Ropa vieja, a Spanish phrase meaning “old clothes” is the name of a stewed pulled beef and vegetable stew. The term relates to the texture of the browned and simmered flank steak that goes into the recipe and is shredded and flavored with spices, onions, garlic and peppers. Although it is usually associated with Cuban cuisine, ropa vieja is also popular in other parts of the Caribbean as well as in the Philippines.
Traditionally, the dish is made by browning the steak over high heat and then simmering it in water, olive oil, salt and pepper. The cook prepares a sauce that usually contains garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes and spices and then adds the meat.
Not so long ago, it took hours to make this Cuban staple. However, thanks to modern technology, this delicious entrée can be made in a matter of minutes by even the most novice of cooks in today’s updated and ultra-safe pressure cookers. Unlike their predecessors that were prone to accidents and inspired fear in many an aspiring chef, the current models, many of which are electric, are equipped with locking mechanisms that prevent pressure from being released while the food is cooking. Because the magic is done quickly and with only as much water as is necessary, nutrients are not lost and the flavors remain bold and intact.
You can serve your pressure cooker ropa vieja on tortillas, with rice and beans or on its own. No matter how you present this delicious stew, it will invoke a feeling of sunny islands and warm hospitality that your family is sure to love