The Grilling Corner

Ropa Vieja (left-overs) has it's origin in the Canary Islands, Spain. The islanders brought this dish to Cuba during their many visits to the island. The original version is made with potatoes and/or garbanzos. In Cuba, however, these vegetables may not always be part of this dish. Although, this dish has become a Cuban staple, it is also very popular in other Latin American countries (e.g. Venezuela, Dominican Republic, etc.)

Carne Mechada
(Ropa Vieja or Pot Roast)

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Servings: 6-10
Cooking Time: 2-2 1/2 hrs

2 1/2 lbs of  flank, pot roast or skirt steak, trim all fat
10 pitted olives
1/2 cup of carrots
2 fresh bay leaves
1/2 cup of peas
1 large green, red & yellow bell peppers, seeded & sliced
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 chicken bullion
4-5 plum tomatoes, peeled and crushed with hands or fork or 1 tablespoonful of Hunt's tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon of oregano
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
a small bunch of cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, cut in half
3 aji gustosos
1 tablespoon of olive oil

TIP: You can shred the steak by using a a fork and a spoon. You can shred in pot or an a board


Blend the last 6 ingredients in a blender to create "recaito." Trim all the fat, rinse and season with the above blend. Marinate for at least 1/2 hour (Optional, but recommended)

If Using a Slow-Cooker
Place, bell peppers, onions and peas on the bottom of the pot

Place the steak on top of the vegetables. Add the remainder of the ingredients and cover. Melt the chicken bouillon in 1/2 cup of hot water before adding it to the pot

Cook on slow setting for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

Once tender (falling apart), shred meat and serve with rice, tortillas, bread, pita bread, pasta, etc. (discard the bay leaves)

If Using the Stove (on medium heat)
Using a deep pot, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and brown the meat on both sides

Add 1 cup of water to the left-over marinade and add it to the pot. Add the chicken bouillon and add another 10 cups of water

Cover pot and cook for 1 1/2 hrs on medium heat. Then, add the vegetables and crushed tomatoes or tomato paste. Cook for another  30 minutes, on low-medium heat

Once tender (falling apart), shred meat and serve with white rice, beans, tortillas, bread, pita bread, pasta, etc.