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Ropa Vieja - Cuban Braised Shredded Beef


One of my favorite Cuban dishes....Braised Shredded Beef....serve over Rice or your choice

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  • 2 lb. beef brisket with a fat cap of no more than 1/4 inch
  • 5 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided 4Tbsp and 1Tbsp
  • 1 white onion, sliced along the grain (top to bottom of onion)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced same size as onion slices
  • 2 anchovies, rinsed dried and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup green olives, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp white vinegar



Step 1

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.

1. Prepare the meat. You want a fat cap of 1/4 inch. If the fat cap is wider than 1/4 inch, you want to cut the cap to a 1/4 inch. Take the brisket and slice it in half, across the grain, into 2 inch strips. If the length of the brisket slices is over 5 inches, slice them in half. Season the briskets with salt and fresh ground pepper.
2. In a large Dutch Oven Pot, place the 4 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pieces of brisket, fat cap side down. Brown each piece on all sides, about 7-10 minutes.
3. While the meat is browning, prepare the onion and bell pepper for a soffrito. Cut the onion, pole to pole, into thin slices. Cut the red bell pepper into slices that are the same size as the onion slices.
4. Once the meat is browned on all sides, take it out of the pot, and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to the pot and heat on medium. Add the anchovies, garlic, cumin and oregano. Cook until aromatic.
5. Add the 1/2 cup white wine and cook until all evaporated, 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, bay leaves and stir well. Return the meat to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 2-1 1/4 hours. Flip the meat half-way through.
6. After two hours, check the meat to see if it is shreddable. Cook for another 15 minutes until desired consistency. When cooked, remove the meat and let rest and cool before shredding.
7. Take the onions and peppers and place them back into the pot, with the sauce. Add 3/4 cup chopped green olives. Turn the heat on low and reduce down to 4 cups, around 5-7 minutes.
8. Shred the meat. Hold with tongs and use a scraper, pulling down on the meat to shred. After the sauce has reduced, add the beef back to the pot. The beef will suck up the sauce.
9. Finish with 3/4 tsp white vinegar. Don't let the sauce reduce much more. Take out the bay leaves and taste before final seasoning. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, as needed. Serve immediately.


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