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Cuban Pot Roast (Ropa Vieja)

This is a time honored recipe in Cuba; true Caribbean comfort food.  The beef is braised until fork tender and  then shredded and added back with the sofrito.  The aroma in the house is heavenly while this is cooking.

~ 3 pound boneless beef chuck (or other pot roast)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 large red bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 cup tomato sauce
1˝ teaspoons salt
1˝ teaspoons black pepper
1˝ tablespoons cumin
1˝ tablespoons dried, crushed oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
2 whole bay leaf
˝ cup red wine
˝ cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Trim fat from beef, as any fat remaining will be rendered into the broth when the meat is braised. Cut beef into 2-inch pieces and place in a bowl.

Combine salt, cumin, oregano, paprika and black pepper in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over the meat and toss to coat.  Set aside while prepping the remaining ingredients.

Heat a large Dutch oven, or heavy skillet with a cover, over medium-high heat for 4 minutes.  Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat.  Add beef; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan into a bowl and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in pan. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; sauté 8 to 10 minutes until softened.

Add the wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add the tomato sauce and bay leaves.

Return beef to pan along with any juices that have collected in the bowl. If necessary add just enough water or broth to cover the beef about half way up.  Bring to a boil. Cover and bake in oven for 2 hours.

Note:  When braising ensure that the meat is NOT completely covered in liquid.  For this reason a wider, rather than a taller, pan is desirable.

Remove beef from pan using a slotted spoon; shred with 2 forks, set aside.

Bring vegetable mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency.  Discard bay leaves.  Return shredded beef to the pan and mix to combine with the veggies.

Serve beef and vegetable mixture over rice.  Garnish with parsley.



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