Ropa Vieja with Twice Fried Tostones

by Girl Gone Domestic

My friend Maria and I love good food (I mean, who doesn’t?).  We often plan where we are going to eat long before one of our afternoons together.  And we have this thing that we do…we eat, we enjoy and we scheme about how to make the same good food that we eat in restaurants at home.  And it was no different when we ate “Ropa Vieja” at La Isla in Ballard…we ate, we enjoyed, and we moaned about making the same tender stewed meat at home.  So yesterday when I decided to thaw that grass-fed beef chuck roast that had been in my freezer, that tender stewed meat that we had eaten was in the front of my mind.  Once again google was my number one kitchen tool, its like a giant cookbook.  A quick search of “Ropa Vieja using chuck roast” brought up a bunch of recipes to wade through, and I had to take a bit of that recipe, and a bit of this recipe to come up with what I was craving.  I think I hit the mark and my craving was definitely satisfied.

Ropa Vieja (literally translated means “old clothes”)

adapted from a recipe found on Cook, Eat, Share

4 lb. beef chuck roast

Salt & pepper to taste

1/3 c. Extra virgin olive oil or ghee

1 c. beef stock

1 small onion peeled & sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed

1 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped

1 16 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used Muir Glen’s fire roasted)

1 tsp salt

4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 c. chopped spanish style pimento stuffed green olives

Rub salt & pepper into the meat. Heat a large dutch oven, add in a bit of the oil & brown the meat well on both sides. Add the beef broth. Cover & simmer 2 1/2 hours (or until very tender)  Allow the meat to cool, covered, in the pan juices.

Remove the meat from pan and shred. Pour pan juices into a large bowl and set aside.

Reheat the pan & add in remaining oil. Saute the onion and bell pepper until tender.

Add in the remaining ingredients, along with the shredded meats & juices. Cover & simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 min more.

Twice Fried Tostones

adapted from a recipe from The Dish on Food

3-4 greenish-yellow plantains

coconut oil



Cut off the ends and cut a few slits down the length of the plantains, from end to end. Peel the plantain. I found that it kind of chunks off and I have very sore thumbs from peeling it off.  Next, slice the plantain into 1″ thick chunks. Soak the pieces in salt water for about ten minutes.

Drain the chunks and pat dry. Cook the pieces in preheated coconut oil (about 350°) for 3-5 minutes, or until golden in color and then set aside to drain. Next use the bottom of a glass to flatten the plantains. They should be about 1/4″ thick. Fry again at the same temperature until they just begin to brown. Remove from the oil to drain and salt.

At La Isla they serve Ropa Vieja with rice and black beans, sweet potato mash or salad with mango chunks.  I served mine with rice that had been cooked in beef broth with a generous dose of ground cumin, black beans, baked sweet potatoes, and of course, the tostones.  Garnish with some chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.