This Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) is one of the best slimming-friendly hearty meals, whether you’re calorie counting or following a plan like Weight Watchers.
It’s the perfect meal to throw into the slow cooker or electric pressure cooker!
For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff in the blurb 👍
Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja), rather unsurprisingly is made with Beef! It’s known in Cuba as Ropa Vieja AKA “old clothes”.
If you love slow/pressure cooker meals, why not try some of these other favourites?
How many Calories are in this Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)?
There are 417 calories in each portion of our slimming friendly Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja). This means it falls into our Weekly Indulgence recipe category.
This recipe is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.
As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.
What diets is this Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) suitable for?
This recipe is suitable if you’re gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions;
- Stock cubes
You could also enjoy this Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) if you’re dairy free.
Please make sure to double, and triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.
How Weight Watchers friendly is this Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)?
There are 4 Points per portion of this Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja). It’s a really hearty and substantial meal!
How to make this Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)
This dish is really one you can just throw into the pot and leave to do its thaaang. Here’s a summary;
- Season and brown the meat
- Add all the remaining ingredients into the slow cooker
- Cook until the meat can be shredded
- Remove the lid and reduce the sauce a little
- Serve with your choice of accompaniment from the list below
You can also cook this recipe in a pressure cooker. Detailed instructions are listed below!
What should you should serve with Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)?
Any of the following go really well with this recipe. It’s one of those dishes that goes with pretty much anything. It’s so hearty it can of course be eaten on its own!
Whatever accompaniment you choose, don’t forget to account for the extra calories and/or other nutritional values.
Do you need any special ingredients to make Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)?
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We like to use ox cheeks for this recipe, but you can use any type of stewing steak. The cheaper cuts of beef tend to work better for this low and slow meal!
We use red or white wine stock pots in this recipe – they add a real depth of flavour to the dish, without all the added calories of actual wine. You can pick them up in several different supermarkets.
Can you cook this recipe another way?
You can cook this recipe either in a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker or oven.
Slow Cooker: 6-8 hours or so – see further instructions in the recipe card below.
Pressure Cooker: 1 hour or so – see further instructions in the recipe card below.
Oven: You could cook this in the oven in a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid, or in an oven tray with some foil tightly wrapped around the top. Cook for 2-3 hours at 170-180°C, checking every 30 minutes or so.
How do you know when Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) is cooked?
You should cook this dish until the beef literally shreds when pulled apart with a pair of forks.
This should take approx 1 hour in the pressure cooker, 6 hours in the slow cooker (high) or 2 hours in the oven (170°C).
Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.
How long can you keep Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) in the fridge?
Once you’ve served it, ideally you should eat this dish within 4 hours.
If you allow any left overs to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill. You can keep leftovers of Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.
Can I freeze Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)?
Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;
- Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
- Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.
Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!
How do I reheat Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)?
From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.
From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.
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We are super excited to have released a 6 month food planner that works perfectly alongside our recipe book.
Our 6 month planner features 26 recipes – which are not available anywhere else. We have all the details on our Planner page.
We’ve been squirrelling away doing squirelly things behind the scenes and can finally announce that our very first cookbook is available NOW!!
The book features 100 recipes – around 80 of them BRAND NEW and not available anywhere else. Full colour photographs, hardback, a quality book that will stand up to frequent use!
Each recipe has been taste tested by twenty members of the Pinch of Nom community to ensure that they are amazing. Check out our cookbook page for more information!