This Cuban stew recipe gets its humorous name from the shreds of meat that seem to resemble tattered “old clothes.” Don't be tempted to substitute boneless leg of lamb; the bone gives the broth exceptional flavor. Though typically made with beef, lamb is more widely available in Cuba. If you prefer beef, use about 3 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast. Serve over rice, with black beans on the side.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2016




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Rub lamb with 3 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the lamb and brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Add water and bay leaves and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and simmer, turning the lamb a few times, until the lamb is extremely tender and falling off the bone, about 3 hours.

  • Remove the lamb to a clean cutting board, reserving the broth. When it is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones and shred it finely with your fingers.

  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and the shredded lamb; then add tomatoes, tomato sauce, cloves, 2 cups of the lamb broth and the remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer; cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.


Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the ropa for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Refrigerate extra lamb broth for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months, if desired; use as the base for another soup or stew.

Nutrition Facts

about 3/4 cup
296 calories; protein 39.1g; carbohydrates 5.8g; dietary fiber 1.2g; sugars 3g; fat 13.2g; saturated fat 3.3g; cholesterol 116.1mg; vitamin a iu 604.3IU; vitamin c 53.8mg; folate 13.9mcg; calcium 24.1mg; iron 3.1mg; magnesium 56.8mg; potassium 841.4mg; sodium 436.2mg; thiamin 0.3mg.

1 vegetable, 5 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat