"Ropa vieja" means "old clothes," for the consistency of
the shredded beef.
1 (2 1/2 pound) flank steak
1 celery stalk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chiles (at your preferred heat level), seeded and chopped
4 chopped, seeded tomatoes or 2 cups canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Put the flank steak, carrot, onion and celery stalk in a heavy pot and cover
with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours
or so. Remove from the heat and let cool. Shred meat using your hands or two forks.
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and sauté onion, garlic and green pepper
until the onion is translucent.
Add green chiles, tomatoes and tomato paste. Add
a cup or two of the stock in which you cooked the steak, and add the beef. The consistency
should be thicker than soup. Add a dash of cayenne pepper if you like. Let it simmer
for five minutes.
Serve over rice garnished with baby peas, sliced stuffed green olives and/or chopped pimientos.