Authentic Colombian Carne Desmechada o Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)

Carne Desmechada o Ropa Vieja
Carne Desmechada o Ropa Vieja
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Carne Desmechada o Ropa Vieja is a very popular Cuban, Colombian, and Latin American recipe. This classic beef dish is very easy and is great over rice, patacones, and arepas. It can also be used as a filling for tacos or empanadas.

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Carne Desmechada o Ropa Vieja

Carne Desmechada o Ropa Vieja

Recipe Author : Mike Gonzalez
Ropa vieja is one of the national dishes of Cuba, but is also popular in other areas of the region such as Puerto Rico and Panama, in Spain, and in the Philippines. It consists of shredded or pulled stewed beef with vegetables

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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Colombian, Latin American
Servings 4 People


Arepa con Carne Desmechada (Arepa with Shredded Meat)

  • 4 Arepas cooked, corn cakes
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 large Plantain ripe, peeled and diced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • Cilantro fresh for garnish

Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)

  • 2 pounds Flank Steak
  • 9 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Pepper
  • ½ cups Hogao
  • 1 teaspoon Tomato Paste


Carne Desmechada o Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)

  • In a pot, place the flank steak, water, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat is cooked.
  • Measure 1 cup of the liquid used to cook the meat. Set aside.
  • Remove the beef from the pot, let it cool and shred with a fork or your hands.
  • In a saucepan, place the shredded beef, hogao, tomato paste and 1 cup of beef liquid. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Arepa con Carne Desmechada (Arepa with Shredded Meat)

  • In a medium skillet, melt the butter and add the diced plantains. Brown the plantains for about 3 minutes and set aside.
  • Place an arepa on a serving plate, top with the carne desmechada and add avocado and plantain.
  • Sprinkle fresh cilantro and serve.


Keyword Beef
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The Canary Islands in Spain have a version of Carne Desmechada o Ropa Vieja with potato cooked in the pot with the beef and vegetables, not needing to be eaten with rice cooked separately. It is a very traditional dish for the islands that many restaurants offer on the menu. The most common preparation in mainland Spain involves shredding and frying the leftover meat from cocido with paprika and chickpeas.

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