Half of the reason I make this dish is because I like to say it. Give it a try.
The other half is that it is one of the ultimate great comfort foods of the world. Roughly translated it means “old clothes,” reason being that when it is done, the shredded beef looks like a pile of old clothes. Theoretically. I think it looks like a pile of mouthwatering shredded beef that has been slow cooked in tomato and onion until your entire kitchen smells like heaven and you want to toss your hat in the air and shout “RRRRROPA VEE-AY-HA!!”
Or maybe not. It’s pretty fabulous, though. As the tag says, it is a Slow Sunday Supper, because the beef needs to simmer slowly and happily until it is easy to shred with a couple of forks, or even your fingers if you are a fancy cook like me. There are a million different variations on this dish, and mine has been refined over the years to be a nice redheaded Irish Catholic girl’s version of this Cuban dish. So proceed at your own risk, all you purists out there. I serve it on a bed of rice, but I have heard tell that it is great with fried bananas on the side, and I would bet that any leftovers would be wonderful reheated and eaten out of corn tortillas.
That’s all I have to say about this one, except for…Rrrrrropa Vee-ay-ha!!!!!!
I’ll stop now.
ROPA VIEJA, adapted from COLD WEATHER COOKING by Sarah Leah Chase