Instant Pot Ropa Vieja is the faster, easier take on the traditional Cuban dish. This tasty beef stew can be ready in about an hour.
Pressure cookers are such a great way to make long-cooking dishes faster without losing any flavor. This Instant Pot Ropa Vieja is just such a dish.
Instant Pot Ropa Vieja is the faster take on the traditional Cuban dish because this tasty beef stew can be ready in about an hour. And since it’s made in an electric pressure cooker, the meat is tender, and the meat is packed with flavor.
Why is it Called Ropa Vieja?
Ropa vieja means “old clothes”, and it describes the ragged look of the beef after it cooks.
One story says that the dish got its name because a poor man once shredded his clothes and cooked them to feed his family.
What Cut of Meat is Used for Ropa Vieja?
Ropa Vieja is traditionally made with flank steak. However, the extra fat in the chuck roast helps to keep the meat tender as it cooks in the Instant Pot.
How to Make Instant Pot Ropa Vieja
Sear the meat, and transfer to a plate. Cook the onion and bell peppers until soft.
Stir in the garlic and seasonings. Deglaze the pot with wine.
Add the tomatoes, beef, and bay leaf back to the pot. Cook and then quickly release the pressure.
Shred the meat and stir in the olives.
- Chuck Roast: Traditional Ropa Vieja is make with flank steak. If you want to use flank steak, you’ll need to add a little extra oil (1-2 tablespoons) to give the dish enough fat as it cooks. If you want to use a different cut of meat, you can also use brisket or boneless rump roast instead of the chuck roast.
- Oil: Oils like vegetable oil or sunflower oil work well. You can also use avocado oil in this recipe.
- Wine: If you don’t want to use white wine, substitute an equal amount of beef or chicken broth.
- Olives: Spanish olives are commonly sold as manzanilla olives. If you can’t find Spanish olives, another green olive like Castelvetrano Olives make a good substitute.
How to Serve
Since ropa vieja has a stew-like consistency, it’s usually served with with rice and beans.
More Instant Pot Recipes!
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Instant Pot Ropa Vieja
- Instant Pot/Electric Pressure Cooker
- 2 ½ pounds boneless chuck roast1
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil with a high smoke point2
- 1 ½ cups diced yellow or white onion
- 2 red bell peppers seeded and diced
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine3
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup Spanish olives halved
- Season roast with salt and pepper.
- Select SAUTE.
- When the Instant Pot reads HOT, add the oil.
- Add the roast, and brown roast on all sides.
- Transfer meat to a plate.
- Stir onion and bell pepper into the pot, and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Deglaze the pot with the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Press CANCEL.
- Add the tomatoes with their juice, browned beef, and bay leaf back to the inner pot.
- Close and lock the lid in place.
- Turn the pressure release valve to SEALING.
- Select MANUAL and adjust time to 45 minutes and pressure to HIGH.
- Once the cooking time finishes, carefully turn the pressure release valve to VENTING to release pressure.
- Remove the lid and discard the bay leaf.
- Shred the meat, and stir in the olives.
- Traditionally, flank steak is used in ropa vieja, but chuck roast or rump roast works better in the Instant Pot version. If you want to use flank steak, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the recipe.
- Oils like vegetable or sunflower work well.
- If you don't want to use white wine, beef or chicken broth makes a good substitute.
- Nutrition values are estimates.