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Smoker Ropa Vieja

disco

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I love foods from other cultures. They bring different flavour profiles and shake up my meals. Ropa Vieja is a perfect example. It means Old Clothes in Spanish. It is called that because it is made of shredded beef in a rich sauce that looks like old rags.

It is normally made from flank steak that is braised with peppers. I love that version but wondered how it would taste with some deep smoke flavours. I modified the recipe to make in my Traeger Timberline smoker.

The first change I made was to use a cross rib roast which is a part of a beef chuck. I would like to tell you that I used it because it works better in a smoker or it has a better texture but my main reason was it is a lot cheaper than a flank steak.

The second change was I did a low and slow smoke to shred the beef instead of a braise.

Here is what I did and how it turned out.

I started with a 1 kg (2 pound) boneless chuck roast. I sprinkled it with 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) each of salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

I cut one each red pepper, green pepper, and yellow pepper in half an removed the membranes and seeds. I cut a medium onion in half.

I put the roast in my Traeger Timberline heated to 225 F (107 C) on Supersmoke. I put the peppers and onion on the rack next to it.

I smoked for one to two hours, until the peppers and onions get some smoke colour. I removed the peppers and onions.

Smoker Ropa Vieja 01.jpg


I cut the onions and peppers into strips.

Smoker Ropa Vieja 02.jpg


When the beef had smoked three to four hours and got some good colour. I put the beef in a roasting pan with a stalk of celery and a large carrot cut into chunks. I covered it with foil and put it back in the smoker, increasing the temperature to 250 F (121 C).

Smoker Ropa Vieja 03.jpg


I cooked until the internal temperature was 203 F (95 C) and then tested with a probe by pushing it in. The probe should go in very easily. If it does not, continue smoking, testing every 20 minutes, until very tender.

Pour the liquid off the meat and put the liquid in the fridge. Wrap the beef in the foil for 2 hours to the next day. If resting for over 2 hours, put the beef in the fridge.

Shred the beef with your fingers, removing any large pieces of fat. Lift the fat layer off the liquid.

Smoker Ropa Vieja 04.jpg


Put the following in a large pot:

  • the shredded beef
  • the peppers and onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) allspice
  • 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) cloves
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) dried oregano
  • 3 ml (1/2 tsp) ground pepper
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 250 ml (1 cup) beef broth
  • 473 ml (16 oz) canned diced tomatoes
  • 165 ml (5.6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Smoker Ropa Vieja 05.jpg


Add 250 ml (1 cup) of pickled onions. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve.

Smoker Ropa Vieja 06.jpg


Smoker Ropa Vieja 08.jpg


This dish is traditionally served with rice or beans, but I have had a bumper crop of potatoes, so I served it with a potato side.

The Verdict

This was delicious! Deep flavours from the peppers, onions, and sauce with the great taste of smoked beef. It was well worth the work.

The Old Fat Guy
 

jcam222

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Great post! It looks and sounds fantastic. I know I’d love those flavors.
 

ab canuck

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Looks great Disco! copied that to give it a try. :emoji_thumbsup:
 

Brokenhandle

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That looks and sounds amazing! I bet it tasted even better than that! Be great to eat on a cool fall night.

Ryan
 

GaryHibbert

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Now that's a meal I could really enjoy--I know I like that combination of spices. Pickled onion?? Interesting. But I do think that would be a very tasty addition.
I'd say that's a real winner Disco, and I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for the idea and the recipe.
Gary
 

kunseimania

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Looks fantastic, and that was a really excellent, clear description of the whole process:emoji_thumbsup:
 

HalfSmoked

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Great looking dish and a great write up and post.

Warren
 

agaffer

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Thank you, thank you, thank you. One of my favorite Mexican meals. Never thought of trying to make it myself now, I can't wait to try my hand at it after seeing the pictures!!
I was in Durango Mexico for about 6 months a while back, actually a long while back. Outside of town there was an alambre style restaurant that had this incredible Carne Secca that I wish I had the recipe for. You ever tried to make that? If so, can you tell us how to do it?
 

Bearcarver

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Wow!!!
Boy does that ever look Mighty Tasty!!
Proud of You, Disco!!
Shame you're so far away!!
Like.

Bear
 

SmokinAl

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WOW! Disco!
That looks fantastic!
Al
 

disco

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disco

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Now that's a meal I could really enjoy--I know I like that combination of spices. Pickled onion?? Interesting. But I do think that would be a very tasty addition.
I'd say that's a real winner Disco, and I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for the idea and the recipe.
Gary
Thanks, Gary! The pickled onion is not authentic but I think it adds a sharpness.

Looks fantastic, and that was a really excellent, clear description of the whole process:emoji_thumbsup:
Thanks for the kind words!
 

disco

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Thank you, thank you, thank you. One of my favorite Mexican meals. Never thought of trying to make it myself now, I can't wait to try my hand at it after seeing the pictures!!
I was in Durango Mexico for about 6 months a while back, actually a long while back. Outside of town there was an alambre style restaurant that had this incredible Carne Secca that I wish I had the recipe for. You ever tried to make that? If so, can you tell us how to do it?
This is based on a Cuban recipe I like but I'm not surprised the Mexicans do something similar. I love the latin flavours. I've never heard of Carne Secca but I will be looking it up now!
 

pushok2018

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Dang! That dish looks absolutely delicious!Just bookmarked this recipe and on my list for next weekend! Thank you for sharing, disco!
 

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