Ropa vieja

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Cuban dish of ropa vieja (shredded flank steak in a tomato sauce base), black beans, yellow rice, plantains and fried yuca with beer.

Ropa vieja, Spanish for "old clothes," is a popular dish of Spain, Canary Islands, Cadiz, Greater Miami and the Caribbean, especially Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. The original recipe consist in a dish made with derivates of cocido. In the Americas it is a shredded flank, brisket or skirt steak in a tomato sauce base.


Ropa vieja has its origins in the Sephardi Jewish community of Spain in the 12th century.

Some versions in the Canary Islands contain beef, chicken or pork, or a combination of any of the three. The dish is a national feature of Cuba and does not have chickpeas or potatoes in Cuba; it is just the shredded meat in sauce. Various shredded-meat-in-sauce versions of the dish are prepared in Venezuela and are called carne mechada. This is a part of the Venezuelan national dish, pabellón criollo, which includes the carne mechada, caraotas negras (black beans), platano maduro frito (fried ripe (sweet) plantains), arroz blanco (white rice), and sometimes arepitas (small arepas).

In Veracruz, México, ropa vieja is made with shredded beef, mint, garlic, tomato and onions and cooked with eggs.

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