"Ropa vieja" means "old clothes," for the consistency of the shredded beef.
Serves 4 to 6.
1 (2 1/2 pound) flank steak
1 celery stalk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chiles (at your preferred heat level), seeded and chopped
4 chopped, seeded tomatoes or 2 cups canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Put the flank steak, carrot, onion and celery stalk in a heavy pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours or so. Remove from the heat and let cool. Shred meat using your hands or two forks.
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and saut? onion, garlic and green pepper until the onion is translucent. Add green chiles, tomatoes and tomato paste. Add a cup or two of the stock in which you cooked the steak, and add the beef. The consistency should be thicker than soup. Add a dash of cayenne pepper if you like. Let it simmer for five minutes.
Serve over rice and garnish with baby peas and/or chopped pimientos.