Cuban-style shredded beef and rice

Total Time
1 hr 23 min
8 min
1 hr 15 min
This dish is based on the Cuban classic ropa vieja (ROH-pah vee-EH-ha), which means “old clothes” in Spanish and refers to the ragged appearance of this delicious shredded beef. Cooking the beef low and slow on the stovetop creates a meltingly tender texture that’s totally worth the longer cook time. It’s typically served over rice, but you could transform it into veggie-inspired variation and serve it over riced cauliflower or spiralized zucchini noodles. You can also the beef as a super-flavorful filling for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. Here, we’ve stirred cilantro into the finished dish but you can use chopped fresh parsley or green onions instead.


Uncooked lean flank steak

1 pound(s), trimmed

Fat free beef broth

14½ fl oz


3 clove(s), peeled


2 clove(s), minced

Olive oil

1 tsp


1 medium, chopped

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz

Green hot chili peppers

½ oz, 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

Dried oregano

1 tsp

Ground cumin

1 tsp

Table salt

½ tsp


¼ cup(s), fresh, chopped

Cooked long grain brown rice

4 cup(s)


½ medium, cut into wedges


  1. Combine the steak, broth, and peeled garlic in a medium nonstick skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the steak is very tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Remove the skillet from the heat and let stand 15 minutes. Reserve 1⁄2 cup of the broth; save the remaining broth for another use. Discard the garlic. Transfer the steak to a cutting board; with 2 forks, shred the beef.
  3. Wipe out the skillet. Add the oil and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and minced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, jalapeño pepper, oregano, cumin, and salt; cook, stirring, 5 minutes longer. Stir in the shredded beef and the reserved 1⁄2 cup broth. Continue to cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve with the rice and lime wedges. Yields 3⁄4 cup beef mixture and 1 cup rice per serving.