Cuban Shredded beef or ropa vieja made in the slow cooker! We sear the meat and then braise it for hours with onions, garlic, and spices until the meat is just falling apart tender. Serve it up with black beans and rice!
Okay, that’s a little too much fun to say. And a lot fancier sounding than the amount of energy actually required to make this dish. Because let’s face it, we’re talking a quick sear on the meat and into the slow cooker it goes and out comes braised, cuban shredded beef that is falling apart tender and delicious with rice, on tacos, and even with eggs and black beans for breakfast. Or maybe mixed in with migas. Holy cow, the possibilities are endless.
That’s it. It’s seriously the easiest dinner ever and you can start it right before you go to work and have it ready and waiting for you when you get home. Perfect, tender, and a crowd pleaser. And seriously, the comfort factor — it’s to a whole new level. I serve it on a bed of simple white rice with a side of cuban-style black beans. And obvi, in the almost 3 years we’ve been together now, you know I need tons of chopped cilantro and lime wedges to serve on the side.
Tender Cuban-style shredded beef stewed in a pepper tomato sauce. With slow cooker and pressure cooker instructions, you can make this delicious recipe in either your crock pot or Instant Pot!
This crockpot braised cuban shredded beef is everything. Warm, cozy, comforting, meaty, and saucy. The tomato sauce seasoned with oregano, cumin, and garlic adds such a nice balanced warmth to the dish. Plus theres the whole thing about not having to turn on the oven and just a quick 10 minutes of stovetop time and still having comfort food that’s perfect for rainy Sundays and chilly autumn nights alike. Cuban shredded beef is my jam.
Cuban Shredded Beef
prep time:10 mins
cook time:8 Hours and 15 mins
total time:8 Hours and 25 mins
For Searing The Meat:
- 2-2 1/2 lbs. beef chuck roast or flank steak
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 6 whole cloves garlic
For The Ropa Vieja:
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons each dried oregano and salt
- 1 tablespoon each ground cumin and white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro + more for serving
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
- white rice and cuban-style black beans
- First, Searing The Meat: Take the beef chuck roast and using a small paring knife, make 3 small ‘x’ marks into the meat. Take 3 cloves of garlic and insert them into the 3 ‘x’ marks so that the clove is completely inserted into the thickness of roast. Season both sides of the meat with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the beef in one piece and fry on each side for 5 minutes, turning only when the exterior is browned. This will splatter a bit but don’t cover the pan as the meat will end up steaming rather than searing.
- Second, For The Ropa Vieja: Chop the remaining 3 cloves of garlic into thin slices and add to the slow cooker along with all the remaining ropa vieja ingredients. I used a 6-quart slow cooker but a 3-quart slow cooker will work too. Cover and let cook on the low setting for 7-8 hours. When the beef falls apart easily when pulled with two forks, it’s done. Shred the beef with the forks and give it a stir. Taste for seasonings, season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
- To Serve: Serve over a bed of rice with cuban-style black beans on the side topped with additional cilantro and a few lime wedges. You can also use the shredded beef for burritos, breakfast quesadillas, or tacos! The possibilities are endless!
- Leftover beef can be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
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