Sunday and What There Was to Stew

Yes, I know today is normally fried chicken and chocolate cake day, but Pan knows, one can not live by cake and chicken alone.  Or ... I'm getting confused.  Of course you can live on that alone!

In any case, I just want you to know that despite what the pictures below suggest, this post is not sponsored by Goya (oh boya!) though several products from that brand makes this a particularly simple recipe to make at home.

Ropa Vieja is a long cooked dish of shredded beef in a savory sauce.  I know it to be a Cuban dish, but wikipedia tells me otherwise.  Apparently, it has its origins in 12th century Sephardic Jewish community in Spain.  Its name Ropa Vieja translates as old clothes, because the shreds of meet looks like old rags.
Regarding the beef, I see various recipes using flank steak and such, but I don't think it requires an expensive cut.  For what you see in this post, I'm using chuck (about 3 pounds).

While the oven is being pre-heated to 350 degrees (F), pound out the beef with a meat mallet until about an inch thick.  Sprinkle with salt, ground pepper and onion powder.  In a heavy bottomed wide pot (oven proof, please!), brown the beef pieces in olive oil.  Remove the beef and reserve.
Drain the pot of excess fat and add 1/2 cup of sofrito.  I make a giant batch at home and freeze portions, but you can also buy ready made sofrito.  Sofrito is an aromatic seasoning mixture of onions, peppers (I use cubanelle, and bell peppers), tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and culantro.  I can't ever find culantro in my market, so I use extra cilantro.  Recipe here.

In the pot, add the sofrito and add a 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.  Or more.  I like the taste of cumin.  Stir around in the pot and scrape up all the brown bits clinging on the bottom of your pot and mix into the sofrito and cumin.
Once that mixture is well incorporated, I add in 1/2 cup of pitted salad olives (green olives and pimentos).  2 8oz cans of tomato sauce and about 2 cups of water is added into the pot.  Toss in a few bay leaves and add in your reserved browned beef.
Once the pot comes back up to boil, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and put into the oven to slowly cook for about 2 to 2.5 hours until the beef is tender and falling apart.  Like so:
Remove the meat and shred the beef.  You can allow it to cool slightly enough to handle, or use forks to shred the meat up.
Add the shredded meat back into the sauce and add diced carrots (3-4 carrots) and celery (2-3 stalks).  Cook on the stove top until the vegetables are just tender.  Then add a cup or so of frozen peas.  It will cook through very quickly.
I serve it with yellow rice, with a little garnish of fresh cilantro.
Ropa Vieja freezes really well.  It also tastes even better when reheated and served the next day.  I am using a recipe from Daisy Cooks!, which is a really awesome cookbook.

Burp.  What are you cooking up this Sunday evening?

THREE Shimmering Glow Duo in 01

Trinket from Quotidienne