Remix: Ropa Vieja with Corn Cakes

A long time ago on a blog, far, far, away….

It was a dark time for the the dinner table.

No one knew the Dry Pot Roast had been destroyed,

“Cool People” had driven all pot roasts from their kitchens deeming them to only be fit for their mothers’ slow-cooker.

Determined to usher in a new era for the pot roast a small blog known at The Noshery had established a new secret, entrusted to her long forgotten slow-cooker.

The evil Dry Pot Roast was no more and no longer banished to only be fit for Mothers’ slow-cookers.

The Noshery dispatched this across the internet and saved the dinner table for all!

ropa-vieja-n-arepas

Ok, so maybe that was a little much. I originally did this post back in April, 2009, but I didn’t do the step-by-step photos.  I recently made this again for some friends that we had over for dinner and decided to take advantage and update the post.

For those you who are convinced that a slow-cooker is just a glorified pot-roast cooker, that only your mother should be making pot roast or has a slow-cooker collecting dust in the deep dark corners of your kitchen cabinets, this post is for you.

This dish is traditionally made with flank steak or sirloin, but a pot roast will work just as well.  In Cuba this is called Ropa Vieja meaning ragged clothes.  The meat is cooked until very tender and easily shreds, which is why it is called Ropa Vieja

I like to serve this over arepas or rice. Arepas are small corn cakes that are traditionally from Venezuela or Columbia.  You will find many different recipes for arepas and just as many ways to eat them.  You can top them with cheese, meat or whatever, you can even slice them and stuff them if you like.   Most of the recipes you will find use pre-cooked corn meal and water with a bit of salt, but I adapted this recipe from Bobby Flay because the honey gives the corn cakes just a touch of sweetness, which is great with the savory meat.    Be sure to use pre-cooked cornmeal or “pre-cocinada”, not to be confused with masa harina.  You can find this at your local Latin grocery.

Drizzle olive oil over pot roast, season your post roast with adobo seasoning and rub it in evenly all over.

Ropa Vieja

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Brown the pot roast for about 5 minutes on each side or until evenly browned.

Ropa Vieja

Pour beef both into slow cooker with, softito, tomato paste & sazon.  Place pot roast in slow cooker, add onions, garlic and olives over pot roast.

Set on LOW for 10 hours or HIGH for 6.  2 hours before it’s done add carrots and can of tomatoes.

Ropa Vieja

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and stir in butter.

Ropa Vieja

Combine arepa flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Ropa Vieja

Add the hot milk and honey and stir until combined. Let mixture stand until milk is absorbed enough for a soft dough to form, 1 to 2 minutes (dough will continue to stiffen).

Ropa Vieja

It should look something like this.

Ropa Vieja

Form the dough into 12 balls (about 2 inches in diameter) and flatten between palms into 3 1/2 to 4-inch patties (about 1/3-inch thick), if the dough is too sticky add more arepa flour.

Ropa Vieja

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer, fry arepas, until lightly golden brown on both sides and just cooked through about 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels until ready to serve.

Ropa Vieja

Plate arepas and top with meat, serve with a side of white rice if you like.

ropa-vieja-n-arepas

My guest were very happy with their food and the corn cakes were a hit.   It’s actually an easy dish to prepare for company.  You just drop the pot roast in the slow-cooker and you can even make the corn cakes 1 -2 hours ahead of time and just warm them up in the oven before serving.

Obed even enjoys these corn cakes as a breakfast option drizzled with syrup and if you have any leftover meat, which will probably not be the case, it makes a killer sandwich.

So do you think pot roast is still only for your mother’s slow-cooker?

Print Recipe

Ropa Vieja with Arepas

Ropa Vieja

  • 1 pot roast, chuck or round, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup sofrito (4 -5 cubes)
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 10 pimento stuffed olives
  • 1 envelope of sazon, sin achiote
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • adobo, to season
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 carrots peeled & sliced

Heat large pan over medium-high heat, drizzle pot roast with olive oil, season with adobo. Brown roast for about 5 minutes on each side, or until evenly browned.

Pour beef both into slow cooker with, softito, tomato paste & sazon.

Place pot roast in slow cooker, add onions, garlic and olives over pot roast.

Set on LOW for 10 hours or HIGH for 6.

2 hours before it’s done add carrots and can of tomatoes.

Arepas (adapted from Bobby Flay)

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups white arepa flour (precooked cornmeal)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for cooking

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and stir in butter.

Combine arepa flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the hot milk and honey and stir until combined. Let mixture stand until milk is absorbed enough for a soft dough to form, 1 to 2 minutes (dough will continue to stiffen).

Form the dough into 12 balls (about 2 inches in diameter) and flatten between palms into 3 1/2 to 4-inch patties (about 1/3-inch thick), if the dough is too sticky add more arepa flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer, fry 4 arepas at a time, until lightly golden brown on both sides and just cooked through about 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels until ready to serve.

Comments

  1. Analuisa says

    I am so HAPPY that I’ve found your blog. I try cooking for my little family but something is always missing with the flavor. Recently I have used some of your recipes like this one and the kiddos have had seconds. Perfect timing I was beginning to hate cooking. ( I even have my sofrito in the freezer and shared some with my neighbors) Thanks.

  2. jerseygirl says

    I loved this dish!! I made the arepas but they came out bad. i only had cornmeal and the dough never stiffin so I had to add flour but I think I did it wrong.

  3. Mary Ann says

    I made this yesterday – a cool, cloudy Sunday in LA…it was FANTASTIC!!! We put it over rice…too lazy for the corn cakes.

    Thanks for another great recipe!

    XXOO
    Mary Ann

  4. says

    Hi Meseidy, your ropa vieja with arepas look great. I have three recipes for ropa vieja and they all call for bell peppers. Did you leave them out because perhaps you don’t like them? I use my pressure cooker for quicker results.

    Regards

  5. says

    Are you kidding me? I have a chuck roast thawed for tomorrow night and Alexis has been loving her stand mixer that we finally got this weekend. I see this recipe being made here in our immediate future!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>