Ropa Vieja | Shredded Beef Brisket

by Chef Zee

The King of Cuban dishes is here: Ropa Vieja! Ropa Vieja is a traditional Cuban dish and perhaps the main Cuban comfort food dish that many know. Many go crazy for this dish and you know it’s a good day when Ropa Vieja which is a Braised Shredded Beef Brisket is on the menu! There’s nothing more delighting than coming home and seeing that someone has whipped up Ropa Vieja, Cuban Black Beans, White Rice, and Maduros for dinner. It’s the sign of ultimate love and admiration. At least, that’s how I feel whenever I make this dish for friends and family. It’s a tedious and time consuming dish whose rewards are all worth it in the end.

Now there are three dishes that I am known for amongst my friends and family. They include my Pernil Dominicano, my Ultimate Baked Mac & Cheese, and my Ropa Vieja! Funny enough– many have proposed after having my version of Ropa Vieja!



Now with that being said, there are a ton of ways of making this dish and over the years, I’ve tweaked and remixed it and I’ve landed on a dish that’s to die for! To start, I used Brisket because it’s affordable, feeds many, and the beautiful marbling throughout the meat gives you a meat that’s unparalleled in flavor and texture! I truly believe that brisket is one of the best cuts of meat– period! You can transform that meat to practically anything and it holds flavor amazingly. You can season this meat liberally without fear and you will not mess up! I wouldn’t say that brisket is beginner friendly, but for novice cooks looking to dive head first into braised meats and stews– brisket will not disappoint!


Don’t miss my How to Make Cuban Ropa Vieja video on my YouTube Channel: Made to Order

Ropa Vieja | Shredded Beef Brisket | Made To Order | Chef Zee Cooks

Serves: 6-8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.3/5
( 8 voted )


  • Ingredients: Braise
  • Brisket
  • ½ tbs Lite sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tbs sazón
  • 1 tsp orégano
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ white onion minced
  • ½ cubanelle pepper minced
  • 5 garlic cloves mashed
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ tbs adobo
  • Olive Oil
  • Water
  • Ingredients: Sauce
  • 1 White Onion
  • ½ Green Pepper
  • ½ Red Pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp (Vino Seco) Dry White cooking wine
  • 1 ½ cups braising liquid
  • 2 -3 tbs tomato paste or ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Spanish Olives
  • 1 tbs Cilantro


  1. Dice onions, peppers, and garlic and set aside
  2. Slice white onions, green & red peppers for sauce -place into bowl. Set aside
  3. Cut brisket into medium-small pieces and place in mixing bowl
  4. Season beef with black pepper, cumin, ground orégano, sazón, adobo, salsa china (lite sodium soy sauce), minced onions and peppers, fresh lemon juice, mashed garlic, and olive oil
  5. Mix everything until the beef is well coated with seasonings. Marinate for at least an hour or overnight
  6. Warm oil in pot over medium flame
  7. Once oil is hot, add brisket
  8. Brown brisket on all sides for 5-10 minutes
  9. Add enough water to cover beef completely in the pot -- be sure to add water to mixing bowl first to capture all of the marinade and then add to braising beef
  10. Add bay leaf
  11. Braise beef for 2-3 hours until tender. Add water throughout if necessary
  12. Once tender, remove beef from braising liquid
  13. Shred beef using forks, tongs, or hands. Place shredded beef is a large bowl. Remove & discard all extra fat
  14. In a skillet, warm up oil over medium flame
  15. Add shredded beef and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir every so often. The beef will begin to crisp up
  16. Add braising liquid and simmer for 2 minutes
  17. Add tomato paste or tomato sauce. Stir until tomato paste is well combined
  18. Stew for 5 minutes
  19. Then add vino seco-- dry white cooking wine
  20. Stew for another 2 minutes
  21. Add minced garlic, onions, peppers, vinegar, recao, & olives. Mix until well combined
  22. Add red wine vinegar
  23. Stew for 2 minutes or until onions and peppers reach desired softness


Ropa Vieja tastes better the next day. You can stew the onions and peppers at the end for as long as you wish. I like to stew them just for a minute or so since I like my onions and peppers on the crunchy side.


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