Ropa Vieja with Fried Plantains
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Like any good stew, this comforting cuban dish takes a few hours to cook and is even better the next day. But it's worth every second.
Recipe Type: Entree
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Ropa Vieja:
  • 1½ pounds flank steak (in Israel I used cut #4, katef mercazi)
  • 2 medium onions (1 quartered with skin on and 1 peeled and sliced)
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic (5 crushed and 3 minced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
Fried Plantains:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 sweet or green plantains, peeled and sliced into coins
  • Salt
For the Ropa Vieja:
  1. Put the beef, quartered onion, carrots, 5 cloves crushed garlic, and bay leaf in a large stock pot and pour the water over.
  2. Cook, covered for 1½ to 2 hours, until meat is very tender.
  3. Transfer the beef to a plate and loosely tent with foil. Allow to rest until slightly cooled, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Using two forks, shred the beef. Set aside.
  5. While the beef is cooling, strain the braising liquid, pushing on the solids, and return to the pot.
  6. Boil until reduced to about 1 cup, about 30 minutes.
  7. In a large pan heat the vegetable oil and add the sliced onion and green and red peppers. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the shredded beef, crushed tomatoes, oregano, tomato paste, 3 cloves minced garlic, and ½ cup of the braising liquid.
  9. Simmer until the beef is heated through, adding more braising liquid if needed.
  10. Serve over rice with fried plantains.
For the Fried Plantains:
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the plantains so they are in one even layer. Cook in batches if necessary.
  3. Cook until plantains are lightly golden on one side, then flip. They should be slightly softened and evenly browned.
  4. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt. Serve.
Gluten free, Kosher meat
Recipe by Katherine Martinelli at