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Ropa Vieja Cubana / Cuban Flank Steak


  • 3 lbs of flank steak
  • 8 cloves of garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Serrano Chiles – roasted and peeled
  • 1 large onion – cut into half ringed sliced
  • 8 Poblano – roasted, peeled, and seeded
  • Water
  • Maggi seasoning
  • 3 tsp. Cumin seed – roasted lightly and ground


In a large saucepan, put the flank steak, 6 of the garlic cloves (peeled but not chopped), salt and pepper. Bring to a very light simmer and simmer until meat is tender – around 1 1/2 hours. Leave the meat in its broth to cool until you can handle it.

While cooling the meat, slice the onion and cut the Pablanos into strips 1/4 inch wide. Heat 1/4 C. vegetable oil or lard (lard is better) until shimmering, add the remaining two garlic cloves (peeled and chopped), saute until fragrant (1 minute) add the onions and the poblano strips. Saute until the onions are translucent.

When cool, pull the meat into long very fine shreds. Strain the broth. you want enough broth to barely cover the shredded meat so estimate this and reduce the broth a bit if you need to (I needed to). Toss the meat and the onion-chile mixture in the broth, add Maggi seasoning and cumin and bring to a boil.

Simmer for a few minutes and then let set for half an hour to meld the flavors. I liked it better slightly above room temp. But if you want it hot, heat it up before serving with tortillas and beans and whatever fresh salsa you may want.

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