Paleo Ropa Vieja Recipe

Ropa vieja is another one of those Cuban dishes that sounds deceptively unappetizing. It literally means “old clothes”. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste anything like it. This paleo ropa vieja recipe will make a stewy shredded meat that has a beautiful Latin American taste. The main Cuban flavors are the cilantro and cumin (comino) combined with the tomato sauce.

I don’t mean to come across arrogant, but I’ve actually grown to like my version of this recipe more than the real deal. Carolina, my Miami-bred wife, is coming around to it too.

Plus, this paleo rope vieja dish is prepared exclusively in a slow cooker. Super simple to make, and super simple to clean up!

Paleo Ropa Vieja Ingredients

  • 2 Lbs beef (flank steak or other roastable meat)
  • 1 White onion
  • 1 Green pepper
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • Handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1 Bouillon cube (or 2 cups chicken broth)
  • 16 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp cumin (comino)
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Preparing the Paleo Ropa Vieja

Get our your trusty slow cooker and make sure it’s clean. Add your olive oil to the bottom then drop your meat on top of that. I prefer using flank steak because it has less fat inside it. If you use other roast meat, you should remove as much fat as possible.

Chop your garlic. Then cut your onions and green pepper into slices like so:

Chopped Veggies for Paleo Ropa Vieja

Pour the vinegar, tomato sauce, and tomato paste into the crockpot. Then add the bouillon cube into the mix. I prefer bouillon cubes because the broth will make the ropa vieja soupier. Season it all with salt and cumin.

Add the veggies on top of that to the slow cooker. Then chop up some cilantro. A rough chop will do just fine since the ropa vieja is cooking in a slow cooker.

Roughly Chopped Cilantro — Paleo Ropa Vieja Recipe

Add the cilantro on top, then turn on your slow cooker to High (cook it for seven hours) or Low (cook it for ten hours). Cover it and go about your day.

30 minutes before you’re ready to serve the paleo ropa vieja, use a fork and shred the meat. Stir it into the sauce and let the flavors/juices combine for the remainder of the cook time.

The dish is usually served over rice, but it’s delicious on its own. Or serve it with some tiny chopped and roasted cauliflower. The sauce will mask any unappetizing cauliflower taste there might be.