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Mr. Crumby's Kitchen: Ropa Vieja

Spanish for 'old clothes' thanks to its shredded appearance, this flavorful Cuban Ropa Vieja dish is made with lean beef and makes for a healthy Sunday Supper.

Serves 4 servings     adjust servings

Preparation 30 mins Cook Time 2 hrs 35 mins Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins


  • 1- 3 lb. Tri-Tip beef roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2 lb. chunks
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 red pepper, sliced, seeds included
  • 1 poblano pepper, sliced, seeds included
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 packet pork or beef bouillon
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and chiles
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • Cooked white rice
  • 1 lime, quartered


  1. Set a large stockpot over medium heat, adding the water, vinegars, peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro, and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  2. Trim any visible fat from the roast, and cut it into ½ pound chunks. When broth is boiling, add meat. Allow it to boil uncovered until the liquid is reduced by half, 80-90 minutes.
  3. Removed beef from pot and allow to cool slightly. Using 2 forks or your fingers (careful!), pull the beef into thin strips. Return to pot.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Add the bouillon, tomatoes and chiles, and tomato paste, stirring to combine.
  5. Allow to cook another 50-60 minutes, reducing the liquid by half once more.
  6. Serve over white rice, garnish with cilantro leaves and freshly squeezed lime juice.


Recipe Notes

This dish is quite spicy! To reduce the heat, leave the seeds from the poblano pepper out, or simply use a green bell pepper in its place.
Pork bouillon can be found in the ethnic food/Hispanic food aisles at most grocery stores. We use Goya Concentrated Ham Flavoring. (<--affiliate link)
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