Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja by Jenny (@lunchboxmafia)

Ropa Vieja is a Latin slow cooked beef with tomato sauce and sofrito base. (Sofrito: aromatic veggies and herbs that are sautéed as the start of many Latin/Caribbean dishes like beans and stews.) “Ropa Vieja” properly translates to “old clothes” because this dish was created using leftovers. Just like the iconic Cuban sandwich, it’s a classic!

MY SHORTCUT VERSION: Instead of slow cooking a flank steak on a weekday, I made this in one pan using shaved beef from Aldi.

Shortcut recipe ingredients:

  • 14 oz. Aldi beef shaved steak (instead of slow cooked flank steak)
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • Sazón Completa seasoning
  • 1/4 cup sofrito
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro
  • 2 bay leafs
  • S+P to taste


  1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a deep pan.
  2. Cook onions and peppers until soft.
  3. Add garlic and move veggies to outside of pan.
  4. Add 2 more tbsp of olive oil to the center pan.
  5. Add shaved steak, vinegar and season generously with Sazón Completa. Gently break up the steak with 2 forks and move it around so that it cooks evenly. When steak is no longer red, add sofrito and tomato sauce, stir to combine with onions and peppers.
  6. Add 2 bay leafs, cilantro and cover. Simmer on low while you cook your white rice. Buen provecho!!😋

In this lunch: White rice, Ropa Vieja and tostones (plantain). Snacks: mandarins and nuts + superseed granola.