Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World

This Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) is one of the best Slimming World dishes that you can cook in your slow cooker, or Instant Pot / Pressure King Pro!
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Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-21

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 👍

Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja), rather unsurprisingly is made with Beef! It’s known in Cuba as Ropa Vieja) AKA “old clothes”.

It’s one of those dishes that you just throw what you have in, and hope for the best.

Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-8

Only you don’t need to hope – because this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) is bloomin marvellous!

Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-21

It’s ridiculously easy to make. Seriously. It’s almost TOO easy (is that even possible?!).

Brown your meat, throw it in the slow cooker and away you go. BOOM, 8 hours later = the perfect Slimming World dinner.

You could enjoy this in tacos (using Weight Watchers wraps for your HEB!), have it with rice, Syn Free Rustic Potato Wedges, even Syn Free Savoury Rice!

Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-21
Our Syn free Rustic Wedges

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One of our Instagram followers @slimmingworldkathers made this dish and loved it!
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Even BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills is loving our Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)!
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Another of our Instagram followers @healthyamy_ made this dish and loved it too!

If you make this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #pinchofnom — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-8

Want to see how EASY this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) is to make? Watch the video!

What do I need to make this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)?

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The Slow Cooker

We made this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) in the slow cooker. They’re great if you just want to throw everything in and have your dinner ready when you walk through the door.

You can pick up a slow cooker like this one from Amazon.

The Instant Pot

You could also make this in the Instant Pot.

What can we say about the Instant Pot?

It’s like a like a slow cooker/pressure cooker hybrid, and it’s probably one of our favourite, and most used kitchen gadgets.

Syn Free Campfire Stew | Slimming World-14

If you’ve never heard of it you really should go and check it out over on Amazon.

Imagine the best Slow Cooker in the world, then times that by a hundred. There’s not much that it can’t do!

Remember the pressure cookers of old that would splutter and rock, and make all sorts of scary noises? None of that with the Instant Pot.

It even keeps your food warm once it’s finished cooking! How good is that?

You can find our review of the Instant Pot here.

You can cook this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) in the Instant pot in about an hour, but we actually prefer to cook this particular dish in the slow cooker as some cuts of stewing steak can be a little stringy when cooked in the pressure cooker.

Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)

Having said that, the pressure cooking function of the Instant Pot is a god send when you’re in a rush!

The Meat

We like to use ox cheeks for this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) recipe, but you can use any type of stewing steak.

You can find diced beef in the new Under 5% Taster Hamper from Protein Food Shop.

Their hampers are packed full of the BEST quality meat we’ve ever come across from an online butcher. The hamper is incredible value for money, working out FAR cheaper than the supermarket.

The diced steak is lovely, and lean, and all of their beef is sourced from British farms, giving the reassurance of meeting all the animal welfare trading standards regulations.

Perfect for this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) recipe or our Syn Free Caribbean Jerk Stew.

Syn Free Italian Lamb Stew | Slimming World

 

We also have a few other exclusive hamper deals available, so it’s well worth checking them out.

Red Wine Stock Pots

Using these Red Wine Stock Pots will give you all the flavour of red wine but without the Syns.

red wine stock pot

 

Tesco also make White Wine Stock Pots which are also Syn free! Tesco White Wine Stock Pots

You can pick them both up from Tesco for £1.25 for a pack of 4.

Frylight

Whenever we need to replace oil in cooking we use Frylight. Perfect for everyday frying and cooking, it delivers exactly one calorie per spray, which makes it Syn free!

We think the Avocado flavour is perfect for this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) recipe, but you can use whichever one you prefer.

Frylight Find Out More

How do I make this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)?

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 👍

Slow Cooker Method

Step 1

Season the meat well, then spray a frying pan with Frylight.

steps - Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-6

Step 2

Heat the pan and brown the meat on both sides.

steps - Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-5

Step 3

Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker along with the browned meat.

steps - Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-6

Step 4

Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 6 hours (or medium for 8 hours).

Step 5

Shred the meat with 2 forks (when cooked the meat should shred easily).

steps - Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-6

Step 6

If the sauce is still a little thin remove the lid and allow to reduce slightly.

Step 7

Serve on a bed of rice, or with whatever you fancy.

Instant Pot Method

Step 1

Season the meat well, then spray the bowl of the Instant Pot with Frylight – place into Saute mode.

Step 2

Heat the pot and brown the meat on both sides.

 

Step 3

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot with the browned meat. Set the Instant Pot to Manual for 1 hour, then use Natural Pressure Release.

Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)

Step 4

Shred the meat with 2 forks (when cooked the meat should shred easily).

Step 5

If the sauce is still a little thin remove the lid and set to sauté to reduce slightly.

Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)

Step 6

Serve on a bed of rice, or with whatever you fancy.

Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World-21

Can I freeze this Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)?

suitable-for-freezing-recipe-card

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.
– Defrost thoroughly before reheating.

Make sure it’s piping hot before serving!

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Syn Free Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming World

Votes: 31
Rating: 4.06
You:
Rate this recipe!

Servings

Prep Time

Cooking Time

portion 10 minutes 6 hours

Calories

Weight Watchers

Slimming World 

417kcal 4

Smart Points (Flex/Freestyle)

Zero

Syns

Per portion Per portion Per portion
Suitable For Freezing icon Gluten Free icon Dairy Free icon
INGREDIENTS
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INSTRUCTIONS
In the Slow Cooker
  1. Season the meat well, then spray a frying pan with Frylight
  2. Heat the pan and brown the meat on both sides
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker along with the browned meat
  4. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 6 hours (or medium for 8 hours)
  5. Shred the meat with 2 forks (when cooked the meat should shred easily)
  6. If the sauce is still a little thin remove the lid and allow to reduce slightly
  7. Serve on a bed of rice, or with whatever you fancy
In the Instant Pot
  1. Season the meat well, then spray the bowl of the Instant Pot with Frylight - place into Saute mode.
  2. Heat the pot and brown the meat on both sides.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot with the browned meat. Set the Instant Pot to Manual for 1 hour, then use Natural Pressure Release.
  4. Shred the meat with 2 forks (when cooked the meat should shred easily).
  5. If the sauce is still a little thin remove the lid and set to sauté to reduce slightly.
  6. Serve on a bed of rice, or with whatever you fancy.

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #pinchofnom — We love to see your creations on InstagramFacebook, & Twitter!

RECIPE NOTES

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Need help converting the temperature for your oven? 

Click here for our oven temperature conversion guide.

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.
- Defrost thoroughly before reheating (you can use the defrost setting on your microwave.)
- Make sure it is piping hot all the way through before serving.

If making this recipe Gluten Free please make sure to check the ingredients that you’re using

Especially things such as; 

- Stock cubes
- Soy sauce - substitute with Tamari.
- Worcestershire sauce - substitute with Henderson’s Relish.
- Etc.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Syn values given are correct at time of writing but may not always be accurate.

This website is UNOFFICIAL and in NO WAY part of or representative of Slimming World. 

We aren’t trained by Slimming World nor authorised to give Slimming World advice. Any advice given here should not replace the advice of your Slimming World consultant.

Ideally, you should check with Slimming world for the most up to date Syn values using official resources such as; the Syns calculator, Syns Online on LifelineOnline or by calling the Syns Hotline on (0906) 851 8518.

Although pinchofnom.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will pinchofnom.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

We kindly ask that you share this recipe via the share buttons and not via screenshots. 

As our recipes change often in accordance with syn value changes, we want to ensure that they're as accurate as possible at all times. 

If you use or re-create our recipes we kindly ask:

  • That you credit us by not only screenshot but linking to our original recipe post
  • You don't reproduce the recipe in full
70 Comments
    1. Hi Linda
      This dish is best suited to slow cooking or Instant Pot. If you’d rather cook conventionally, it’s not really suitable for the hob. It’ll need to be done low and slow in the oven in a lidded casserole dish. You will have to keep an eye on it and be ready to add more stock before it gets too dry.

  1. Just trying this tonight. Was unsure on the red wine stock pot so just threw it in, hope that’s correct! Proof is in the pudding tho when I eat it tomorrow 🤞🏻

  2. Tried recipe today in my slow cooker only disappointment was I found that liquid was still very watery tried it with lid off as suggested but this didn’t do a lot any other sugesstions of how to thicken the sauce up I thought it was going to be a lovely sticky sauce.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Paula
      Once you’ve shredded the beef, the sauce will be absorbed a bit more. The best way to thicken the sauce is to persevere with the lid off to allow it to reduce. It will thicken up even more the longer you can leave it. Hope that helps.

  3. when using the instant pot recipe, at which point do you add all of the other ingredients. Does it all go in after Browning the meat?

    1. Hi Kerrie
      Yes, the other ingredients should go in at step 3, once you’ve browned the meat. I’ve now amended the recipe to make it clearer. Thanks for getting in touch.

  4. I want to prep this the night before so i just have to turn it on before going to work for the day.
    Would i be ok to leave it all in the slow cooker turned off overnight before turning it on – or will things go weird?

    With the red wine stock pots, if i wanted to just use red wine instead how much would be an equivilent? One of the mini bottles?

    1. Hi Kerri
      If you chose to prep this in the slow cooker the night before, you’d need to keep it in the fridge (covered) overnight. We would not recommend leaving any meat at room temp for any length of time.
      The red wine stock pots are free, which is one of the reasons why we use them. If you chose to add red wine, you’d need to measure and Syn accordingly. I’m not sure what the equivalent amount would be, but probably around 250ml.

  5. This is one of my favourite recipes. It’s so easy and tastes wonderful. I add a little bit of chilli powder to give it a bit of a kick. Just what you need on a cold winter night.

  6. This is now our favourite recipe. Thank you so much. Just one question though – could I thicken it at the end using xanthan gum and if so, how do you use it as I’ve never used it before but have seen it mentioned in other recipes. I currently add corn flour but don’t like using up my syns.

    1. Hi Carol
      The easiest way to thicken this sort of recipe is to simmer it to let it reduce. (In the slow cooker, leave the lid off for the last hour of cooking.)
      You could also use Xanthan gum. You’ll find it in the ‘Free From’ section of many supermarkets. You only need a tiny amount, start with about 1/4 of a teaspoon. You don’t need to slake it with water like you would with cornflour. Just sprinkle over and stir like crazy!

    1. Hi Sue
      I’ve just looked them up on the Tesco website – these are the ingredients.
      Water, Salt, Flavouring, Yeast Extract, Caster Sugar, Dried Glucose Syrup, Beef Fat (4%), Beef Extract (2.5%), Stabiliser (Tara Gum), Onion Concentrate, Black Pepper, Bay, Antioxidant (Rosemary Extract)
      Hope that helps!

  7. I’m going out to a family/friends get together and thinking of doing this recipe. If I was to do this the day before or overnight in the slow cooker how would I reheat it. I need to transport it too.

    1. Hi Shelby
      I’d recommend making it beforehand, personally I think it tastes even better the next day!
      Allow to cool completely, store in a sealed container in the fridge overnight and reheat the next day. (Microwave, oven or even in a pan on the hob.) Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Tracey
      I took a dish of this to my SW group for taster session and it was practically inhaled by the group! I made it again last night, sooooo tasty! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  8. Hi quick question the ingredients state 240ml of stock but also mentions 2 cups? Which do you use? As I thought 1 cup was 240ml thanks

    1. Hi Leanne
      Yes, this would be okay with chicken, but you may need to reduce cooking time slightly. Check to make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly before serving. 🙂

  9. Hi Just made the Cuban Beef and it was delicious. Just a small question it’s says 417 calories per portion is that just for the beef or the beef and rice? Thank you
    Natalie

  10. Hi. What capacity slow cooker would be best for this please? I have a small and a medium sized ones & I made the campfire stew and had to split it between the 2 😆
    I need to invest in a bigger one I think!
    Thanks
    Claire

  11. Hi, I’m just wondering if I could use a beef stock pot in replace of the red or white wine stock pot as can’t seem to get hold of them or just leave it out completely? X

    1. Hi Linda
      This recipe will work with chicken, but you’ll need to adjust cooking times, as chicken breast will cook faster than beef.

    1. Hi Shelley
      If you’ve cooked this in the slow cooker, you can leave the lid off for the last hour of cooking time. If you’re making it in the Instant Pot, switch to simmer mode and simmer until the sauce reduces to the thickness desired.

  12. Hi. I have just made this and have realised that I read the bit about water wrong. I read it as 2 cups of water. Will I have ruined the recipe?

    1. Hi Geraldine
      The stock cubes are added to two cups of water, approx 240mls. If you’ve added extra water, you may just need to reduce the sauce down for a little longer to thicken it up.

    1. Hi Janice
      All the ingredients in the Cuban beef recipe are Speed and Protein, so this will be fine for SP without the rice. 🙂

  13. Hi! If I use my PKP in slow cooker mode, do I use the instant pot method or slow cooker (I’m new to the multi cooker thing!!)?

    1. Hi Julie
      I’m not familiar with the PKP, but I would have thought that if you’re using the slow cooker mode you’ll need to follow the slow cooker method. 🙂

  14. Could you use this with a joint of beef brisket? If so, do I need to double up on the ingredients for the rest of it?

    1. Hi Laura
      Yes, you can! You’d need to check the weight of your beef joint. We used 500g of stewing steak in the recipe, so if your beef joint is larger, you’ll need to scale up the other ingredients to match. Hope that makes sense! 🙂

    1. Hi Stephen
      The wine stock pot just enriches the flavour, but it will be fine without. There’s no need to add anything else if you can’t find them, just leave them out.

    1. Hi Sarah
      This dish is best suited to slow cooking or Instant Pot. If you’d rather cook conventionally, it’ll need to be done low and slow in the oven in a lidded casserole dish. You will have to keep an eye on it and be ready to add more stock before it gets too dry.

  15. I would like to slow cook this in a normal fan oven, what temp should i have it at and roughly how long should it take? thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Steph
      If you have a flame proof casserole dish, start it on the hob, following the instructions for the slow cooker method to brown the meat. I would make up the stock with more liquid than suggested in the recipe, as this will evaporate more readily in the oven. Add the remaining ingredients, lid on (or cover tightly in foil) and place in the oven to cook. Personally I’d have the oven around 130°C and cook low and slow for 1.5 to 2 hrs. Check to make sure it’s not getting dry, and add more stock if necessary.
      Let us know how it works out!

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Slimming World Recipes
A blog started by 2 chefs on their Slimming World journey, evolving into an epic adventure shared by many!
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