Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja - Cuban Shredded Beef

If you’re not familiar with Ropa Vieja, it’s a Cuban dish (actually the national dish of Cuba!) and it literally means “old clothes”. I’m guessing it’s called that because the meat is so tender and falls apart so easily! It’s made with a large cut of beef that’s slow cooked in a tomato based sauce and by the end of the cooking time, the meat is so flavorful and tender and shreds so easily. It’s traditionally served with white rice so you can soak up all that extra sauce!

This is one of the things that I definitely order if I see it on a menu. It’s not a fancy dish but it’s one that is so hearty and flavorful! And by the way, if you drain some of the liquid off, ropa vieja is amazing in tacos!!


  • 2-3 pound flank steak (you could also use chuck)
  • 1 tbsp adobo seasoning (if you don't have adobo, use 1.5 teaspoons of salt and 1.5 teaspoons of garlic powder)
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
  • 1 large yellow onion sliced into strips
  • 6 large garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup green spanish olives (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1 cup white cooking wine
  • 28 ounce can of tomato puree
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp each: ground cumin, dried oregano, white sugar, salt


  1. Take your flank steak and rub each side down with the adobo seasoning then add it to the slow cooker.
  2. Slice your peppers, onion, and garlic and add those to the slow cooker along with the olives.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together your white wine, tomato puree, tomato paste, and seasonings and then add that in the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. After the 8 hours, remove just the meat and shred with 2 forks. Ropa vieja is traditionally served shredded very finely so I don't leave any large chunks. Add the meat back in the slow cooker and cook for 20 more minutes.
  6. During that 20 minutes is when I make my rice using my rice cooker.
  7. I serve my ropa vieja over the white rice with a big extra scoop of the sauce on top!