Ropa Vieja

Yield: Serves 8

Chef: Chef Brian Streeter

Ropa Vieja


  • 3 lbs. pork butt, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 red and yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 c. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. green olives, pitted
  • 2 T. capers
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper


Heat a deep, wide-bottom pan with a tight fitting lid over high heat. Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the pan and sear the pork in batches on all sides. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and peppers to the pan and cook to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato and cook for 10 minutes until they begin to break down and thicken. Add the chicken broth to the pan. Return the pork to the pan along with the ham hocks and bay leaves. The pork and ham hocks should just barely be submerged in the broth.

Bring to a low simmer. Add the paprika, oregano, cayenne and salt. Cover and simmer for an hour and half until the pork is tender. Add the olives and capers and capes during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Remove the pork and hocks from the broth and when cool enough to handle shred with your hands. While pork is cooling, reduce the broth to a light-sauce like consistency. Add the red wine vinegar at the end to brighten the flavors. Stir the pork and ham hocks back into the sauce and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt if necessary. Serve with black beans and steamed white rice and garnish with the chopped cilantro.

Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Syrah