This Cuban beef recipe from healthy food bloggers, Pinch of Nom, can be cooked on the hob or in your slow cooker.
Cuban beef is a gorgeous slow-cooked dish, flavoured with a medley of spices. Created by foodies, Kate and Kay, the pair say: "This dish combines the gentle heat of Cuban spices with tender beef, which you can cook in the oven, or in a pressure or slow cooker, so that the meat really melts in your mouth." Cuban beef is also known as 'Ropa Vieja' which means "old clothes" in Spanish. But fear not, it was named after the stew's appearance not its taste, with some people thinking that the peppers and meat look like garments mixed together. Kate and Kay recommend serving their Cuban beef with rice or pasta for a hearty evening meal. The dish is suitable for freezing, making it a brilliant prepare-ahead meal.
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- 500g piece of stewing beef (all visible fat removed)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- low-calorie cooking spray
- 2 onions, sliced
- 240ml beef stock (2 beef stock cubes dissolved in 240ml boiling water)
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 red or white wine stock pot
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- cooked rice, to serve (optional)
- Season the meat well with salt and pepper.
- Spray a large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray. Brown the meat over a high heat then set aside.
- Add a little more low-calorie cooking spray to the pan, then sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pan with the browned meat and onions.
- Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 1½–2 hours or until the meat is tender. (You can also cover the pan and cook in the oven for 2–2½ hours at 160°C/fan 140°C/gas mark 3, but make sure your pan is ovenproof.)
- Pull the meat apart with two forks - it should shred easily. If the sauce is a little thin you can remove the lid to reduce the liquid.
- Serve on a bed of rice or whatever you fancy.
- Fancy using your slow cooker instead? Here's the slow cooker method: (Takes 6-8 hours to cook) Season the meat well with salt and pepper. Spray a frying pan with a little low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the meat and sauté for a few minutes on both sides until browned. Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker along with the browned meat. Set the slow cooker to High and cook for 6 hours, or on Medium setting for 8 hours. Pull the meat apart with two forks - it should shred easily. If the sauce is still a little thin, remove the slow cooker lid and allow it to reduce slightly. Serve on a bed of rice or whatever you fancy.
- Electric pressure cooker method: (Takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to cook) Season the meat well with salt and pepper. Set the pressure cooker to Sauté/Browning, then spray it with a little low-calorie cooking spray. Add the meat and sauté for a few minutes on both sides until browned. Add the remaining ingredients to the pressure cooker with the browned meat. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and pressure-cook on Manual/Stew for 1 hour, then allow the pressure to release naturally for about 15 minutes (Natural Pressure Release/NPR). Pull the meat apart with two forks - it should shred easily. If the sauce is still a little thin, remove the pressure cooker lid and set to Sauté to reduce slightly. Serve on a bed of rice or whatever you fancy. Recipe extracted from Pinch of Nom: 100 Slimming Home-Style Recipes (Bluebird publishing) View at Amazon | £9.99 (opens in new tab)
Top tip for making Cuban beef
To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free stock cubes. Try garnishing with some freshly-chopped coriander for an extra dose of flavour.
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