Lost in translation….

Even though I am allergic to all peppers, raw onions, raw tomatoes, cilantro, and pretty much anything that makes Mexican food Mexican food I surprisingly love to cook it. I love the smell of the onions and peppers cooking. I just don’t love the fact that I have to dress like I am going to a hazmat dinner party to do so. :) And while this is actually more Cuban than Mexican it does possess many of the things I am allergic to. So why would I make it? Same reason I cook half the time…for someone else. Spread the love. :D

And with that I give you my first savory dish of the new year on the blog (most people voted yes on the savory…actually I am not sure if there was a no)…Ropa Vieja Stew. Now while Old Clothes Stew does sound yummy…we will ignore the direct translation. I promise there are not socks and underwear used in the making of this stew. :P

This recipe comes from my favorite food magazine of all time Cuisine at Home. Seriously, I have yet to make something from there that isn’t yummy. And I’ve gotten the magazine for a long time and I buy every one of their special issues. You will see them referenced a lot in the savory dishes.

For those who asked about my arm. I got into the neurologist finally and he was useless. Nothing like waiting five weeks to go to the doctor only to have them be no help at all. It also didn’t help that he was anti all contact sports. So clearly the wrong guy for me. I did get him to refer me to PT and am starting it now. Is the arm still hurt? Yep, a whole bunch, but I do take nerve blocker and that helps with the numbness big time. Unless of course I have to drive and run errands, then I just suck it up and deal with it. I have stuff to get done. Can’t sit around and not get stuff done because I am in pain….I would never get anything done that way. :) Hopefully the PT will help it and I will be back to semi-good in no time.

Ropa Vieja Stew

4 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
1 3/4 LB flank Steak, cut into 3 pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups onion, chopped
2 poblano Chiles, seeded, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced
2 T. garlic, minced
1 T. tomato paste
1/3 cup masa harina
1 bottle beer (12oz)
2 cups beef broth
1 can black beans, drained, rinsed (15 oz.)
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced
1 T. dried oregano leaves
2 t. ground cumin
Salt to taste

Garnish with:

Chopped scallions

Preheat oven to 375.

Sauté bacon in a large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat until crisp; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Brown steak in drippings, about 5 minutes per side, remove and set aside.

Add onion, chilies, and bell pepper, and sauté until beginning to brown, 5 minutes.

Stir in a garlic and tomato paste, cook 3 minutes, then stir in masa harina and cook 1 minute.

Deglaze with beer; simmer until nearly evaporated, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add broth, bring to a boil, then return beef to the pot; cover and braise in the oven until fork-tender; about 1 hour.

Remove flank steak from the pot, shred with 2 forks, then add back to the pot with reserved bacon, beans, olives and spices. Simmer 5 minutes; season with salt. Garnish with scallions.

Makes 8 cups.

From Cuisine at Home Magazine (if you don’t subscribe to this you should…it’s the best magazine).


  1. Oh my gracious to Betsy. That is just all kinds of goodness.

  2. That looks mighty scrumptious or should I say lipsmackingly devilish!



  3. Now that is why I don’t go to doctors. Either they don’t listen or they can’t figure it out. What’s the point?

    This will be a great stew once we get some winter around here.

  4. I have a couple of the Cuisine at Home holiday issues and they have great recipes.

    That looks great, too bad you can’t have it, but I think making something is most of the fun.

  5. You need a sports dr!! That stew looks fantastic.

  6. Isn’t it funny how certain names sound so romantic in a foreign language? My favorite Mexican restaurant in high school was Casa Comida (which means ‘food house’ or ‘house of food’). Sounds much better in Spanish. Your ‘doctor’ sounds ridiculous–it’s so annoying to have to deal with prejudice when you’re trying to get help. He should keep his personal opinions about the ‘right’ sports to play out of his practice.

  7. I don’t eat like 1/4 of what goes into that stew (like the chillis and onions) but it sure does look delicous! It looks harty and warm and meaty :)

    Sorry to hear about the dumb doctor. At least the numbing stuff is helping, you gotta love numbing stuff.

  8. I love the Cuisine at Home, too, just made the One Pot Sausage Penne Ragu from one of the fall issues for supper tonight and it was delicious! This looks like a yummy dish, too. Good luck with the arm!

  9. This looks amazing!! I can’t imagine not being able to eat peppers, raw onions and tomatoes, and most of all cilantro. Sorry you have to deal with that and a dumb Dr. I say keep trying to find a non dumb Dr. It took me 8 Dr’s before I found one who knew what he was doing. It was worth the search.

  10. this looks fantastic…i may have to make this sometime this week. i wish i had a bowl to eat right now.
    i can’t wait to see what other savory dishes you make.

  11. I’m happy you’re getting into savory! Does this dish relate to the white dresses on pinterest?

  12. I still remember in my early 30’s getting bursitis in my hip after a roller blade accident. Doctor told me not to work out and not to do any sports…for the rest of my life. Really? Sigh. Needless to say, my hip still bothers me now and then but I didn’t listen to the doctor.

  13. Wow! This looks fantastic! I’m totally white, but I pretend I’m secretly part Cuban because I love Cuban food so much! So I’m a self-proclaimed expert on Ropa Vieja. I’m definitely making this soon!

  14. peabody…
    I am going to subscribe to the magazine, today! I don’t know what you did to your shoulder…but…have you seen an orthopedic dr? I would try to find one that deals specifically with the shoulder, even better a sports med. If you already did, then, trynto find a different neuro. i am a nurse and find a lot of drs dont have great bedside manners (god complex?) But there are GREAT ones out there…so keep looking!!! Also…try AIM doc finder (google it) it tells where they went to school, board certified, malpractice claims etc. You can do a little background checking first! i always do!

  15. Well so much for non-sports medicine doctors. Also doctors of the old school…. you know, the one where if a girl/woman/lady gets hurt, don’t work out or keep active…. Yeah. Right. I used to get told by doctors to immobilize my knee after injuries. Later I had doctors that (and the findings now for 25+ years) say keep moving it. Keep it mobile. Let it heal, but strengthen it. Du’oh! PT is good. Now I’d look for a good sports-med doc, AND PT recommendation from him/her. (maybe even a woman!)

  16. Oh yeah…. and the “Old Clothes Stewing” looks delicious! It would be high on my menu list of things to cook….. IF my roommate weren’t vegetarian…. actually she’s a pasta-cheese-atarian. I swear that girl lives on the cheese & pasta. I dunno how. I love my fruits & veggies and though I’m an omnivore I don’t eat a lot of meat or pasta (meat cuz it’s too expensive, pasta cuz it’s boring…. to me anyway).

  17. @Karin- an Ortho is the next I am going to but until then since it takes weeks to get into one I am going to PT. And it’s not my shoulder, it’s my neck.

  18. @Kathleen- other than that dresses are clothing and this dish has the word clothing in it

  19. I completely agree about Cuisine At Home. It is the one and only food/recipe magazine I subscribe to. It’s wonderful! (and this recipe looks very good, too!)

  20. Neck pain is the worst…but there is that huge muscle that runs from your neck to your shoulder, maybe you injured it?? I know that MDs don’t reccomend google-ing, but look up sternocleidomastoid. see if that might be it? PT is great! I had neck pain and I went to a PT as well. I hope you get an ortho appt soon…!!! good luck! oh, and when I went to B&N tonight and picked up cuisine at home…I used to subscribe to this magazine, and somehow forgot all about it!

  21. Exactly what I want to be eating these cold winter days! Hearty, meaty and delicious (at least it looks to be so… :)

  22. I’m excited to see the 1st savory recipe – looks delicious!

  23. Savory dishes! Now your blog will be even more delicious if such a thing were even possible!

    Happy New Year!

  24. Good luck with the PT – I really hope it helps you. When my arm started going numb it started with tingles in my right shoulder blade, traveled up my neck and down my arm. I was miserable. My problem was a herniated disc (in my neck) and ended up with surgery. PT didn’t help before the surgery, but it sure helped afterward. I hope whatever the injury is that it heals quickly for you!

  25. I’ve never heard of someone else being allergic to peppers! Does that mean you can’t even eat this amazing dish? This is my favorite food ever right now, especially with buttered sourdough bread. My husband makes it without peppers for new. He even found olives stuffed with garlic instead of pimento. I have never had the pepper version, but the pepper free one is amazing and you should try it!

  26. Peabody says:

    Yep @Kat I can’t eat this.

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