Traditional Cuban style Ropa Vieja. Serve with black beans and rice.
One 2 ¼ to 2 ½ pound chuck roast or two 1 ¼ pound flank steaks
2 teaspoons fine sea or kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the beef
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup Sofrito
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Two 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 ½ cups water
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
2 bay leaves
4 celery stalks, with leaves, cut into ¼-inch dice
3 medium carrots, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
Pound the chuck roast or flank steaks out with a heavy meat mallet until about ½ inch thick. Season both sides of the beef generously with salt, pepper and onion powder. Heat the oil in a large, oven-proof, heavy skillet over high heat until rippling. Add the beef and cook it until well browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Drain or spoon off most of the fat from the pan. Stir in the sofrito, 2 teaspoons salt, and the cumin and bring to a boil. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, olives, and bay leaves. Add beef, sauce to crock pot. Cook on high 4 hours or low 6 hours. Shred the meat coarsely by hand or using two forks. Return it to the crock pot and add the celery and carrots. Cover and cook about 30 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the peas and cook a few minutes more.