Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
This easy-to-make Ropa Vieja recipe and photos were shared with my
by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA. The original
recipe was by E. of San Francisco and appeared on Gail's Swap.
Ropa Vieja literally means "old clothes" in Spanish. The name
describes the shreds of meat (usually beef shanks) and vegetables
which resemble colorful strips of rags. The beef must be cooked and shredded first.
This makes an excellent filling for tacos, burritos, making taco
bowls, and also served with rice.
Yields: 8 to 10 servings
Prep time: 20 minbr>
Cook time: 20 min
onion, finely chopped
chile peppers, seeded and minced*
1 3/4 cups finely-chopped
Shredded meat from previously cooked
3/4 cup homemade
1/4 cup dried Mexican oregano (Mexican oregano is different than Turkish oregano.
2 tablespoon roughly-chopped fresh
cilantro (for garnish), optional
* You may substituted blackened
Hatch Chile Peppers (if you have them in your freezer or if fresh when in season, August to September)
** Measure from a 20-ounce can of whole plum tomatoes that have been drained and then measured. Save the remaining
tomatoes and juice for another use.
*** Check out Karen's recipe for easy-to-make homemade beef stock. If you don't have homemade beef
stock, you may substitute a good-quality store-bought broth.
Peppers: The serrano chili pepper is a smaller version
of the jalapeno, similar in color, but smaller, about 1 to 2 inches
long, 1/2 inch wide. They are commonly red, brown, orange, or yellow. Moderate to very hot with an
intense bite. Serrano chile peppers have thin walls, and they
don't need to be steamed or peeled before using, making it the easiest
chile pepper to use for salsas. The serrano is said to be about 5 times
hotter than the jalapeño.
In a large frying pan over
medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chopped onions and sauté until
translucent. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the tomatoes
and minced Serrano chile peppers; cook approximately 3 minutes.
Add the shredded beef, beef
stock, and oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking,
stirring every so often, until the mixture is almost dry. Add the
cilantro (if using).
This makes an excellent filling for tacos, burritos, and making taco
Yields 5 to 6 cups of beef mixture.