Our form of Cuban ropa vieja eliminates the 2-pot approach, for much better beefy flavor and much more efficient prep.
[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]
Ropa vieja, a dish famous in Cuba and popular through the Latin Caribbean, features thin strands of shredded beef inside a wealthy and flavorful sauce of tomato plants, onions, peppers, and spices. This recipe updates the classic way of improved efficiency and flavor.
- Eliminating the classic recipe’s two-pot approach ensures all of the beefy flavor finds its distance to the ultimate dish.
- Searing the meat rather of just simmering it adds more layers of flavor.
- Cooking the stew within an oven enables surface browning to include much more depth of flavor.
- Yield: Serves six to eight
- Active time: 40 minutes
- Total time: 2 hrs
- Rated: 5
- 2 1/2 pounds (1.1kg) beef flank steak (see note)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) vegetable oil, plus much more as needed
- 1 large yellow onion (about 15 ounces 415g), sliced
- 3 red, yellow, and/or orange peppers (8 3/4 ounces 250g each), stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 8 medium cloves garlic clove (3/4 ounce 25g), minced
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 cup (120ml) dry white-colored wine
- 1 (14-ounce 396g) can peeled whole tomato plants within their juices, crushed
- 1 cup (240ml) homemade or store-bought chicken stock, plus much more as needed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium carrot, halved crosswise
- 1 celery rib, halved crosswise
- 1/2 cup (90g) pimento-stuffed olives, sliced into thirds
- 1 small handful chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems (about 1/2 loosely packed cup)
- Cooked grain and pinto or black beans, for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Cut flank steak into large pieces which will fit at the base of the Nederlander oven by 50 percent batches. Season with pepper and salt. Heat oil in Nederlander oven over medium-high temperature until shimmering. Employed in batches, add steak and prepare, turning, until browned, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer steak to some plate and hang aside.
Add onion and peppers to Nederlander oven and prepare, stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until onion and peppers are tender, 8 minutes. Add garlic clove and prepare for one minute longer lower heat and/or increase the oil at any time if ingredients threaten to lose.
Stir in tomato paste, cumin, oregano, and allspice and prepare, stirring and scraping, for one minute.
Add white-colored wine and produce to some simmer, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Boil until raw alcohol smell has cooked removed from wine, a couple of minutes, adding canned tomato plants and stock. Return beef to pot, nestling it underneath the liquid among onions and peppers, together with any one of its accrued juices. Nestle bay leaves, carrot, and celery into pot. Increase the stock, sufficient to pay for all of the ingredients, if required.
Cover Nederlander oven and transfer to oven, then let prepare until beef is extremely tender, about 1 1/2 hrs.
Remove bay leaves, carrot, and celery from pot and discard. Remove beef from pot and, using 2 forks, pull apart into very thin, lengthy shreds. Return beef to pot, stirring to mix with vegetables and cooking liquid.
Stir in olives, return Nederlander oven to medium heat, and simmer until juices have reduced sufficient to coat the meat inside a wealthy, saucy glaze. Season with pepper and salt. Stir in cilantro, then serve with grain and beans.
Despite as being a lean cut not generally suitable for lengthy cooking, the classic flank steak is effective in ropa vieja due to how nicely it shreds. You are able to substitute brisket or skirt steak, if preferred.