La nueva ropa vieja recipe

February 27, 2008|By BEVERLY MILLS, with ALICIA ROSS

Start to finish: 10 minutes preparation; 8 to 10 hours in slow cooker; 3 minutes to shred beef

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper, or to taste
1 large onion (for about 1 cup slices)
2 pounds skirt or flank steak (see Cook's note)
1 red bell pepper (for about 1 cup pieces)
1 green bell pepper (for about 1 cup pieces)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, seasoned with garlic and olive oil (see Cook's note)
2 cups cooked rice, for serving

Cook's note: Sirloin steak or chuck roast also can be used. The exact seasoning for the diced tomatoes doesn't matter as long as you choose a type that includes garlic. "Petite" diced tomatoes and no-salt-added varieties also work.

Put the tomato sauce, water, bay leaves, vinegar, garlic, cumin and black pepper into the slow-cooker pot. Stir to combine. Peel the onion, and cut it into quarters. Thinly slice the onion quarters, and add them to the pot. Place the beef over the onions, and spoon some of the liquid over the meat. (If you are using skirt steak or flank steak, there will be several thin pieces, and they will overlap in the pot.)


Rinse the bell peppers, and discard the seeds and membranes. Cut the peppers into quarters, thinly slice them, and add the pieces to the pot. Pour the diced tomatoes with their juice evenly on top. Cover the pot and cook on low until the meat is so tender that it practically falls apart, about 8 hours if using skirt or flank steak or 10 hours if using sirloin or chuck.

About 20 minutes before serving, cook the rice.

Before serving, remove the beef and vegetables from the slow cooker to a large serving bowl. Use two forks to pull the beef apart into shreds. There should be some cooking juices in the bowl, but if not, add about 1/2 cup juices. Stir to mix the beef and vegetables. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve all but 2 cups of the beef/vegetable mixture over a bed of hot rice.

Serves 4 generously, with about 5 cups (total) leftover beef mixture and broth.

To store the leftovers for next week's beefy tortilla soup: Refrigerate the remaining 2 cups of the beef mixture in a large covered storage container. Pour all of the cooking juices (just over 3 cups) into a separate container and refrigerate overnight to let any fat rise to the top. Discard the fat from the broth, and then add the remaining broth to the beef/vegetable mixture. Freeze for up to 1 month (or the mixture may be refrigerated for up to 3 days). Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, or use the microwave according to the manufacturer's defrosting instructions.

Nutrition information per serving: 343 calories (30 percent from fat), 11 g fat (5 g saturated), 56 mg cholesterol, 26 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 631 mg sodium

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