Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crockpot Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)

Being a working mom, a crockpot has been my best friend in the kitchen. Throw everything in the pot, set the timer on, and let it cook all day. I come home and the house smells so good with the scent of dinner in the air. The meat always comes out tender and there isn't much to clean up except the one pot. You can make breakfast, lunch, dinner or even dessert in a crockpot. Its awesome. I love my crockpot!

Tonight's dinner is a tribute to our favorite Cuban restaurant, Versailles. My husband's favorite dish is their shredded beef, Ropa Vieja. So when I came across a recipe on, I tried it out and it came out really good. I adjusted the recipe a bit to accomodate feeding only about 4 people. The recipe also called for green olives for garnish, which I omitted because I'm not a huge fan of it. When I first made this dish, my husband instantly LOVED it and actually said it was "heaven." lol! Needless to say, this became one of my signature potluck dishes. Literally translated, Ropa Vieja means "old clothes." Its real simple to make because you just throw everything in the crockpot. I serve this on top of a cuban rice pilaf and fried plaintains. yummy!

1 medium onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. worcestershire
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
16 oz crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. skirt or flank steak
1/2 cup vegetable or beef broth
2 bay leaves

1) Combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, vinegar, worcestershire, bay leaves, cumin, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper in a bowl. Toss to coat well.

2) Place half of the mixture on the bottom of the crockpot. Place the steak on top and spoon the remaining mixture on top of the steak. Pour broth around the steak and tuck in the remaining bay leaves.

3) Cover and cook in crockpot on low for 8-10 hours, until steak is fork-tender.

4) Once cooked, remove bay leaves. Remove and shred the meat in to small pieces and return to the sauce and stir. Serve over cuban rice pilaf with a side of fried plaintains.

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