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old clothes in the slow cooker

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja translates to old clothes.

sliced peppers, onions jalapeno

Not the most appetizing image, but it’s in reference to the torn or shredded beef and the slices of onion and peppers, so no worries about it all being too literal.

homegrown

After I made this pot of deliciousness, to my taste, it wasn’t spicy enough. I don’t know if it was because my homegrown jalapeños weren’t hot enough or if I should just up the number of jalapeños, so I did up it from 2 to 3. If that still doesn’t do the trick, you can always serve it with some hot salsa, such as Trader Joe’s Hatch Valley Salsa. Or add a jar of it to the slow-cooker from the start, your choice.

One more choice to make is the color of your bell peppers. I like to use red, yellow, and orange for the color variety and the sweetness. But if green bell peppers are more economical or if red bells are on special, do what works for you.

rojo fixings

Ropa Vieja via the Slow Cooker

  • 2-pounds flank steak, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 4 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Two 14.5-ounce (or one 28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 jalapeños peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 jar hot salsa of your choice, optional
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, divided
  • Steamed white rice and warm tortillas, for serving

season flank steak

Season the flank steak with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker.

into the crockpot

Add the diced tomatoes with the wine, bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeño, oregano, cumin, and bay leaf (and salsa, if using). Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hours, until the meat is very tender.

remove beef

Use tongs to remove the beef to a plate and let rest for 20 to 25 minutes. Fish out and discard the bay leaf.

shred beef

Once the meat has cooled enough to handle, use either your hands or 2 forks to shred the meat.

beef back in cooker

Return the meat to the slow cooker.

add olives and capers

Stir in the olives, capers, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro and reduce heat to LOW for 30 minutes.

Ropa Vieja

Taste and season the sauce with plenty of salt and pepper. Spoon the meat, vegetables, and sauce onto plates, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro and serve with rice and warm tortillas.

Serves 6


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