1 tbs adobo

1 onion, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 cup sofrito

2 tbs olives (with liquid)

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tbs vinegar


Let’s start by searing our meat. Add some oil to a hot pan and then lay your meat flat on the bottom of the pan, trying to maximize the amount of surface area in contact with the hot pan.

As your meat is searing, go ahead and add half of your adobo to the top of the meat.

Check your meat from time to time and once browned on the first side, flip it over and add the remaining adobo.

Once both sides of the meat are seared, move the meat to a clean plate, while leaving your pot on the stove. We’ll use the same pot to sear our onions and garlic and prepare the braising liquid.

Add some more oil to your pot, and then add your sofrito. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until some of the liquid has evaporated. Then add your onions and garlic and continue cooking until the onions are translucent.

Once your onions are cooked, add your olives, as well as your vinegar and oregano.

Stir to combine and then add your meat back to the pot.

With the meat back in your pot, add enough water to cover 2/3 of your meat. Keep your stove on high until the liquid begins to boil. Then turn your stove down to medium low, and put your lid on.

We are going to let our meat braise for quite a long time. Depending on how much connective tissue there is in your meat, it could take anywhere from 2-4 hours. Just check your meat from time to time -- once its fork tender, its ready. Also check from time to time if you need to add more water. If the water level gets below one half the height of the meat, just add a little more water to make sure nothing burns.

Once your meat is tender, use a fork or tongs to shred the meat into pieces. Then mix the meat together with the braising liquid, and let it simmer for another couple of minutes. This last little cook time allows the flavors to really penetrate all of your meat.

And with that, you are ready to eat!

Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.

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1 Comment

May 15, 2021

I’ve been trying a number of your recipes and enjoying the meals. I posted this on the YouTube page, but I was wondering if wine and chicken or beef broth is ever used in place of water for this dish to add additional flavor? Please advise. Thank you!

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