I am on crutches from recent ACL surgery. Cooking has been more of a challenge these days, and I have been using my crock pot regularly. I have a gem of a crock pot as well; a small version of a traditional one, which lets met prepare smaller meals for two or three.
With my husband traveling for work and just dinner to prepare for three, my mini crock pot is a saving grace. Tonight, I made a delicious version of Ropa Vieja, a hearty Cuban meat dish, which I took the liberty to make my own Mediterranean-inspired way, keeping it as simple as possible. Ropa vieja, literally means “old clothes” and the long cooking process breaks down meat to its tender fibers, full of flavor with the resulting product resembling a tattered cloth or rag which is unraveling. The crock pot uses time to rather than tedious cooking techniques to take advantage of flavors which become complex and delicious. I hope you can try this wonderful meal, simple enough to make while you are on crutches.
|Ropa Vieja: Easy Crock Pot Recipe|| |
- 1 pound flank steak
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup of tomato puree or chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup beef, chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 small onion, sliced thinly
- 1 small red, green or yellow pepper sliced into thin strips
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- several turns of fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- tortilla, chopped avocado and sour cream to top
- Brown flank steak for 5 minutes on each side with olive oil in small frying pan.
- Place into crock pot on high.
- Pour tomato puree, vinegar, broth, garlic, onion, pepper over flank steak.
- Add cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper and stir.
- Let cook for 4-6 hours on high.
- With two forks, shred meat into its fibers until it resembles fibers or "strings."
- Place back in crock pot and let cook for 30 minutes more without top. Stir well.
- Serve on tortillas and top with avocado and sour cream. Traditionally, it is served over white rice with black beans, but you can serve as you prefer.