Tender Cuban Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)

Tender Cuban Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)

Ropa Vieja, meaning "old clothes," is a beloved Cuban dish featuring melt-in-your-mouth shredded beef simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce. This recipe uses a Chuck Roast. slow-cooked with smoky paprika, roasted red peppers, and a blend of spices for an authentic and deeply satisfying experience.

For a better fit in the Instant Pot, you can substitute Beef Shank (Soup Bones) 


  • 3 lbs chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine (optional)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium bell peppers or roasted red peppers (cored seeded & sliced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup green olives with pimentos
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (optional)



  1. (Optional) Season the chuck roast with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in a large skillet over medium heat (or on saute in the Instant Pot)
  2. Combine the beef broth, wine (if using), salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic, olives and crushed tomatoes in the slow cooker. Stir.
  3. Add the chuck roast and any browned bits from the skillet. Nestle the red pepper, onion, and bay leaves on top. Cover and cook on low in the slow cooker for 8-10 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling apart. (50-60 minutes on high pressure in the Instant Pot).
  4. Discard the bay leaves. Shred the meat with two forks. 
  5. Stir in the cilantro (if using), and adjust seasonings to taste.


Serve hot with your favorite sides, such as Spanish rice, black beans, mashed potatoes, fried plantains, or crusty bread.


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