Barbecued Ropa Vieja

  • 4 to 5 pounds chuck steak
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Spanish sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Place the steak on a work surface and season with salt and pepper on each side. Heat the oil in large, heavy saucepot or Dutch oven and sear steak on both sides over medium-high heat. Remove and set aside. Add the butter to the pan and, when it begins to foam, add the onions and garlic. Cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with water, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat down to very low and add the meat. Add the tomato sauce. Move the meat around and press down so the liquid and some of the onions cover the meat. Cover the pan and cook for 2 hours, turning steak after 1 hour.

Meanwhile, mix together the brown sugar, dry mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl to make barbecue sauce. When the meat has cooked for 2 hours, uncover the pan, skim off any excess fat, and add the barbecue sauce. Cover the pan and cook for 1 hour longer.

Remove the meat from the pan and allow to cool. Reduce the sauce over high heat for 10 to 20 minutes, until it thickens. Shred the meat and discard the fat and bones, if any. Reduce heat to low and add the meat to the reduced sauce in the pot. Add the pepper and cumin and cook 10 minutes longer.

I like to serve this over diced and roasted sweet potatoes and cooked sweet corn and with poached egg on top.

Serves 6

Norman Van Aken © Copyright, All Rights Reserved