Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

This Cuban stew, featuring shredded flank steak, tomatoes and olives, can be made up to two days in advance.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6


  • One 2-pound flank steak, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 4 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
  • Steamed white rice or warm tortillas, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Season the flank steak with salt and pepper. In a slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes and their juices with the water, bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeño, oregano, cumin and bay leaf. Add the flank steak, cover and cook on high for 5 hours, until the meat is very tender.

  2. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir the olives, capers and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro into the sauce.

  3. Using 2 forks, shred the meat. Return the meat to the sauce to warm through. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon the meat and sauce into bowls, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro and serve with steamed white rice or warm tortillas.

Make Ahead

The ropa vieja can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Contributed By Photo © Fredrika Stjärne Published March 2010

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467020 recipes/slow-cooker-ropa-vieja 2013-12-06T23:49:07+00:00 Melissa Rubel Jacobson fall|winter|braising|caribbean|cuban|soups-and-stews|4|6|make-ahead|web-exclusive|weeknight-dinner march-2010 recipes,slow-cooker-ropa-vieja 467020

Aggregate Rating value: 4

Review Count: 2112

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: Will Greer

Review Body: The recipe is a good baseline but the measures of spices are comically low. I'd double or even triple everything according to your taste. I added a shallot, some chili powder, I did not de-seed the jalapenos, beef stock versus water, and I happened to find some fresh turmeric root at the store the day I shopped for this. No need to be bashful with this one.

Review Rating: 3

Date Published: 2017-01-29

Author Name: @PurpleBandAid

Review Body: Followed exact recipe and sadly this was not very flavorful.  The water should probably be swapped for beef stock.  Also the spices should be doubled.

Review Rating: 2

Date Published: 2016-11-08

Author Name: cab226

Review Body: Didn't like this at all. It had no flavor, and we even used beef stock instead of water. It wasn't spicy at all.  Additionally, it was better without the addition of the capers and olives. 

Review Rating: 1

Date Published: 2016-11-14