Instant Pot Ropa Vieja

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 6

Loosely translated as “old clothes,” ropa vieja is among Cuba’s best-loved dishes. Usually, the beef must be cooked for hours before it becomes tender enough to tear into the shreds that give the dish its name. With an Instant Pot, however, the beef becomes meltingly tender in a fraction of the time. Serve the ropa vieja on top of rice, and garnish with slices of fresh avocado, if you like.


  • 2 lb. (1 kg) sirloin tip roast, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) white wine
  • 1 can (14 oz./440 g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) capers, drained
  • 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


Season the beef generously with salt and pepper.

In an Instant Pot set to “sauté,” warm the olive oil. Working in batches, sear the beef, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the pot and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika and turmeric and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and return the beef to the pot. Turn the valve to “sealing” and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.

Turn the valve to “venting” to manually release the steam. When the steam stops, carefully remove the lid and transfer the beef to a bowl. Using 2 forks, shred the beef into bite-size pieces. Return the beef to the pot and add the raisins, capers and vinegar. Set the pot to “sauté” and simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the green olives. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen