Pressure cooker ropa vieja is a time-saving version of the traditional Cuban beef dish, and is naturally gluten and dairy free. There’s also a slow cooker version! This post is sponsored by Pomí in partnership with Honest Cooking.
Have you tried ropa vieja? Don’t worry about the fact that the name is Spanish for “old clothes”–this is supremely delicious comfort food, with nothing old or ragged about it. To make this pressure cooker ropa vieja, beef is quickly seared, then cooked until tender in an addictive sauce made with Pomí tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, garlic, smoked paprika, and other spices. Next, capers, raisins, and pimiento peppers are added for pops of color, sweetness, and tart, briny flavor. The result is a dish so soothing and satisfying that Ben and I aren’t even close to being tired of it, despite having eaten three giant batches over the past two weeks.
No pressure cooker? Don’t fret. This ropa vieja is just as delicious made in a slow cooker. I was surprised to find the two versions indistinguishable in taste and texture, so it’s really just a question of how much time you have and which appliance you want to use.
I used Pomí Organic Strained Tomatoes for this recipe. They’re similar to crushed tomatoes and provide all the great umami-packed flavor of fresh tomatoes grown in the Italian sunshine. (By the way, I also tested this recipe with Pomí’s chopped tomatoes and they worked great, too!) I love that they’re organic and non-GMO certified. If you’re interested in more recipes using Pomí tomatoes, you can download their free e-cookbook right here.
This pressure cooker ropa vieja is a satisfying meal on its own or atop a bed of rice (white, yellow, or cauliflower!), but it’s even more exciting with a few extra trimmings. Here I served it with tostones (fried green plantains) and guacamole. Last week I made maduros (fried sweet plantains) to go with the previous batch of ropa vieja, but this week I could only find green plantains at the market so I had to go with tostones. I couldn’t even pick a favorite plantain side because I love both of them so much.
I hope you give this pressure cooker ropa vieja (or the slow cooker version) a try! If you’re looking for more delicious Cuban food, check out my recipes for picadillo with plantains and slow-cooker Cuban short ribs. And don’t forget you can get a free e-book of healthy tomato recipes from Pomí by clicking the banner below!
- ¼ cup avocado oil or ghee
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds sirloin tip roast, cut into 6 large chunks
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 red, orange, and/or yellow bell peppers, stemmed, deseeded, and sliced into thin strips
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1½ teaspoons bittersweet smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ cup dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
- 1 (26.46-ounce) box Pomí Organic Strained Tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup capers, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup chopped jarred pimiento peppers, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Put the avocado oil in the Instant Pot and push “Sauté”, then push “Adjust” to increase the heat to “More”. When the ghee is hot, add the beef and brown for ten minutes, turning the pieces over halfway through. Use tongs to transfer the beef to a plate.
- Add the onion and peppers to the pot and sauté, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until softened somewhat and reduced in volume. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and spices and cook for about a minute. Pour in the wine and let it bubble away for 2-3 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone.
- Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and press “Keep Warm/Cancel”. Return the beef to the pot along with any juices on the plate, and stir to combine. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the valve is turned to “Sealing”. Push “Manual” and use the plus button to increase the time to 40 minutes. Cooking will begin automatically.
- When the time is up, push “Keep Warm/Cancel” and let the pressure release naturally (this takes 15-20 minutes; a manual pressure release can negatively impact the texture of the meat).
- Carefully remove the lid, transfer the meat to a plate, and shred it with two forks. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Return the meat to the pot along with the capers, pimientos, raisins, and sherry vinegar, and stir. Push “Sauté” and cook for about 10 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve hot alongside white or yellow rice, guacamole, and tostones* or fried sweet plantains.
*There's an easy recipe for tostones on page 52 of Paleo Planet.
This post is sponsored by Pomí in partnership with Honest Cooking. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that keep A Calculated Whisk up and running!