One of mine and Joe’s favorite restaurants in Cleveland is Paladar. They have a unique menu, amazing chips, and just an overall fun atmosphere. One of our favorite dishes is Ropa Vieja. It’s a shredded, slow cooked beef dish. I’m not a huge beef eater, but this is delicious! So, probably 6 months ago I was reading Real Simple magazine and saw this recipe for Cuban Braised Beef – instantly I thought to myself “Ropa at home!”. I especially loved that its a crock pot recipe because I’m always looking for good ones to make on nights when I work late. Last night I worked until 10pm, so it was nice to come home and have dinner ready. Yes, I really do eat that late sometimes – I just can’t help it when I close.
Joe and I really like a lot of spices in our food, flavorful = extra yum 🙂 I always add more variety and quantity than recipes call for (except Indian food because that’s just spice central). So, here is the group of what I started with: cumin, oregano, cayenne, kosher salt, pepper, mapuche (which is discontinued…), and ground red chipotle.
Here is the rest: green pepper, red pepper, onion, garlic (added by me), diced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, flank steak
I always start with the veggies first, so that I don’t dirty my cutting board with raw meat. Yes, I should have separate cutting boards, but I don’t 😉 First add the diced tomatoes to the crock pot.
Then chop up the garlic (~2-3 large cloves) and add it to the pot
Then cut the onion into 8 wedges. Whenever I half a recipe (like I did on this one), I still keep pretty much all of the veggies and half the meat or pasta. This time I opted for one small onion. Add this to the pot.
Then cut the peppers into thick strips. I used one small red pepper and half of a large green pepper. Add them to the mix.
Even though the avocado and cilantro are garnish for the finished dish, I diced them now, before I put meat on the cutting board. I went with 1/2 an avocado and a healthy bunch of cilantro. I save them in little containers in the fridge so when I’m ready to serve the work is already done.
Then add the spices to the pot. I probably used the following (I didn’t measure):
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp Mapuche
1/2 tsp ground red chipotle
Sprinkle of cayenne
1/4 tsp kosher salt
a healthy grind of black pepper (I LOVE pepper, and there usually can never be too much)
Then stir it all up.
Next take care of the beef. I used 3/4 pound of flank steak – this piece is larger, so I weighed out 12ish ounces and froze the rest for later. Cut the flank steak into three large pieces.
Then, nestle the pieces into the crock pot. Cover the crock pot, set it to low.
Let this go for ~8 hours. And it will look like this. I’m not sure on the exact timing because Joe got home before me and took these lovely pics.
Then, take two forks and shred the meat so it looks like this.
I like to serve this over rice. My favorite quick brown rice… I used about 1/3 of a cup dry for both of us because that is all I had left!
Serve the beef over rice, garnished with avocado and cilantro.
The original recipe is for 4 people. I halved the recipe and I got about 3 servings out of it because I left all of the veggies in.So yummy 🙂 Make this soon, you won’t regret it!
What is your favorite crock pot meal??? I’m looking for some new ones to use this winter 🙂