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Natalie Morales' Slow-Cooker Ropa Vieja

Slow-Cooker Ropa Vieja
HJO / At Home with Natalie: Simple Recipes for Healthy Living from My Family’s Kitchen to Yours
Cook Time:
8 hrs
Prep Time:
20 mins

Chef notes

This recipe uses one of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment: The slow cooker. It is very hands off; you just throw everything in and let it cook. The best part is the leftovers are great. I like to use them to make beef tacos, burritos and sandwiches.

Technique tip: If you can't cook overnight, cover and cook on high for 4 hours. If you want crispier beef you can also sear the meat in a pan with olive oil before adding to the slow cooker.

Swap option: If you don't eat red meat, substitute with 2 pounds of chicken and shred the prepared chicken with forks. 


  • pounds flank steak
  • Sazón seasoning, such as Goya Sazón
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 bottle beer, such as a pale ale
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup halved pimiento-stuffed Manzanilla olives (optional)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish



Season the flank steak with Sazón, then put the meat into a slow cooker. Layer the onion and bell peppers on top. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and cumin, stirring to combine.


Pour in the beer and a splash of Tabasco, if desired. Spoon and stir the seasoned liquids over the beef and vegetables. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours. Toward the last hour, add the olives (if using).


When done, shred the beef using two forks. Top with cilantro and serve.

Excerpted from At Home with Natalie: Simple Recipes for Healthy Living from My Family's Kitchen to Yours © 2018 by Natalie Morales. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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