Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja


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

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja
Photo: © Fredrika Stjärne
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 30 mins
4 to 6 servings


  • 1 (2-pound) flank steak, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 4 pieces

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (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, divided

  • Steamed white rice or warm tortillas, for serving


  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 two 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.

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