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Paleo Ropa Vieja Recipe

Louise | July 18

Everything is so much easier in the slow cooker.  So, I decided to try making ropa vieja in the slow cooker too!  In fact, it’s so easy I’ve already made this dish several times over the past few weeks.  I usually get around 3lb of flank steak.  I cut the steak into 2 inch slices (cut across the grain).  Then pan sear the strips on a high heat in a tablespoon of coconut oil.  Sear for about 2-3 minutes on each side.  This just locks in some of those delicious juices.


While the steak is searing, I chop up 3 bell peppers into thin slices.


Then, I chop up 1/4 cup of cilantro and 1/4 cup of parsley and crush 2 cloves of garlic.  All of this goes into the crock pot (I use the Hamilton Beach slow cooker) with the seared strips of flank steak along with 2 cans of tomato paste.


Now comes all the fun spices and seasoning.  There’s a bit of olive oil, salt, and white wine vinegar, then some onion flakes, garlic powder, oregano and cumin powder (I ran out of cumin powder the first time and made it fresh by blending some cumin seeds, which made my blender smell like cumin for a week!).  So I just dump all of these into the crock pot.spices-in-crock-pot

Lastly, there’s the really fun task of mixing everything together.  I usually just put on some disposable food gloves and dig in (I don’t want to have to spend hours scrubbing all the spices off my hands).mixed-ropa-vieja-in-crock-pot

Paleo Ropa Vieja Recipe

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Carribean


  • 3lb flank steak
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (for pan searing)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
  • 3 peppers, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes (or onion powder)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder


  1. Cut the flank steak into two inch wide strips (against the grain).
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into a large frying pan and turn the heat to high. Pan sear half of the flank steak strips – leave in the frying pan for around 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat with the other half of the flank steak strips.
  3. Place all the ingredients and the seared flank steak strips into the slow cooker.
  4. Using your hands, make sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Set slow cooker on the low heat setting and cook for 6 hours.
  6. Shred the flank steak and mix everything together just before eating.


Koren - December 10

I made this two nights ago and it was amazing! I served it over sauteed cabbage strips instead of over rice like my husband prefers. And today for leftovers it was even better! It is a super tasty recipe!

    Louise - December 10

    Thanks Koren, so glad you liked it! It’s one of my favorites too!

kim Buchwald - January 22

This was fantastic!!! Thank you for posting!

    Louise - January 22

    Thanks Kim! I’m really glad you liked it!

Jen - April 3

I don’t have a slow cooker but love the sound of the recipe. What would you suggest for cook time and temp in the oven?

    Louise - April 3

    Jen, I’d actually suggest doing it on the stove in a large pot perhaps for 2-3 hours on a low heat.

Sherr - November 11

Where has this been all my life? So easy and so good!

    Louise - November 11

    Haha – enjoy!

Bonkers - August 10

When do you shred the steak?

    Ancestral Chef - August 11

    At the very end – just before you eat.

jeanie - November 20

Thanks for this great recipe, can’t wait to try it. I make a similar one with chicken and salsa, green chilis…bit I always wanted a beef one that was different. I know this is a go to winner!

Caroline - November 20

Sounds yummy. Will pick up the meat next week and make it. Thanks.

Carrie - January 18

Made this dish tonight. In general we really enjoyed the flavor, but found it incredibly salty. I would recommend not going over 1tbsp in the future, if not less.

    Jeremy Hendon - January 19

    We definitely enjoy salty dishes – haven’t heard many people say it’s too salty, but certainly something to keep in mind for anyone who likes dishes on the less salty side.

Colleen - January 21

Can I cook this in a pressure cooker?

    Louise Hendon - January 21

    Yes – definitely, although I might experiment with cooking just the meat in the pressure cooker and then adding the vegetables to them after in a pot on the stove for 20 minutes. I find vegetables often turn to mush in the pressure cooker.

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