Eat Like a Writer: Ernest Hemingway’s Ropa Vieja

Full disclosure, I didn’t know Ernest Hemingway but this is supposedly one of his favorite Cuban dishes. I can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to write like him, but maybe you’ll still find this delicious. And, bonus, you don’t have to read a 2,000 word essay about memories with my grandfather before getting to the recipe–you’re welcome.


  • 3 pounds flank steak
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/4 cup capers


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the flank steak and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the steak and set aside.
  4. In the same pot, add the bell peppers, onions, and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the canned tomatoes, beef broth, cumin, oregano, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
  7. Remove the steak from the pot and shred it with two forks.
  8. Return the shredded steak to the pot and add the white wine, green olives, and capers.
  9. Simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes.
  10. Serve hot with rice or Cuban bread.

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