Easy Cuban Ropa Vieja

by Chef Zee

It’s no secret that I truly love food. I get excited over creating new flavors in the kitchen and mastering the dishes from my childhood. Almost every recipe that reminds me of my grandmother is one of my favorite recipes. However, Ropa Vieja is really in a league of its own. I have a serious love affair with this dish since it’s full of flavor and that sauce, which is slow simmered, is truly something special! It takes hours to make but the work is really worth it. 

However, ever since juggling a growing business and new health issues, I have started to recreate and reimagine some of my favorite recipes. Ropa Vieja was the first recipe to get a reboot. My original recipe, which is delicious and a fan favorite here on my blog and on my YouTube channel, no longer fits the way that I like to live my life. For starters, it takes a long time to cook, which I have no problems with. Nonetheless, there are days when I want Ropa Vieja right now… not hours from now or even tomorrow! My original recipe braises on the stove for at least 2 hours. My new  Easy Ropa Vieja recipe cuts that down in half by using a pressure cooker. 

Now there are pros and cons to using a pressure cooker. The trick is to know how to build back flavor. Pressure cooked meat can sometimes have the tendency to taste like boiled meat– yuck! However, this doesn’t mean that this method of cooking is not any good. It’s actually quite the opposite. Instead, you have to marry this cooking style with some stove top cooking to bring back texture and flavor! To start, after marinating the meat, I like to brown the meat evenly, thus locking in flavor. I then like to pan fry it again after it’s tender and shredded to bring back the yumminess of our citrus garlic seasoning. The end result is an Easy Cuban Ropa Vieja recipe that’s ready in no time. 

Another change that I made to my Classic Ropa Vieja Recipe, is that I’m now using cleaner and fewer ingredients. I still get amazing flavor, but I feel better knowing that I’m making better decisions as far as cooking  is concerned. I’ve done away with store bought and processed adobo. I use fresh ingredients and kosher salt instead, and I get food that still packs a punch. 


Now before we get started, I do want to talk about some key kitchen tools that helps me make the best Ropa Vieja ever! First things first, I’m using my Foodi Ninja Pressure Cooker and Airfryer. I personally like this device more than my Instapot because I find that the Ninja Foodi gets hotter. This allows me to get a beautiful sear on my brisket, which helps build better flavor. Secondly, I love the additional features of my device, and it has helped me retire my Instapot once and for all. Nonetheless, whatever pressure cooker that you have on hand will definitely work with this recipe. 

If you’d like to see a step-by-step video on How to Make an Easy Cuban Ropa Vieja, be sure to visit my YouTube Channel- Chef Zee Cooks! 

Let’s start cooking! 

*Note some of the links in this article are affiliate links for which I make a small commission. Thank you for supporting this blog!


Easy Cuban Ropa Vieja Recipe | Cuban Recipes | Chef Zee Cooks

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 2lbs Grass-fed Brisket
  • 6-8 Garlic Cloves Mashed
  • 6-8 Garlic Cloves Diced
  • 1 White Onion
  • ¼ Green & Red Bell Pepper
  • ½ cup Tomato Sauce
  • ¼ cup Tomato Paste
  • ¼ tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Dominican Orégano
  • 1 tbsp Spanish Olives
  • 1 tbsp Vino Seco
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro Chopped
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

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