Paleo Ropa Vieja Recipe

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ropa-viejaEverything 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

Yield: 6-8 servings

Paleo Ropa Vieja Recipe


  • 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.

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Koren December 10, 2012, 1:11 am

    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, 2012, 1:30 am

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

  • kim Buchwald January 22, 2013, 11:32 pm

    This was fantastic!!! Thank you for posting!

    • Louise January 22, 2013, 11:36 pm

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

  • Jen April 3, 2013, 12:49 pm

    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, 2013, 12:51 pm

      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, 2013, 4:49 pm

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

    • Louise November 11, 2013, 7:10 pm

      Haha – enjoy!


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Louise Yang Ancestral Chef

Hi! I'm Louise - I am "beyond gluten-free," grain-free, paleo/primal, a lawyer, an ex-physicist, a cook, a blogger, a Brit living in the US, an ex-violin player, an occasional crossfitter, a mystery book junkie, and of course, I am the Ancestral Chef :) Read my About Me Page for more!

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