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ropa vieja

Ropa Vieja (Originally Savory Beef Hash - Butler's Soy Curls or Seitan substitute for the Beef) 

(Can be found on pg 97 of 'Its Delicious, it's Cuban, It's Vegan') The English translation of Ropa Vieja is literally “Old Clothes”. I know it doesn’t sound appetizing but don’t let the title fool you, this is a delicious savory dish. In this rendition, Seitan or Soy Curls are substituted for the beef. Seitan and soy curls are great meat substitutes. They both remain firm when cooked and both absorb the flavors of the recipe you are cooking. I serve this savory dish with white rice, sweet plantains and lots of bread to sponge up the sauce. Enjoy!
Course Main Courses
Cuisine Cuban


  • 2 pounds of Butler’s Soy Curls or 2 pounds of store-bought seitan I use Gardein brand meatless Chicken strips or 2 pounds of homemade seitan cut into 1 inch thin strips (think shredded beef)
  • 1 large green bell pepper charred deseeded, cored, and sliced into strips
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of dry white wine Can Omit if you want
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 6oz jar of red roasted peppers (pimientos) drained and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil


  • Step-1 If you are using Butler Soy Curls, hydrate the soy curls as per the package instructions, once hydrated strain in a colander and allow the soy curls to drip dry. If you are using seitan then add this ingredient when the recipe calls for it.
  • Step-2 If you have a gas stove, place the green pepper right on the burner on medium to low heat and char the pepper black on all sides. Or place the pepper on a roasting pan and use the broil setting on your electric toaster oven or normal oven, to char the pepper black on all sides. Once you have charred the pepper if you’d like you may remove the black charred skin and then deseed and chop the pepper, or if you want to be more traditional you may leave the black skin intact and deseed, and chop the charred pepper as is.
  • Step-3 Mash the garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and oregano into a paste using a mortar and pedestal. If you do not own a mortar and pedestal then you can mince the garlic with a knife and mash the garlic and seasoning together with a fork. (mortar and pedestal works best)
  • Step-4 Place the chopped onion, bay leaf, and olive oil in a large pot. Mix the onion, and bay leaf with the olive oil without using heat, and coat the onion completely with the oil. Sauté the onion and bay leaf, over medium heat until the onion becomes shiny and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the charred pepper strips and garlic mixture and stir the onion and pepper until they are all coated with the garlic mixture. Keep stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the vegetables to sit for a minute.
  • Step-5 Add to the sautéed vegetables the broth, tomato sauce,  wine (if using), vinegar and water. Stir all the ingredients in the pot together, and set the heat to high and bring all the ingredients to a rolling boil, boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium/low and add the seitan or soy curls and cook for 5 minutes more. Then lower the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  • Step-6 Transfer the Ropa Vieja to a serving dish and garnish it with the roasted red peppers. Serve hot!
Keyword vegan
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