Okay, once again, my apologies to anyone of Cuban ancestry. My wife has been traveling on business quite often and one of the locations she goes to has a Cuban restaurant that serves Ropa Vieja. She raves about it and kept asking me to try it on the smoker. I finally researched several recipes, combined what I liked, adapted it to the smoker, and here it is. Man oh man is this fantastic. My wife called it a Cuban Sloppy Joe. If you like Porter Stout Beef you have to give this a try.
Cuban Ropa Vieja
3 lbs chuck roast
Kosher Salt and cracked pepper
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 green or yellow bell pepper seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper seeded and sliced
6 Garlic Cloves (Crushed) or heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
1 15-oz can roasted tomatoes, diced
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 small jar pimentos
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs oregano
1 tbs thyme
1 cup beef stock
1 cup red wine
1. Fire up the smoker to a medium level smoke 250°F. This is a dry smoke so no water in the water pan.
2. Cover the chuck roast lightly with olive oil then coat with salt and cracked pepper.
3. Dry smoke the roast about 3-4 hours with wood of choice or until the internal temp hits 165°F or the first long stall.
4. When the roast is nearing the first target temperature cut up the peppers, onions, and garlic. Spray an aluminum roasting pan with olive oil then add the onions and peppers.
5. In a separate bowl mix the tomatoes, tomato paste, pimentos, seasonings, garlic, beef stock, and red wine. Mix well until the tomato paste is dissolved.
6. At 165 degrees or the first stall, add the meat to the aluminum roaster, then pour the tomato mixture over the roast. Seal tightly with a double layer of HD aluminum foil.
7. Crank up the smoker/grill or oven to 325°F and cook for about 3 hours. This will make the meat super tender and keep the juices in.
8. After about 3 hours the meat should be fork tender and the veggies will be soft and juicy. Go ahead and shred the beef into the veggies and mix it up.
9. Once the meat and veggies are all mixed up, either put it back uncovered on the smoker at 325F, or in the oven at 325F, or the simplest way is dump it in a Dutch Oven and simmer on the stove top until the juices reduce by half.
10. Serve on a ciabatta, tortilla, french roll or over rice.
The pic below is of the leftovers. I just didn't get pics like I wanted while smoking or simmering because the chuck roast I used turned out to be a challenge. It was one tough cut of meat that still wasn't ready after 4.25 hrs on the smoker and 4.25 hours wrapped and an IT of 207F. I adapted though and my wife has been raving about this the last two nights. We have one more night of leftovers.