Ropa Vieja with Arepas

Ropa Vieja with Arepas

Ropa Vieja with Arepas

Ahhhhh finally a lovely day, which got even better when I got out of the office. 😀   It was sunny, beautiful and Hubby and I got to go on a motorcycle ride today.  Fun!

Last night I tried to translate my Tres Leche Cake into cupcakes and failed miserably, but this accomplished meal lifted my spirits.  I got this idea last night to make Ropa Vieja and serve it over Arepas.  Why I decided to channel Cuban and Venezuelan, when I am Puerto Rican I am not quite sure but I am glad I did because this was super delicious.

Ropa Vieja is a traditional Cuban dish, usually made with flank steak,  but I only had pot roast.  It is cooked until very tender and it shreds, which is why it is called Ropa Vieja.  Ropa Vieja translate to ragged clothes or old clothes.  It’s very yummy, can be served over rice or even used as a filling.

Arepas are traditionally from Venezuela or Columbia.  They are basically small corn cakes.  You will find about a million different recipes for arepas and just as many ways to eat them.  You can top them with cheese, meat or whatever, you can also slice them and stuff them if you like.   Most of the recipes I found just used the pre-cooked corn meal and water with a bit of salt, but I found this recipe from Bobby Flay and I thought I give it a go.  You do have to be sure to use pre-cooked cornmeal or “pre-cocinada”, not to be confused with masa harina.  You can find this at your local Spanish grocery.

These little cakes were delicious and complemented the meat just beautifully.  Hubby really liked it and went back for second.  He even suggested cooking them up for breakfast with some syrup drizzled over them……Mmmmmm.

This is a very easy meal to prepare.  You just toss the roast in the crock-pot and the arepas don’t take more then 15 minutes to make. 

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 recaito
1/4 cup sofrito
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


Drizzle pot roast with olive oil, season with adobo.

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

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

Set on LOW for 10 hours or HIGH for 6.

2 hours before it’s done toss in 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).

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet 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.



  1. says

    Hi! As you said in your post, most arepas are just the flour, water and salt. I’m from Venezuela and we don’t have any arepa with milk in it, at all, maybe in Colombia. The other ingredients you added are ok; I try to put a few things on my arepa too, like grated carrot or oatmeal.

    And, in Venezuela we have the same meat dish but with another name: carne mechada. It’s exactly the same, so, this could be a venezuelan dish if it wasn’t for the milk in the arepas.

  2. Giselle says

    Hello Meseidy!

    I think you and I have a lot in common- I’m Dominican, grew up in Florida, and now live in Tulsa. Oh and I’m an accountant! :)

    Anyway, this recipe looks delicious! What Spanish grocery store do you go to in Tulsa? Please email me!

  3. says

    I was looking for something to make for dinner tonight and looks great. I have a flank steak in the freezer, Could i use that without much change in the recipe?

    • Meseidy says

      YEAH! If you have any doubts just google “Ropa Vieja” and you will get all sorts of recipes. Although if you do follow mine and use a crockpot I may cut the broth in half, remeber my roast was about 3 lbs, you don’t want your steak to be swimming. 😀


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