Cuban Braised Beef Pot Roast, Ropa Vieja

A meltingly tender Latin pot roast - fantastic flavors, yet so simple.

The beef simmers in a delicious broth as the first step of the braise - then the cooled meat is shredded and added to sauteed peppers and tomatoes. The bonus is that one ends up with a quart of the most delicious beef broth imaginable, which you can save for a vegetable soup or a delicious Mushroom Vegetable Beef soup (wing it!). So this is a two meal recipe plus leftovers.

Braising Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 pound boneless chuck roast
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 cup red or white wine - I cook with $6 bottles of Chardonnay or Merlot
Vegetables for Braised Beef
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large sweet peppers, sliced into strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup green olives - Manzanillo variety with pimentos - sliced
Instructions
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper and take the time to brown all sides well in the olive oil in a heavy covered pot or Dutch oven. Add the Braising Vegetables (Onion, garlic, carrots, celery), a cup of wine and 3 to 4 cups water - do not completely submerge the meat, use only enough water to cover meat to about one half as we are braising, not boiling.
  • Simmer until the beef is falling apart tender - 3 to 4 hours. Remove the beef to a bowl and allow it to cool.
  • Strain the vegetables and discard - save the rich beef stock for another use. 
  • Saute the onion, peppers, and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until softened. Add the shredded beef, tomatoes, and cumin - season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until peppers are soft and meat is tender. Stir in green olives just before serving.