Smoker Ropa Vieja

I love foods from other cultures. They bring different flavour profiles and shake up my meals. Ropa Vieja is a perfect example. It means Old Clothes in Spanish. It is called that because it is made of shredded beef in a rich sauce that looks like old rags.

It is normally made from flank steak that is braised with peppers. I love that version but wondered how it would taste with some deep smoke flavours. I modified the recipe to make in my Traeger Timberline smoker.

The first change I made was to use a cross rib roast which is a part of a beef chuck. I would like to tell you that I used it because it works better in a smoker or it has a better texture but my main reason was it is a lot cheaper than a flank steak.

The second change was I did a low and slow smoke to shred the beef instead of a braise.

Here is what I did and how it turned out.

I started with a 1 kg (2 pound) boneless chuck roast. I sprinkled it with 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) each of salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

I cut one each red pepper, green pepper, and yellow pepper in half an removed the membranes and seeds. I cut a medium onion in half.

I put the roast in my Traeger Timberline heated to 225 F (107 C) on Supersmoke. I put the peppers and onion on the rack next to it.

I smoked for one to two hours, until the peppers and onions get some smoke colour. I removed the peppers and onions.

I cut the onions and peppers into strips.

When the beef had smoked three to four hours and got some good colour. I put the beef in a roasting pan with a stalk of celery and a large carrot cut into chunks. I covered it with foil and put it back in the smoker, increasing the temperature to 250 F (121 C).

I cooked until the internal temperature was 203 F (95 C) and then tested with a probe by pushing it in. The probe should go in very easily. If it does not, continue smoking, testing every 20 minutes, until very tender.

Pour the liquid off the meat and put the liquid in the fridge. Wrap the beef in the foil for 2 hours to the next day. If resting for over 2 hours, put the beef in the fridge.

Shred the beef with your fingers, removing any large pieces of fat. Lift the fat layer off the liquid.

Put the following in a large pot:

  • the shredded beef
  • the peppers and onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) allspice
  • 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) cloves
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) dried oregano
  • 3 ml (1/2 tsp) ground pepper
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 250 ml (1 cup) beef broth
  • 473 ml (16 oz) canned diced tomatoes
  • 165 ml (5.6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves

Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Add 250 ml (1 cup) of pickled onions. Simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove bay leaves. Serve.

This dish is traditionally served with rice or beans but I have had a bumper crop of potatoes, so I served it with a potato side.

The Verdict

This was delicious! Deep flavours from the peppers, onions, and sauce with the great taste of smoked beef. It was well worth the work.

The Old Fat Guy

Smoker Ropa Vieja

Smoker Ropa Vieja

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 pound) boneless beef chuck roast
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) pepper
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) onion powder
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) garlic powder
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) allspice
  • 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) cloves
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) dried oregano
  • 3 ml (1/2 tsp) ground pepper
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 250 ml (1 cup) beef broth
  • 473 ml (16 oz) canned diced tomatoes
  • 165 ml (5.6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 25o ml (1 cup) pickled onions

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle roast with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Cut the peppers and onion in half lengthwise.
  3. Put the roast in a 225 F (107 C) smoker. Put the peppers and onion in the smoker, cut side down.
  4. Smoke for one to two hours, until the peppers and onions get some smoke colour. Remove the peppers and onions.
  5. I cut the onions and peppers into strips.
  6. When the beef had smoked three to four hours and got some good colour. put the beef in a roasting pan with a stalk of celery and a large carrot cut into chunks. Cover it with foil and put it back in the smoker, increasing the temperature to 250 F (121 C).
  7. Cook until the internal temperature was 203 F (95 C) and then test with a probe by pushing it in. The probe should go in very easily. If it does not, continue smoking, testing every 20 minutes, until very tender.
  8. Pour the liquid off the meat and put the liquid in the fridge. Wrap the beef in the foil for 2 hours to the next day. If resting for over 2 hours, put the beef in the fridge.
  9. Shred the beef with your fingers, removing any large pieces of fat. Lift the fat layer off the liquid.
  10. Put the shredded beef, the liquid, the peppers, and the onions in a large pot. Add the garlic, allspice, cloves, oregano, ground pepper, white wine, beef broth, diced tomatoes, and bay leaves.
  11. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  12. Add pickled onions. Simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove bay leaves. Serve.
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