We’re changing it up a bit this week and bringing you the warming and herbaceous flavors of the Caribbean. Ropa Vieja is a delicious dish made from shredded or pulled beef that’s been stewed with vegetables in a richly spiced tomato base. The result is a hearty and satisfying stew that packs a fantastic protein punch. And though it is enjoyed across the surrounding regions, Ropa Vieja is actually one of the national dishes of Cuba! Who knew it was so easy to bring the Caribbean to your slow cooker meal prep?
We love slow cooking because it perfectly aligns with our values at MPOF. We believe that cooking shouldn’t detract from enjoying the rest of your life, but that we should never have to compromise flavor or variety for the sake of a convenient meal. This Ropa Vieja slow cooker meal prep is the best of both worlds: super simple and easy to throw together (hello, 15 minutes of prep), and absolutely delicious when it’s ready. Plus your home will smell amazing while the flavors mature throughout the day.
Despite the variations in Ropa Vieja recipes, tomatoes and bell peppers can always be expected in the base. Did you know that bell peppers actually have more vitamin C per serving than oranges? Yup! Eating one whole red bell pepper can provide over 160% of our daily need of the crucial immune-supporting vitamin. Acidic additions such as capers, pimientos, and olives are also to be expected in this Cuban classic, and we decided to feature olives in ours. Olives are high in naturally occurring antioxidants, making them wonderful allies in the support of our cardiovascular system and protecting against cellular damage due to free radicals.
This delicious Ropa Vieja slow cooker meal prep can be frozen to be used later and savored all year round. Enjoy by itself or serve the traditional way alongside black beans, rice, or plantains (or atop cauliflower rice to keep the whole shebang Whole30 compliant).
Crockpot Ropa Vieja Meal Prep Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds flank steak
2 teaspoons sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, sliced in long strips
2 bell peppers, sliced in long strips
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
¾ cup pitted green olives, sliced
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs flank steak
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
- black pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium onions sliced into long strips
- 2 medium bell peppers sliced into long strips
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 30 ounces diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup pitted green olives sliced
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- In a large skillet, bring to high heat and add olive oil and flank steak.
- Season the steak with sea salt and pepper, and sear until browned on all sides
- Add the flank steak whole into the crockpot.
- In the same skillet, add the onions, garlic and peppers, and saute until softened. Add to the crockpot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot as well, and slow cook on low for 5-6 hours, or on high for at least 3 hours.
- To speed up cooking time, boil the broth and diced tomatoes prior to adding them to the crockpot.
- Serve as a stew, or on top of a bed of cauliflower rice.