What to eat in Cuba: Ropa Vieja recipe
Foodie at heart? Prepare an authentic Ropa Vieja, the Cuban way with our easy-to-follow recipe!
This is THE Cuban dish everyone has to try when they come to Cuba (non meat-eaters excepted). Ropa Vieja, or “old clothes”, is a beef dish where the meat is stripped into rags (much like old clothes) and cooked in a delicious, tomatoey sauce. Strangely, given the prevalence of this dish, beef is pretty hard to come by in Cuba and pork or lamb are often used in its place. However, for the sake of authenticity, we are giving you a mouth-watering 100% bovine recipe for Ropa Vieja.
- 460g beef tenderloin
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 2 onions
- 2 green peppers
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- (1 teaspoon fresh or dried oregano)
- (1/2 teaspoon cumin)
- 40 ml dry white wine
- 40 ml tomato purée
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- Water as needed
- Medium-sized pan
- Frying pan
- Put your beef in a pan with, salt, pepper, bay leaf and enough water so that there are three fingers between the meat and the surface of the water. Put a lid on the pan and cook for 30 minutes or until the beef is tender.
- Once a fork slips easily through the beef then it’s ready. Remove from pan, drain and leave to cool. Meanwhile, crush the garlic, chop the onion and slice the peppers into thin strips. Heat half of the oil in the pan.
- Once the meat has cooled use a fork to rip it into strips. Add the stripped meat into the pan and fry until it becomes golden in colour. Add the paprika, cumin, oregano, cooking wine and tomato purée.
- In a small frying pan heat the rest of the oil before frying the garlic, onion and pepper on a medium heat so that it cooks but doesn’t burn. Once tender add to the beef.
- Cook everything together for a few minutes and add the dried parsley.
- Serve your Ropa Vieja with rice and black beans.
Interested in Cuban food?
Don’t miss our Guide To Eating in Cuba – whether you are vegan, gluten-free or meat eater, we’ve got you covered!
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