Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)

Mojito's, sunshine and sexy latin dancing. At least, that's what I think about when I hear the word "Cuban". Havana nights and such. It makes me want to shake my hair and shimmy my hips. Put on some music and I'll be there, cha-cha-ing away.

Ropa Vieja is just a fancy name for Shredded Beef, one of Cuba's most well known national dishes. Which is just another way of saying it won first prize in the Taste Idols. I'd heard of the dish before (what did we do before the Internet?), but honestly it never really sounded very glamorous to me. Stewed beef? Yaaaaaaaaawn. Moving on. But I was determined to give this a go, as surely there was a reason that this was the go-to Cuban dish for people all over.

And you know what? This fits right in there with those sultry latin dancers. Spicy? Check. Full of complex twists & turns? You got that right. Leaves you panting for more? Well... I don't think you'll wonder about that after you've tasted it - you'll be too busy licking your plate clean and fighting off your dining companions for seconds.
Blazing Hot Wok
I'm submitting this to the Regional Recipe Round-up for November (Cuba), created by Darlene from Blazing Hot Wok and hosted by her this month as well.

Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)
Adapted from Island Flave

Serves 7 - 8

1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 medium onions, finely diced
1.4 kg flank steak
1 tsp salt
1 large green pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
200g green olives
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder

1. Heat oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add onions and garlic, saute for about 3 - 5 minutes over medium heat until soft. Remove and set aside. Meanwhile, brown meat on both sides over high heat.
2. Layer half of the onions with the meat in a slowcooker (crockpot). Season with salt, add 3/4 cup water and cook on highest setting for approx 2 - 2 1/2 hours until meat is fully cooked and softened.
3. Remove meat from slowcooker, trim the fat off (toss or reserve for another use), shred the meat and set aside. Meanwhile, pour of the liquid remaining in the slowcooker, reserving the onions. Transfer meat back to slowcooker.
4. Blitz all the reserved onions together with the greenpepper to a puree in a food processor. Spoon over the meat. Repeat with tomatoes, adding them to the slowcooker as well.
5. Add olives, wine, paprika and chilli powder to the slowcooker, mix everything together to ensure an even distribution, then cook for a further 6 hours (or overnight) on lowest setting in slowcooker.
6. Taste, adjusting seasonings if necessary, then serve over rice and beans. Oh, and don't forget the cha-cha beats...

Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 382.4 , Total fat 19.0 g, Saturated fat 6.7 g, Polyunsaturated fat 1.1 g, Monounsaturated fat 9.1 g, Cholesterol 93.3 mg, Sodium 871.8 mg, Potassium 970.4 mg, Total carbohydrate 9.0 g, Dietary fiber 2.5 g, Sugars 0.2 g, Protein 39.5 g

Good source of: Vitamin B12 94.9 %, Vitamin C 91.0 %, Selenium 49.9 %, Vitamin B6 48.7 %, Niacin 48.2 %, Zinc 46.2 %, Phosphorus 40.7 %


nina on November 05, 2009 10:04 am said...

Oooo, yummee, this is just the right food for this all-of-a-sudden cold day!!!!

Marisa on November 05, 2009 10:11 am said...

I hope I didn't invite the cold with this! Looks like it's going to be cool-ish into the weekend as well. :-(

Joy on November 06, 2009 5:20 pm said...

Hey Marisa,
I am a huge fan of cuban food, I find beans and rice so comforting. I know my fiance will love this dish, I can't wait to try it!! Thank you for sharing :)

Marisa on November 06, 2009 6:07 pm said...

Hope you enjoy it Joy! Let me know how it turns out.

Jeanne on November 09, 2009 3:34 pm said...

YUM - sounds wonderful. It reminds me of some Mexican dishes that also involve spiced, shredded meat - all of which I adore!

Marisa on November 09, 2009 6:10 pm said...

This is really good Jeanne, and best of all, it matures after a day or so in the fridge, so the leftovers are even better!

Dee on November 12, 2009 5:45 am said...

What a great submission! To me stewed beef is pretty exciting, probably because we didn't eat much of it growing up. This dish looks really flavorful and satisfying--perfect for our cold Portland weather.

Marisa on November 12, 2009 7:20 am said...

Thanks for your kind words Darlene - looking forward to the other submissions!

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