Photo of Instant Pot Ropa Vieja by WW

Instant Pot Ropa Vieja

Total Time
1 hr 40 min
20 min
1 hr 10 min
The classic Cuban dish of tender shredded beef in a saucy mix of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and olives comes to the table much quicker when made in a pressure cooker. We start the recipe by browning the flank steak for richer flavor, but we do so on just one side—enough for beefy browned bits to form while being less time consuming than searing both sides. Traditionally, ropa vieja is served with rice, but it also makes a fantastic taco filling.


Olive oil

1 Tbsp

Uncooked lean and trimmed beef flank steak

2 pound(s), cut in half crosswise

Kosher salt

1 tsp, divided

Black pepper

½ tsp


6 large clove(s), chopped

Sweet red pepper(s)

2 medium, sliced

Uncooked onion(s)

1 large, sliced

Unsalted beef stock

¾ cup(s)

Ground cumin

1 tsp

Dried oregano

1 tsp

Bay leaf

2 leaf/leaves

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz, fire-roasted

Pimiento stuffed olives

16 olive(s), sliced


¼ cup(s), chopped


  1. Press Sauté on a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot. When Hot is displayed, add the oil, swirling to coat the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle the steak with ½ tsp salt and black pepper. Add 1 steak piece to the pot; cook until browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the steak from the pot. Repeat the process with the other steak piece; remove from the pot.
  2. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and onion to the pot; sauté until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the beef stock, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and tomatoes. Return the steak to the pot.
  3. Turn the pot off. Lock the lid, making sure the vent is closed. Press Pressure Cook or Manual and select High Pressure; set the cook time for 40 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  4. Remove the lid and remove the steak from the pot. Stir the olives into the cooking liquid. Using 2 forks, shred the steak into strands; stir the shredded steak into the cooking liquid. Transfer the steak mixture to a serving bowl; garnish with the cilantro.
  5. Serving size: about 1 cup beef mixture