Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja Recipe

  • Yield: 6
  • Servings: 6
  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 6:00 h
  • Ready In: 6:10 h

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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Carbohydrates

    3.5 g
  • Cholesterol

    31 mg
  • Fat

    6.5 g
  • Fiber

    1 g
  • Protein

    11 g
  • Saturated Fat

    1.9 g
  • Sodium

    397 mg
  • Sugar

    1.7 g
  • Trans Fat

    4.0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat

    1.5 g
  • Potassium

    234 mg
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Slow cooker Ropa Vieja recipe. Slow cooker Ropa Vieja is a delicious and flavorful Cuban dish that is perfect for a family meal. This authentic recipe allows you to enjoy the rich flavors of Ropa Vieja with minimal effort, thanks to the convenience of a slow cooker.

What is slow cooker Ropa Vieja?

Ropa Vieja is a dish from Cuba. It is made by cooking beef for hours until it falls apart and then simmering it in a tomato sauce with vegetables, spices, and seasonings.

The dish was originally made by Cuban slaves who would use their day’s leftover meat to make this dish.

What Cut of Meat Have I Used to Make Authentic Ropa Vieja?

To make authentic Ropa Vieja, the cut of meat that is typically used is beef flank steak. This cut of meat is known for its rich flavor and tenderness, making it perfect for slow cooking. The flank steak is a lean cut that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow, and it is often used in dishes that require long, slow cooking to break down the tough fibers and create a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

When selecting a beef flank steak for your Ropa Vieja recipe, it’s important to choose a high-quality cut of meat. Look for a steak that is well-marbled with fat, as this will add flavor and moisture to the dish. Additionally, make sure to trim any excess fat from the steak before cooking.

The beef flank steak is typically seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper before being seared in a hot skillet with a tablespoon of canola oil. This step helps to develop a rich, caramelized crust on the meat, which adds depth of flavor to the final dish.

Once the flank steak is seared, it is transferred to a slow cooker along with the other ingredients, such as carrots, red bell peppers, and onions. The meat is then cooked on low heat for several hours, allowing it to become tender and infused with the flavors of the sauce.

Using beef flank steak in your Ropa Vieja recipe ensures that you will have a flavorful and authentic dish that is sure to impress. Its tender texture and rich taste make it the perfect choice for this classic Cuban recipe.

How to Make Authentic Ropa Vieja in a Slow Cooker

To make this dish, start by heating a tablespoon of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season a 2-pound beef flank steak with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sear the steak in the hot skillet until browned on all sides, then transfer it to the slow cooker.

Next, add a sliced carrot and a seeded and sliced red bell pepper to the slow cooker. These vegetables add a touch of sweetness and color to the dish.

In a separate bowl, combine a can of crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. Pour this flavorful mixture over the beef and vegetables in the slow cooker.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4-6 hours. The long, slow cooking time allows the flavors to meld together and the beef to become tender and juicy.

Once the cooking time is up, remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks. Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker and stir it into the sauce.

Serve the slow cooker Ropa Vieja over a bed of white rice, garnished with fresh cilantro. The tender beef, flavorful sauce, and vibrant vegetables make this dish a true crowd-pleaser.

With this easy slow cooker Ropa Vieja recipe, you can enjoy the authentic flavors of Cuba without spending hours in the kitchen. Give it a try and impress your family and friends with this delicious and comforting dish.

.Ropa Vieja Serving Suggestions

Once you have prepared your delicious slow cooker Ropa Vieja, it’s time to think about how to serve it. Here are a few serving suggestions to enhance your dining experience:

1. Traditional Cuban Style: Serve the Ropa Vieja over a bed of fluffy white rice. The tender beef and flavorful sauce pair perfectly with the simplicity of the rice. You can also add a side of black beans and fried plantains for a complete Cuban meal.

2. Tacos or Burritos: Use the Ropa Vieja as a filling for tacos or burritos. Warm up some tortillas and fill them with the shredded beef, along with your favorite toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream. This is a great option for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

3. Sandwiches: Make mouthwatering sandwiches with the Ropa Vieja. Toast some crusty bread and pile on the shredded beef, along with some melted cheese and sliced avocado. You can also add some pickles or jalapenos for an extra kick.

4. Empanadas: Turn your Ropa Vieja into delicious empanadas. Fill store-bought empanada dough with the shredded beef and fold them into half-moon shapes. Bake or fry until golden and crispy. Serve with a side of salsa or guacamole for dipping.

5. Salad Topping: Add a twist to your salad by using the Ropa Vieja as a topping. Simply place a generous portion of the shredded beef on a bed of mixed greens, along with your favorite salad ingredients. Drizzle with a tangy vinaigrette for a refreshing and satisfying meal.

These serving suggestions will help you enjoy your slow cooker Ropa Vieja in different ways, adding variety and excitement to your meals. Experiment with these ideas or create your own unique serving styles to make the most of this flavorful Cuban dish.

How to Store Ropa Vieja Leftovers

After enjoying a delicious meal of slow cooker Ropa Vieja, you may find yourself with some leftovers. To ensure that you can savor the flavors of this Cuban dish for another day, it’s important to store the leftovers properly. Here are some tips on how to store Ropa Vieja leftovers:

1. Refrigeration: If you plan to consume the leftovers within a few days, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to let the Ropa Vieja cool down before transferring it to the container. This will help maintain its texture and flavor.

2. Freezing: If you have a larger amount of leftovers or want to save them for a longer period, freezing is a great option. Place the cooled Ropa Vieja in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date and contents for easy identification.

3. Portion Control: Consider dividing the leftovers into individual portions before storing them. This way, you can thaw and reheat only what you need, reducing waste and ensuring that each serving retains its quality.

4. Thawing and Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy the Ropa Vieja leftovers, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat the dish on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add a splash of water or broth to prevent the beef from drying out.

By following these storage tips, you can extend the life of your Ropa Vieja leftovers and continue to enjoy this flavorful dish whenever you crave it. Whether you choose to refrigerate or freeze the leftovers, proper storage will help maintain the taste and texture of the beef and sauce.

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja Recipe

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  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 pounds (960 g) beef flank steak
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) dry white wine
  • 2 cups (500 ml) tomato puree
  • 6 oz (180 ml) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup (250 ml) low-fat chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar


Step 1

Season beef steak with salt and black pepper on all sides.

Step 2

In a large nonstick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add seasoned meat and brown on both sides, for 3 minutes per side. Place browned beef in a slow cooker. Stir in sliced carrots.

Step 3

Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to the skillet along with garlic, onions, and green bell peppers. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened and start to caramelize. Pour in dry white wine and cook, stirring and scraping any browned bits from the bottom, for a further 1 minute. Turn off heat and transfer mixture to slow cooker.

Step 4

In a medium mixing bowl, combine tomato purée, tomato paste, dried ingredients, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Mix well. Pour tomato mixture over beef in the slow cooker.

Step 5

Cover the pot and cook on a high-heat setting for 6 hours, or until beef is tender. Just 30 minutes before, stir in green olives and vinegar.

Step 6

Turn off the slow cooker. Using tongs, transfer meat to a cutting board. Shred beef with two forks. Pour sauce over shredded flank steak. Serve over the cooked rice with black beans and lime wedges.

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