Versatile and Tasty: Ropa Vieja (Instant Pot & Slow Cooker Versions)

Ropa Vieja is one of my favorite items on a local Mexican restaurant menu. I almost always have it in a salad in a tortilla bowl.  So of course I had to figure out how to replicate it at home.

I have tortilla bowl molds and make them for lunch salads all the time. Although you don’t need them, use this method here.

Now to up my game with some tasty ropa vieja.

Ropa Vieja

  • 3 lbs of Chuck, London Broil/Top Round, Brisket or Flank*
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 28 oz of diced tomatoes – I had freshly frozen. Canned is fine.
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar (or wine vinegar – white or red)
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne (depending on your desired heat)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (or to your desired heat)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of black pepper, so I’m hesitant to give my measurements, LOL)
  • green olives (so very optional! I HATE olives, so you will not find them in mine)

instant pot or slow cooker

Heat oil and brown meat on both sides, add onions, and saute until translucent. Then add peppers and garlic, stirring for a minute before adding remaining ingredients.

Instant pot:  Cook for 45 to 50 minutes on soup or meat setting (or pressure cooker high setting). Check meat after depressurizing. If it doesn’t shred easily, make sure there is enough sauce (add water if needed) and repressurize for an additional 10 minutes.

Slow-cooker: Cook on low for 8-10 hours, add water if the liquid gets too thick too soon.

Whichever method you use, you want the meat to shred easily when done.

When I depressurized mine, the sauce was thin, so I cooked it an additional 20 minutes on the slow-cooker setting until it had reduced to a thick sauce.

Serve with rice and black bean or in salad.

*this cooks until it’s shreddable, so cut doesn’t matter much. I used London Broil because it was at a super sale price. So I stocked up for several recipes that will simmer forever.