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December 30, 2007

Ropa Vieja

I made this recipe, which comes from the January/February issue of Cooking Light for dinner tonight. It fulfilled a culinary ambition of mine, which is to become more familiar with braising. As a braised dish, it takes a couple of hours to prepare, but almost all of that time can be spent lounging around with a book, enjoying how good the house smells.

Braising really ought to be done in a proper dutch oven. I only have a biggish soup pot, which is a bit too tall. I improvised by putting a layer of aluminum foil just over the surface of the stew, and then putting the lid on the top of the pot. It seemed to work fine. I certainly had no complaints about how the dish came out.

We folded the beef and peppers into warm tortillas, and then ate the broth with a spoon.

The Ingredients

The Steps

  1. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the flank steak for about 2 and a half minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, peppers, and garlic to the pot, and cook, stirring, until tender (about 7 minutes).
  3. Stir in the olives and the spices and cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the vinegar and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to dissolve any browned bits. Cook for 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.
  5. Stir in broth, tomato paste, and bay leaves. Add the steaks and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1.5 hours or until steaks are tender.
  7. Remove the steaks from the pan and shred with two forks. Stir the shredded beef and cilantro into the pot. Serve in shallow bowls with warm tortillas on the side.
Serves 6-8

Posted by spaceling at December 30, 2007 08:21 PM


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