This Ropa Vieja Recipe is extremely juicy, tender, bursting with rich, complex flavors and so easy made in the slow cooker! It’s made with tender, juicy beef, bell peppers, onions and Spanish olives slow cooked in aromatic crushed tomatoes and seasonings for mouthwatering flavor fireworks. This intensely juicy, perfectly seasoned beef can be served with rice and beans to soak up the sensational sauce or I’ve included TONS of unconventional serving ideas. This Cuban Ropa Vieja makes the easiest dinner, holiday or party food/Game Day food, and also is make ahead and freezer friendly. You don’t want to miss this Ropa Vieja recipe!
Cuban Ropa Vieja is traditionally made with flank steak which dates back hundreds of years because it was the most economical cut of beef. Flank steak, however, is tough, low in fat and less flavorful with long, shreddy fibers so it is not best for slow cooking. In this modern era, I recommend chuck roast for its superior tenderness and richness. Of course, you can still use flank steak for truly authentic Ropa Vieja but it will not be as tender or flavorful. If you use flank steak, you will still want to sear it before adding to the slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja freezes well aside from the bell peppers. The bell peppers will turn a little mushy but I don’t think they’re too noticeable when combined with the beef. If you’re worried about the texture, however, you can pick them out before freezing.