I am an enormous fan of Cuban food so I'd been dying to make the Ropa Vieja from Sara Moulton's new book, which I am loving. Ropa Vieja, or "old clothes", is basically a stew with flank steak that's been cooked until it's so tender it's falling apart. I served it with Mark Bittman's Black Beans & Rice from How to Cook Everything, a recipe that couldn't be any easier.
Here are the recipes:
- 2.5 lbs skirt or flank steak, cut into six pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, minced (about 4 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 cups canned or homemade chicken broth/stock
- 1 Turkish bay leaf
- 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with their liquid
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives, drained
- 1/4 cup liquid from olive jar
- 3 tablespoons drained, bottled capers
1) Season meat with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until hot. Reduce heat to medium high. Add half the meat, and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining meat.
2) Reduce heat to medium, add onions to the meat drippings in the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute. Add the wine and cook until it has been reduced by half. Add the broth, the meat along with any drippings on the plate, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the meat is fork tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
3). Transfer the mixture to a colander over a bowl; return the liquid to the Dutch oven and boil over high heat until it has reduced to 1 cup. When the beef is cool enough to handle, shred it, discarding the bay leaf.
4) Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high; add the red and green peppers, cumin and oregano and saute for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the reserved meat cooking liquid, the tomato paste, olives, olive liquid and capers and stir for 2 minutes until thickened slightly. Stir in the meat and onion mixture; taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. Cook, stirring, just until hot.
1) I used a smaller flank steak, about a pound and a quarter and we're still going to get six meals out of it. I used the given quantities for everything else.
2) I just used my regular Whole Foods bay leaves. I am not sure if they are Turkish, but I suspect not.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, peeled if desired, and chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 cups drained or canned black beans
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine), optional
- 1 cup bean cooking liquid, or chicken, beef or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1) Pace oil in a large deep skillet and turn heat to medium. A minute later, add the onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring until the pepper is soft, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, beans, tomatoes and liquid
2) Turn heat to medium-high and cook, stirring until the beans are hot and most of the liquid is evaporated, 10-20 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
1) I didn't add the tomatoes, since my main dish was already tomato-ey
2) Parsley is the one inhabitant of our herb garden that is not flourishing. I think I have already managed to kill it. So I left this out.