Ropa Vieja – Cuban Shredded meat

Ropa Vieja in all its glory

Ropa Vieja in all its glory

Ropa Vieja – Shredded pork. Serves 4


What you need for this dish

What you need for this dish

  • 1.500kg pork knuckle from Tuckers’ the butchers (£2.50)
  • 100g red onion
  • 3 medium sweet peppers (20p)
  • 2 x 400g peeled tomato tins (74p)
  • 1 grapefruit (30p)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato puree (tube costs 37p)
  • 130g black olives (69p)
  • Olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 scotch bonnet (chilli)

    Grapefruit peels and scotch bonnet

    Grapefruit peels and scotch bonnet

  • Black pepper
  • Cumin
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 1L vegetable stock

Total spent: £4.80 or £1.20 per person. For this dish, a piece of pork that will deliver long strings of meat when pulling a part. The knuckle had that. The best place to find such a piece of meat on a budget would be at the local butcher. The pepper was bought at the fruits & veges market. Had 15 peppers for £1.00 and only used 3.


Unwrap and wash the meat and make 3 to 4 deep scoring on it. Peel and dice onion and garlic. Rinse and cut the peppers (red, yellow & green). Remove the olives from the jar and rise. Peel the skin off the grapefruit and cut it (the skin) in strings… This will add a hint of bitterness to the dish. Set the prepared ingredients aside separately.

Sealed meat

Sealed meat

In a dip sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil with a hand full of onion, then seal the meat on all sides for about 1 minute each. Once the meat has been sealed, pour on it the stock and add garlic, cumin, scotch bonnet, black pepper, grapefruit peels, vinegar and cover the pan. Leave the meat to cook until it falls off the bone. An hour and half to 2 hours should suffice for the meat to fall off the bone.

Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

In the sauce pan still on heat, add the content of 2 x 400g tomato and 2 tablespoons tomato puree. Stir, taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover to simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t forget to stir from time to time to

Pulling the meat apart

Pulling the meat apart

avoid the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan. We are looking here for the tomato to cook through and for at least ¾ of the liquid coming from the tomato to evaporate.

Meanwhile, pull the meat apart, make it as stringing as possible. Discard the skin, bones and fat. All with need for the dish is the red meat… Set aside until the tomato sauce is ready.

Back to the tomato sauce. After the 20 minutes, add the now shredded

Pulled pork

Pulled pork

meat in the tomato with the olives, the cut mix peppers and the rest of onion. Mix well, taste and cover and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. Done.

Serve with Pure white rice or Tamales. I served mine with both to provide a choice of accompaniment.

Check out the Tamales recipe in the next post.

Serving suggestion with white rice or Tamales

Serving suggestion with white rice or Tamales

See the starter from this menu here.

Listen to the podcast of the radio show here broadcasted on Croydon radio.



2 thoughts on “Ropa Vieja – Cuban Shredded meat

  1. Pingback: Off to Cuba! | Made By Hortense

  2. Pingback: Stuffed Tamales with Sundried tomato | Made By Hortense

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