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Ropa Vieja: Cuban Shredded Beef and Peppers

  • Author: Jaime Hartman
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x


Literally translated as “old clothes,” ropa vieja is shredded beef with peppers and this version is gluten free and paleo-friendly.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 2-3 pound bone-in chuck or arm roast
  • 2 medium onions, one roughly chopped and the other sliced thinly
  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 quart jar whole or diced peeled tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 garlic cloves, 1 peeled and crushed and the other two diced
  • 12 cups beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dired oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Liberally season beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the roast on all sides, then remove to a plate, leaving any rendered fat and coconut oil behind. If pan is dry, add additional coconut oil.
  3. Sautee the chopped onion, carrot, and celery stock until slightly soft. Add the juice from the tomatoes, the bay leaf, and the one peeled garlic clove to the pot and stir to combine.
  4. Nestle the roast in the dutch oven and add as much broth as is necessary so the roast is about half submerged.
  5. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meat sheds easily with a fork (about 4 hours). Check occasionally and add additional broth if the pan begins to get dry.
  6. Use tongs to remove the meat and set aside to cool. Strain the liquid and discard the cooked vegetables and bay leaf, setting the liquid aside to add back later.
  7. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the now empty pot and add the sliced onion, cooking until it is soft. Add the cumin, cayenne, garlic, and pepper and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender.
  8. Add the reserved tomatoes and reserved cooking liquid to the pot along with oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, allowing the tomatoes to break down and the flavors to combine.
  9. Meanwhile, shred the beef, discarding the bone and any cartilage.
  10. Stir in the meet and reheat for about 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 30 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Cuban