Recipes

Recipe: FRESH HERB WEEK: ROPA VIEJA

It's time to plant herb gardens, and many home cooks are wondering which herbs to choose. This week, we'll share recipes that will help you plan what to plant. Today's recipe comes from the very attractive website www.freshherbs.com.

INGREDIENTS

4 lbs of flank steak

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

3 large green peppers, sliced

3 small red onions, sliced

1 large jalapeno, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 14oz can of diced tomato (canned w/juice)

2 cans (or 4 cups) of low sodium beef broth

1 large sprig of rosemary

5 large sprigs of oregano

2-3 bay leaves

A generous handful of sliced green olives

1/4 cup of sherry vinegar

salt

pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and set the baking rack as close to the bottom of the oven as possible so that you will have plenty of room for your dutch oven.

Cut the flank steak into sections. This will help make the steak easy to move in and out of the dutch oven. Salt and pepper to taste. Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a dutch oven at medium-high heat. Then, brown the flank steak in batches. Don’t worry about cooking the meat through; you just need to brown it. Once the flank steak has browned, remove it from the Dutch oven while you prepare the vegetables.

Slice onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos. Place the onions and peppers in the Dutch oven to soften; this should take about ten minutes. Peel and dice the garlic cloves. Add the garlic and the jalapenos to the Dutch oven.

Add the tomato paste and cumin. Give the vegetables a good stir, and then add the canned tomatoes and juice. Pour in the beef broth, and add the rosemary, oregano, and bay leaves. Right before you put the lid on your Dutch oven and pop it into the oven, add the green olives and sherry vinegar. Set a timer for two hours.

When the timer goes off, check the meat to see if it is “fall-apart” tender. If it is still a bit tough, pop it back in the oven for another thirty minutes. If it is soft, cook some rice or polenta and get ready to eat. Garnish your ropa vieja with more fresh oregano and some fresh squeezed lime juice. Serve over yellow rice with a side of tostones.

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