Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe | Abel & Cole

Cuban Ropa Vieja

Cooking time
Serves4-6 people

In Spanish, ‘Ropa vieja’ literally means "old clothes". The name describes the shreds of meat and vegetables which resemble colorful strips of rags. It’s delicious bundled into our ‘That’s a Tortilla Wrap’ with a dollop of crème fraiche and fresh coriander.

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  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 carrots, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 red, green or orange pepper, thinly sliced
  • 500g cherry tomatoes, halved or large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 400-500g stewing or braising steak
  • 2-3 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 lime
  • Crème fraiche
  • A large handful of fresh coriander
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1. Get a large casserole dish really hot. Add your onions. Cook, using no oil, stirring often. The idea is to char them a little, giving a slightly smoky edge to the dish.
2. Add a good pinch of salt. Fold in the carrots and peppers. Cook, stirring often, to soften and slightly char the veg.
3. Add the tomatoes. Cook a little further, letting all the veg mingle and the tomatoes reduce down a little.
4. Add your stewing or braising steak. Pour in enough water to just cover. Spoon in a splash (about 2 tbsp) of vinegar, the bay leaves, garlic and spices. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat. Cover. Simmer for 2 1/2 hrs, or till the meat is fall-apart-tender.
5. Spoon the meat and veg out of the broth. Let it cool a little.
6. Swirl the tomato purée through the cooking juices. Reduce down till it’s thick and rich in flavour. Taste. Add a little extra vinegar, salt, pepper, etc if needed.
7. Shred the meat. Pour the reduced sauce over. Add a bit of grated lime zest and juice.
8. Bundle the saucy shredded meat and veg into a tortilla with crème fraîche and fresh coriander, or serve with rice.
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Ropa Vieja


Great use of the stewing steak, especially in summer!