Mexican Ropa Vieja

Mexican Ropa Vieja is a dish that is popular in Cuba, and many Latin American countries, obviously including Mexico. We have our own versions that change from one region to another.  This stew consists of shredded beef cooked with vegetables in a tomato broth.


6 people


Main Course


1 hr 5 mins



TO COOK THE MEAT – Place the cubed meat, onion, garlic, and bay leaf in a large stockpot, cover the meat with water, and place over high heat for some minutes until water starts boiling. Then, reduce heat, place the pot lid and simmer for 2 to 3 hours until meat is tender enough to shred. You can cook overnight using a crock-pot on the low setting for 8 hours or cook in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes.



– Once the meat is cooked, remove from the pot and let it cool until you can handle it. Shred and set aside. Reserve at least one cup of the cooking broth to use with the stew.



TO PREPARE THE STEW – Place tomatoes and garlic cloves in a saucepan, and cover with water. Place over a high heat to cook, and when water starts boiling reduce heat to medium-low and place lid on the saucepan. Cook until tomatoes are tender and skins are peeling. This step will take about 15 minutes total cooking time. Set aside to slightly cool.



– Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sliced onion and cook for one minute. Add the diced potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to keep them from sticking to the pan.



– While the potatoes are cooking and once tomatoes have cooled a little, remove skins and place into a blender with the garlic cloves. Process until you have a very smooth sauce. No need to add water here.



– Pour the tomato sauce, one cup of beef broth, and bay leaf over the onion slices and potatoes. Stir and keep cooking for another 5 minutes, reduce heat and add the shredded meat. Keep cooking for about 8 to 10 more minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness, making sure they don’t overcook and still keep their shape. Stir in the oregano and cumin, jalapeño slices and the vinegar (if using). Season with salt and pepper.



– The stew will be ready when the potatoes are cooked and all the flavors have blended. Serve with rice and corn tortillas.