Being a fan can be the kind of hard work that builds an appetite. That’s why Buffalo Rumblings brings you a recipe every week to pair with the Buffalo Bills’ upcoming opponent, featuring a custom wing sauce to make it more “Buffalo.” Our opponent this week: the Miami Dolphins.
This week’s recipe was a suggestion from Rumblings member bataviabill, who came through with a recipe idea for this division rival. Let’s face it, when someone brings out an idea with a food item as tasty sounding as “old clothes” you just gotta give it a try. Ropa vieja as it’s actually known, is a slow-cooked Cuban dish that gets the absolute best out of tougher cuts of beef.
Slow-Cooked Buffalo-Style Cuban Ropa Vieja
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 6-10 hours
- 2-3 lbs beef*
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup white wine
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 can (28 oz) diced and peeled tomatoes
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, sliced thin
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1⁄2 cup green olives (with pimiento), halved
- 1⁄2 cup hot sauce
- 1⁄3 cup ginger ale
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Prepare ropa vieja: Generously coat beef with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in skillet on MED/HIGH, brown all sides of beef, aiming for a quick sear.
- Place beef in slow cooker on LOW. Add remainder of ingredients for ropa vieja to the cooker**.
- Cook 6-8 hours. The beef should easily pull apart using two forks***.
- Prepare the wing sauce: Add hot sauce, ginger ale and bay leaves to medium saucepan on MED/LOW. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, carefully remove bay leaves. Add butter and stir until combined.
- Prepare dish: Ropa Vieja is delicious all on its own, but can be served over rice, inside empanadas, or about a thousand other ways. For this exercise, I went with rice, added the ropa vieja then drizzled the hot sauce over the entire affair.
Wingin’ It Tips
*Flank steak is traditional and creates the long strands of meat that resemble “old clothes” serving as the inspiration for the name. I used a chuck roast, and other roasts will work too.
**It probably won’t look like there’s enough liquid in the cooker at first. If you’re worried about the herbs and spices mixing in sooner, you can add them to the liquid on the side of the beef.
***With most recipes such as this there’s a wide range of “done.” Depending on what you serve this with you may want a thinner end result (like for rice). For other recipes, you may want to remove the lid toward the end of the cooking time to steam out and result in a more gravy-like consistency (like for empanadas).