Ropa Vieja
This rich, flavorful recipe is worth every minute of the low and slow cooking.
  • 2 pounds grape tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
  • 2½ to 3 pounds chuck roast, trimmed
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 15 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1½ tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chopped pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoon olive juice
  • Hot cooked rice and fried sweet plantains, to serve
  • Garnish: halved green olives, fresh cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On prepared pan, toss together tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper until coated.
  2. Bake until tomatoes begin to char, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely. Reduce oven to 250°.
  3. Meanwhile, pat roast dry with paper towels; sprinkle roast all over with remaining 2 teaspoons salt and remaining 2 teaspoons black pepper.
  4. In a large enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven, heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add roast; cook until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Remove roast from pot.
  5. Add onion and bell pepper to pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
  6. Stir in paprika, oregano, cumin, red pepper, and bay leaves; cook for 1 minute. Stir in wine, cooked tomatoes, and olives; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Return roast to pot, and cover.
  7. Bake until meat is falling apart, 3½ to 4½ hours. Remove from oven, and let stand for 20 minutes.
  8. Discard bay leaves. Shred meat in pot using 2 forks or kitchen tongs. Stir in olive juice. Serve with rice and plantains. Garnish with green olives and cilantro, if desired.
Recipe by Southern Cast Iron at