Zoila’s Ropa Vieja

Zoila’s Ropa Vieja

Serves 6

Ingredients 

  •  
  • 2 lbs flank steak, cut across the grain to make 3 inch strips (can substitute brisket)
  • ½ lb pork shoulder, cut into 1/2 inch chunks 
  • 4 tbsp pure olive oil
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeds and stem removed and sliced 1/2 inch thick on the long axis 
  • 2 large green bell peppers, seeds and stem removed and sliced 1/2 inch thick on the long axis 
  • 1 large onion, halved then thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped (can substitute one 15 -ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes)
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon 
  • 1 tbsp Dominican oregano (Dominican oregano is best but can substitute Mexican oregano)
  • 1 large green jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (with seeds) 
  • 2 cups rich beef stock 
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper    
  • 3.5 ounces pitted alcaparrado (manzanilla olives, pimentos and capers), rough chopped
  • 1 tbsp brine from alcaparrado jar
  • Cooked white rice and black beans, for serving
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving

Method 

  1. Brown the flank steak and pork shoulder in a Dutch oven over high heat in 2 tblsp olive oil, then set aside.  
  2. Add remainder of oil to the pot and sauté peppers, onion and garlic until soft.   Stir in tomatoes, ketchup, cider vinegar, cumin, cardamom, oregano and sliced jalapeno. Cook to incorporate flavors. 
  3. Return browned beef and pork to the pot; add beef stock and 1 tblsp kosher salt.   Cover and simmer on low heat for about 3 hours to ensure that beef is very tender. 
  4. Coarsely shred the meat – pulling apart with 2 forks, then stir in the alcaparrado and brine. Add salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  5. To serve, sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro over the ropa vieja and serve with white rice and black beans.

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