Saturday, August 26, 2017

Ellie's Kitchen: Martha Stewart's Ropa Vieja

I'm not a die-hard Martha Stewart fact I don't actually recall reading her magazine anywhere but at the dentist's office. So why did I feel the need to pick up the issue I saw at the grocery store? Absolutely for the promise of the ropa vieja recipe.

Who doesn't love the smell of  slow-cooked beef stew? Because this is a slow-cooker recipe, I'm able to toss everything together and left it quietly do it's thing, slowly filling the house with deliciousness while I scrub the bathroom (no fun but entirely necessary).

I am not ashamed to admit that most of Martha Stewart's recipes are over my head. I'm a home-cook, not  an uber-cook. (That title belongs to my sister who has a degree in culinary arts and has worked in amazing places like Wales and Cape Cod. For those of you home-cooks who can whip up a Martha recipe with one hand stirring and the other guiding you young reader across the page, I totally salute you. Please excuse me while I wallow in my inadequacy and let my slow cooker do all the work.


  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, cut into thick slices
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thick slices
  • 3 large cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
  • 1 jalapeno (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), cut into thin slices
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup small Spanish olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained, plus 1 tablespoon brine
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
  • Cooked white rice, for serving (I made  pot of coconut rice. So tastie)


  1. Preheat a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Season steak generously with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high. Add steak and cook until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, jalapeno, and cumin seeds; season with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Pour mixture over steak in slow cooker; cover and cook on high until very tender, 5 hours (or on low 10 hours).
  3. Transfer steak to a platter; cut in half crosswise. Using two forks, shred meat. Transfer sauce to skillet; cook over high heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in shredded meat, olives, and capers with brine; cook just until heated through, 2 minutes more. Top with cilantro and serve with rice.
  slow cooker root ropa vieja

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