Ropa Vieja !

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Old cloths never tasted SO good! 

{image via Good Housekeeping}

This is one of my all time favorite meals. I ate my first 'old cloths' at a Philadelphia restaurant, Cuba Libre. (Definitely check this place out if you are in Philly). This dish does take a while to make, so I suggest cooking on Sunday and leaving for dinner on Monday. This way, you get to spend the day cooking (if you're into that type of thing), and you don't have to worry about dinner on Monday. It is one those dishes that is better left over.
So, for the cooking enthusiast I present to you the recipe: 

2 lb flank steak cut crosswise into 3 pieces
1 3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
7 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
3 medium spanish onions, one quartered and two thinly sliced 
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced 
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can of whole tomatoes in juice, crushed with fingers
1/2 cup sliced Spanish olives

1. Season flank steak with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper.
2. In a heavy-bottomed medium to large pot, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add steak (one piece at a time) and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer steak to a plate and repeat with remaining pieces.
3. In the same pot, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add quartered onion, half of the green pepper, and half of the yellow pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until veggies are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
4. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, peppercorns, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add cooked steak and any juices on the plate. Make sure steak is just covered with broth…add a little more if need be. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until steak is fork tender, about 2- 2 1/2 hours. Remove pot from heat and let steak cool in broth for 30 minutes.
5. Transfer steak to a plate. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve set over a bowl. (I don’t own a sieve so I simply just scooped out the veggies and peppercorns with a slotted spoon.) Discard solids. Set cooking liquid aside. Shred steak.
6. In the same pot, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add thinly sliced onions, remaining green and yellow peppers, all the red peppers, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions and peppers are soft, 15 to 20 mins.
7. Stir in tomato paste until vegetables are coated. Stir in crushed tomatoes with their juice, 2 1/4 cups of reserved cooking liquid, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
8. Return shredded steak to stew and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Stir in olives. TASTE! Add salt and pepper if needed.
9. Rejoice! It's ready! 

* If you aren’t eating the whole thing that day… which takes some self control … cool, cover, and refrigerate.



  1. I've never seen anything like this recipe! And I'm definitely into that kind of all day cooking. :)


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