Sunday, September 22, 2013

Slow Cooked Ropa Vieja

I'm not comfortable with the idea of leaving my crockpot on for over 10 hours so I push recipes like this off for the weekend but then I never actually get around to it. Well, today I finally got off my lazy butt and made something with my crockpot. Delicious juicy beef that falls off the bone and shreds with just a touch.

Slow Cooked Ropa Vieja

There are a lot of vegetables in the slow cooker with the meat so you can eat it as is with a side of black beans and rice or a salad. You can also do what I did - tacos! When it comes to tacos, I'm all about trying to make it as neat as possible. Sometimes I just prefer burritos because at least the bottom part of the burrito will stop anything from flowing out of the tortilla and onto my hands then down my arm. It's a mess! But thanks to shredded meat, tonight's tacos were not messy at all. The chunks of meat stayed in the tacos better than any ground meat ever will. I also spread the sour cream on the tortilla instead of top of everything to keep that from spilling out too.

Slow Cooked Ropa Vieja

These tacos reminded me of short rib tacos that I tried at a restaurant in San Francisco. It brought back great memories of that trip so this certainly was a great dinner. The one thing you might think is strange about the recipe is the addition of apples but definitely don't skip it - it does make a difference in the taste! It even smelled better while cooking. This recipe makes a lot so it'll be great for a dinner party and guests can have fun dressing up their tacos as they wish! Freeze the leftovers for yourself and have tacos whenever you feel like it! That's my plan!

Slow Cooked Ropa Vieja
From Crockpot 365

3 lb meat (get what's on sale. Stew meat, chuck roast, steaks, whatever.)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (could use white)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 large red onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 med yellow apples, grated
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Combine all the dry spices in a bowl. Rub the spices all over the meat you are using. Put the meat into your crockpot (you'll need at least a 5 quart). Dump any extra spice on top.

Coarsely chop the vegetables and add to the pot. Smash the garlic, take the leaves off the cilantro stems, and add. Peel the apples and grate them into the pot with a cheese grater. Add the chicken broth and vinegar.

Cover and cook on low for at least 10 hours and on high for at least 7 hours. Check about 2 hours before serving to see if you can shred the meat with forks. If you can't shred the meat, cook for longer or remove the meat and cut in long slices, then return to the pot.

Serve over brown or white rice, with a ladle full of broth.

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