In my never ending search for quick and healthy dinner ideas I stumbled over this Cuban-style beef dish, also known as ropa vieja. This spectacular dish consists of shredded beef, peppers, and onions that have been braised in a deeply flavorful tomato sauce with olives, garlic, cumin, and oregano. No worries, this Cuban-stye beef stew won’t take all day, since it is prepared in a pressure cooker. I love my electric Cuisinart pressure cooker, especially on hectic school nights, when time is short on hand. If you would prefer using a slow cooker or a dutch oven make sure to add some extra cooking liquid (beef broth) to accommodate for the additional simmering time.
I just placed this year’s beef order with my local rancher. It will be 1/4 of an animal, grass fed, free range, and cut to my order. This is fantastic beef and we are very lucky to be able to purchase it locally. In the meantime we are still enjoying cuts from the previous order. For this Cuban-style beef dish I used two pounds of fajita meat. This is usually an option my cut sheet from the locker provides. If you can’t find any, please feel free to substitute it with flank steak.
|Cuban-Style Beef|| |
- 2 pounds (900 g) fajita meat, sliced (or flank steak, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 big onion, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup good green olives, halved and pitted
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into ¼-inch wide strips
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
- Season your dry beef with pepper and salt.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your pressure cooker on medium-high heat and brown only ½ the beef slices. Set aside in a bowl.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add garlic, oregano, cumin, and pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Loosen all browned bits stuck with a wooden spoon of the bottom of your pressure cooker.
- Stir in tomatoes, olives, browned beef (with juices), and still raw beef.
- Cook on High Pressure for 25 minutes over medium-high heat, adjusting to medium-low heat when high pressure is reached. Adjust heat as needed.
- Allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes and quick release any remaining pressure.
- Before serving transfer the beef to a cutting board and shred it into bite-size pieces.
- Meanwhile, bring the remaining sauce to a simmer, stir in the bell peppers. Cook until tender.
- Add back the beef, and also stir in parsley, vinegar, and sugar.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, extra vinegar, and sugar.
Slightly adapted from my copy of the book Pressure Cooker Perfection.