A traditional Cuban Pork Recipe, nicknamed “Ropa Vieja,” which means “old clothes, because the shreds of pork and vegetables resemble shredded cloth. This dish is often made with beef, but lots of pork and chicken versions are made as well!
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Can You Make Ropa Vieja with Pork?
Ropa Vieja is a Cuban shredded beef dish. The beef is slow roasted in the oven with a stew of tomatoes, peppers, and onions, and then shredded. The dish often has olives and a bright splash of vinegar, and is served with rice, beans and cilantro.
Like any traditional dish, variations are made! The flavors of this dish work perfectly with a pork roast.
Choose the type of pork you prefer. Keep it extra lean with a pork tenderloin, or use a pork shoulder like I did. The fattier cut of meat adds great flavor to this Cuban stew.
If you have a pork tenderloin, you’ll want to hop on over to this recipe for the juciest baked pork tenderloin.
How to Make Cuban Pork Ropa Vieja
In addition to the pork roast, Ropa Vieja has:
- Onions & garlic
- Bell peppers
- Canned whole tomatoes
- Spices, like cumin, oregano, and bay leaves
The pork roast is browned in a pan, and then placed in a casserole dish.
Using the same pan, onions, garlic and bell peppers are softened, and then canned whole tomatoes are added. Some recipes use tomato paste, but I find slow cooking the tomatoes along with the roast condenses them enough to create a rich and delicious tomato sauce.
Spices are added, and the sautéed vegetables are added to the baking dish along with the pork roast. This Cuban pork recipe is baked slowly for 2 1/2 hours in the oven, until the pork is falling apart and easily shreds.
The last steps for making Ropa Vieja are to remove the roast from the pan and shred the meat, and then mix them back into the tomato stew, along with vinegar and olives.
How to Serve Cuban Pork Ropa Vieja
Traditionally, Ropa Vieja is served with rice, beans, and fried plantains, called maduros.
These flavors work well and make a great family dinner.
If you’re looking to make this a lighter meal, try:
Whole30 or Paleo Ropa Vieja: This recipe is already Whole30. Simply serve the Cuban Pork stew with cauliflower rice or as a stew garnished with avocado.
Cuban Pork Ropa Vieja
- 2 pounds pork shoulder roast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 2 bell peppers thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 28 ounces whole tomatoes canned
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 cup green olives with pimento, halved
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- cilantro chopped, to serve
- Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Add pork roast, and brown on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side.
- Transfer the roast to a baking dish.
- In the same skillet, add onions, peppers, and garlic. Saute until softened, and then add salt and spices.
- Continue to saute, and add broth and canned tomatoes. Use a spatula to begin breaking up tomatoes, and allow to simmer about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato stew into the baking dish around the pork roast.
- Bake on 250º F for 1 hour 45 minutes in the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven.
- If baking in a traditional oven, cover the baking dish with foil or a lid, and bake on 250º F for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, until the pork shreds very easily.
- Remove baking dish from oven, and stir in vinegar and chopped olives. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Other Baked Pork Recipes:
- Caprese Stuffed Baked Pork Chops, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Oven Baked Bone-In Pork Chops Recipe, by Cooking LSL
- Primavera Pork Tenderloin, by The Endless Meal
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