Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja)

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!

Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

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.

Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

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

Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

  • Add all the remaining ingredients into the slow cooker 

Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

  • Cook until the meat can be shredded

Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

  • 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. 

Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

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.

We like to cook this in a slow cooker or electric pressure cooker. You can pick up slow cookers in most large supermarkets, or online from Amazon.

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. 

Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

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.

Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

Some of you love this Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) recipe!

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

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

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As the name suggests, this book is entirely focused on meals you can make every day that all come in at 400 calories or less…INCLUDING accompaniments!

There will be 100 NEW & EXCLUSIVE recipes for you to enjoy that are easy, delicious and make slimming hassle-free.

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Cuban Beef (Ropa Vieja) | Slimming & Weight Watchers Friendly

Votes: 121
Rating: 4.17
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Servings

Prep Time

Cooking Time

portion 10 minutes 6 hours

Calories

WW

Carbs

417kcal 4

Smart Points (Flex/Freestyle)

Coming Soon

Per portion Per portion Per portion
Suitable For Freezing icon Gluten Free icon Dairy Free icon
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INGREDIENTS
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INSTRUCTIONS
In the Slow Cooker
  1. Season the meat well with salt and pepper, then spray a frying pan with Low calorie cooking spray
  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 with salt and pepper, then spray the bowl of the Instant Pot with Low calorie cooking spray - 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

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. 

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
60 Comments
  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

  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?

  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?

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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?

  12. 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!!)?

  13. 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?

  14. 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 🙂

  15. Absolutely delicious! Used diced braising steak, just threw all ingredients in a casserole dish and cooked in oven on a low heat for about 4 hours. Served with rice and natural yoghurt. Thank you for another great recipe xx

  16. Crap I only have high/low on my slow cooker, put it on this morning for 8/9 hours on low, will it be done in that time? I just saw on an earlier comment I should have left it on high. TIA.

  17. Hi guys
    This looks smashing and I know I would love it, is there any other cubes I could use that do not have alcohol in or the vinegar please, I cannot touch anything with alcohol in.
    Many thanks
    Clementina

  18. I am struggling with this, it’s been 6 hours and my beef steaks are so hard! It’s cookwd throughout, Will this soften or am I just best bining the lot! I have followed the recipe completely word for word.. any tips please where Iv gone wrong?

  19. Hi
    I have a large slow-cooker and have not yet tried this dish so am unsure how much space it takes up. I would like to double the recipe – do you think it will fit?
    Thanks

  20. Same as Louise above – I have read the ingredients and method cards several times and it just says season the meat. It doesn’t say what to season it with?

  21. I’ve just made this with 5% frying beef, and just seen what you say about using stewing/braising steak, is my meat going to be tough? 🙁 Also, it says 2 of each colour peppers, are these the big peppers that we get in the UK, seems like huge amounts of pepper. Thanks.

    1. Just tried this and it is lovely. I’ve served with roasted garlic, chilli and herb potatoes roasted with green beans, shallots, carrots and leeks and it worked really well. For the PKP question earlier I’ve just done 45 mins on meat setting and it was perfect. I’ve used diced beef 😁

  22. Hi Ladies, I made this for lunch today and it was absolutely delicious as always. I served it with rice and chunky potato wedges.
    I was unable to get the stock pots in my local Tesco, they don’t seem to stock them anymore so I used a beef stock pot and and added a dash of balsamic vinegar at the end to taste.
    I’ve just rejoined SW and your recipes are inspiring me again! Thank you so much! X

  23. Hi guys
    Thank for this recipe. I’ve just made ‘Cuban venison’ with diced stewing Venison. lower cholesterol, but seriously good.

  24. Is there any way to not cook the meat first and just chuck the raw meat in with everything else in the slow cooker? We’ve just broke our oven eek.

    1. Hi Georgia,

      Oh no! Hope you’ve got it fixed now. You could make this without browning the meat, but there might not be as beefy a flavour and the sauce may not have as rich a colour 😊

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