Ropa Vieja on a bed of mashed malanga served on a white plate.

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja is a traditional Cuban dish that’s easy to make and delicious.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Keyword cuban shredded beef
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 370kcal
Author Elizabeth


  • pounds Flank Steak 1 or 2 steaks
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • 8 ounces Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt to taste – only if needed


  • Add the steak(s) and beef broth to a large pot. Set the pot over high heat. When the broth comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and cook 15 minutes.
  • Turn the steaks, lower the heat to medium-low and cook 30 minutes. Turn the flank steak again about halfway through the cooking time. Keep the broth at a simmer, if it’s boiling too vigorously too much of it will cook away.
  • Place the steak on a cutting board or pan and allow it to cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred it to resemble thin strings. The best way to do this is to hold the steak down with one fork and shred with another. Add the meat back into the broth. Keep on low heat until the sauce is ready.
  • While the meat cools, start the sauce: heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onions, cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic, oregano, cumin and black pepper to the skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Deglaze the skillet with the white wine, and cook for 1-2 minutes until most of the liquid evaporates.
  • Add the tomato sauce and the bay leaf to the skillet. When the sauce comes to a simmer, lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Keep the sauce at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the shredded steak (along with any broth remaining in the pot) to the tomato sauce. Stir well to combine. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, to let the flavors come together, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the ropa vieja, add salt, if needed. Serve with white rice.


Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 1283mg | Potassium: 967mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 4.1mg