Ropa Vieja: The Classic Shredded Beef Dish from Latin America

Ropa Vieja is a classic dish from Latin America that translates to “old clothes” in Spanish. Despite its name, this dish is far from old or outdated. In fact, it’s a timeless recipe that’s been enjoyed for generations and is still popular today. Ropa Vieja is a hearty and comforting meal that features shredded beef cooked in tomato sauce and spices. In this blog, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about Ropa Vieja and how to make it at home.

The History of Ropa Vieja

The origins of Ropa Vieja are not entirely clear, but the dish is believed to have originated in Spain and then made its way to Latin America through colonization. It’s a dish that’s popular in many Latin American countries, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Over time, different regions have added their own unique twist to the dish, but the basic recipe remains the same.

Making Ropa Vieja at Home

To make Ropa Vieja at home, you’ll need a few key ingredients. The most important ingredient is beef, which is typically flank steak or skirt steak. You’ll also need onions, peppers, garlic, tomato sauce, cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. The beef is cooked low and slow until it’s tender enough to be shredded with a fork. The shredded beef is then cooked in a tomato-based sauce with the spices and vegetables until everything is well combined and flavorful.

To serve Ropa Vieja, it’s typically paired with rice and beans, or you can serve it with potatoes or plantains. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime to add a bright and citrusy note to the dish.

Benefits of Eating Ropa Vieja

Besides being delicious, Ropa Vieja is also a nutritious meal. Beef is an excellent source of protein and other essential nutrients like iron and vitamin B12. The addition of vegetables like onions and peppers provides even more vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium. Ropa Vieja is a filling and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any time of day.


In summary, Ropa Vieja is a classic dish from Latin America that’s packed with bold and vibrant flavors. It’s a comforting and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion. Try our recipe today and experience the taste of Latin America in your own kitchen.

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