Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja is a traditional Cuban dish with tender chuck roast, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, and spices. Ten minutes of prep time is all it takes to have this comfort food ready for a weeknight dinner after a busy day. Serve with rice and black beans for a meal that never disappoints.
Turn to the slow cooker for this classic Cuban dish!
As the temperatures begin to change from warm days to cool nights, I find myself looking for quick, comforting meals to fill my belly! When life gets busy and I find myself with less time to prepare delicious meals during the week, I pull out my slow cooker. While I love a classic pot roast or pulled pork dinner, I find myself trying new flavors every week to keep things exciting. One of my favorite new slow cooker meals is Ropa Vieja, a classic Cuban stew.
One of the biggest tips that I can offer when cooking in your slow cooker is to use cheaper cuts of meat that are fatty and tough so that they become meltingly tender as they cook. I used a chuck roast in this recipe and while I kept most of the fat, I did trim my cut of meat so that my sauce would not be greasy or oily. If you’re going to turn on your slow cooker in the morning and let it cook while you’re at work all day, then use a low heat setting. If you have less time or are making it closer to dinner, you can cook this on a high temperature for less time.
What is Ropa Vieja?
This dish combines peppers and onions and a hint of spice with jalapeños for the perfect flavor profile. What I love about this dish is that you put briny green olives and capers in right before serving to add a salty punch to every bite. I like to serve this dish with sides of rice and black beans and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro to round out the meal.
While I served this over rice, you can also serve it with tortillas and a dollop of sour cream like tacos! The sky is the limit with this dish and you can certainly incorporate additional toppings into the mix.
- 1 2-pound chuck roast, cut into 2-3 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- 3 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
- Steamed white rice or warm tortillas, for serving
- Season beef with salt and pepper.
- In a slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes and their juices with the water, bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeño, oregano, cumin, and bay leaf. Add the beef pieces, cover, and cook on high for 5 hours, until the meat is very tender.
- Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir the olives, capers, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro into the sauce.
- Using 2 forks, shred the meat. Return the meat to the sauce to warm through. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon the meat and sauce into bowls, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro, and serve with steamed white rice or warm tortillas.
Home Chef Tip: Use the leftover chuck roast for tacos for the next night's dinner!
We hope you enjoy this Slow Cooker Ropa Viejo recipe from SoFabFood Home Chef, April from Food n’ Focus, as much as we do. If you love this easy dinner, you can find more like it by visiting our Slow Cooker Section. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!