Are you wanting to try something new in your Slow Cooker? Look no further; this Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja is a unique but delicious meal to try!
Shredded beef is wonderful in the slow cooker! In addition to this recipe, also try Amish Pot Roast, Carne Asada or Mexican Shredded Beef.
The moment I saw this meal, I knew I must try it in the slow cooker. Shredded beef recipes in the slow cooker are where I shine, LOL.
Why is it called Ropa Vieja?
If you have never heard of Ropa Vieja, it’s a Cuban national dish that means old clothes; I’m guessing because the meat looks like really old shredded clothes?
Not a great name for a recipe, I know! Let’s move past that strange name and see what delicious ingredients create this beautiful dish.
This recipe is not spicy, but still full of great flavors. The sauce has diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, cumin, oregano, garlic, bell pepper, onion and green olives.
I wasn’t sure if the green olives would overpower this dish, they did not at all. The olives added a bit more vinegar flavor which lends to the overall character of the sauce.
- Beef flank steak
- Beef broth
- Canned tomato paste
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bell peppers
- Spanish Olives
- Garlic cloves
Step One – Add the beef broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar to the slow cooker and stir. Add the flank steak and flip it around in that sauce.
Step Two – Add on top of the meat the onion, bell peppers, olives, and garlic cloves.
Step Three – Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 9 hours or high for 5 hours.
What to serve with Ropa Vieja:
- Yellow rice; homemade or store-bought
- Green salad and dressing
- Cuban black beans
I was on the hunt for yellow rice to serve with this, since I was in no mood to make it from scratch. Let me tell you that Yellow Rice from Mahatma below is impressive. It tastes like chicken, but the flavor is from saffron and turmeric. I highly recommend trying this and get two bags because they are tiny.
Want pork instead of beef?
Try my Slow Cooker Cuban Pork recipe, it has a citrus-based sauce and is just as good as this Ropa Vieja.
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Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef)
- 3 lbs. beef flank steak
- 1 cup beef broth
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 small white onion diced
- 2 bell peppers (orange and green) diced
- 1 cup Spanish olives
- 3 whole garlic cloves peeled
- Add the beef broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, turmeric and apple cider vinegar to the slow cooker. Stir.
- Add the flank steak and flip it around in the sauce so it gets coated. Add the bell pepper, onion, olives and garlic cloves, mix those items together to combine on top of the meat.
- Cover and cook on low for 9 hours on LOW or on HIGH for 5 hours, without opening the lid during the cooking time. Shred the meat with 2 forks right in the slow cooker.
- Serve with yellow rice and enjoy!
How to Video:
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.
Hi! Love this! How long should it cook for 1.5 pounds of meat?
My daughter uses this recipe, with a few minor changes. We are a Mexican/American family that enjoys spicy food, so we add a little more heat ( Jalapenos) to this recipe. We also use chuck roast as it is more cost effective and does not hurt the final outcome. So yummy! Thank you for sharing
I followed the recipe exactly and it was phenomenal. My family and dinner guests loved it and asked for more. My family isn’t a huge fan of olives, but I still cooked it with them and scooped them out prior to serving. Thank you for sharing!
Melissa K. says
This was excellent-and was so easy!
Literally one of the best dishes I’ve ever made! Such a great recipe!!!!! I grew up eating Cuban food made by family friends and this is 1,000% authentic!
Hello :o) will 3lbs of flank steak be okay in a 6qt crockpot? Also would I have to adjust times based on the 6qt crockpot. Thank you!
Sarah Olson says
3 pounds will work fine. No need to change the time.
Troy H. says
I used leftover smoked pulled pork. It added a favor that I had not had in Ropa Viejo. I only was introduced to Cuban food about a year ago and this was my first attempt.
It will be a go to meal in my home..
Kim Zesiger says
I used a grass fed chuck roast instead of flank for several reasons. Mainly I couldn’t find a quality enough piece of flank, so I chose chuck for its fall apart texture and flavor. I added smoked paprika into the spice mixture, as well as a bay leaf. Into the vegetable olive mixture I added a couple of tablespoons of capers and a couple of thin stalks of celery chopped finally. It was amazing!!
Can you make this recipe in a Dutch oven
Sarah Olson says
I’m sure you could, I don’t know the cooking times, I apologize.
Delicious! Left out the turmeric and cumin and used Sazon instead. Thank you for sharing this recipe! It was a complete success.
I made this but left out the turmeric. It was yummy and as close to what I grew up with back in Miami. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome dish! Left out the olives (hate them), added a splash more vinegar.
I made this for xmas dinner ate it for 3days it was sooo good the only thing was the price of flank steak $14.99 a pack so this will only be a holiday dish
I served this with polenta. It was awesome!
I made this. Very tasty. Easy to make.
Jim L. says
I made it tonight and it came out great! I even forgot to put in the bell peppers. Some recipes call for searing the meat, but you really don’t need to.