Sofrito and Beef—Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes)

  • Yield 8 servings

This authentic Cuban dish gets it's name from the Spanish phrase for "old clothes," but don't let the name throw you off. Savory slow-cooked peppers and shredded brisket star in this dish everyone can enjoy.

The leftovers freeze well, so cook up an entire batch and freeze for easy meals on a busy night.


1 large onion, diced
2 medium green bell peppers, diced
5 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds flat cut beef brisket, quartered
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup white (or red) wine
2 large bay leaves
2 teaspoons sazon completa (or 1 tablespoon paprika, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon salt)
8 cups cooked brown rice


  1. Saute onions, bell peppers and garlic in oil in heavy 6-quart (or larger) stock/sauce pot until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes over medium low heat.
  2. Add meat, increase heat to medium high; brown each side about 4 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat. Add tomato sauce, wine, bay leaves and spices. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. Remove from heat.
  4. Shred beef with two forks. Return meat to sauce. Simmer uncovered 20 to 30 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Serve over rice.

Recipe by Barbara J. Alvarez, MPH, RD, LDN, New Mexico. Reprinted with permission from the American Dietetic Association’s Cooking Healthy Across America (Wiley, 2004).



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