Toward the end of November I acquired a Slow Cooker. I hadn’t really been interested in buying one, or know much about how they operated, until my mom bought one and encouraged me to do the same. Out of excitement the first dish I cooked was a Chicken Tikka Masala which filled my house with indescribable aromas for the whole day while it was cooking. The next dish I cooked was a beef ‘roast’ for our Christmas dinner, which was also incredible. I used it at home to cook the Involtini Alla Romana for Italy, and the Bulgarian Chicken. Each time it has been a great success. I’ve now become quite obsessed with using it, looking for slow cooker recipes everywhere. The no mess, no fuss side of it is appealing, and I like that you can prep the food when you have a bit more time, and then leave it for the day to cook, so when you get home late from work, or are in a rush to get ready for dinner guests, it’s all pretty much done.
This Ropa Vieja was of course, no exception to the above, and I think it may be one of my most tasty dishes to date. Ropo Vieja translates to ‘old clothes’ and the dish is called this because once shredded the meat resembles tattered rags of old clothes. The recipe makes use of ‘chuck’ which I was initially super apprehensive about. I had never cooked with it and it’s really cheap in the shop, making me worry about the quality of the meat. However, after spending 10 hours in the slow cooker on low (The recipe suggested 6 hours on high but I wasn’t sure when I was going to be home from work), the meat was the most tender and delicious flavour I could ever have imagined. There was a certain spiciness to it, even though there are very little spices (likely from the tomatoes). I sadly couldn’t find Coriander anywhere (in the stores or in plant form), so could not garnish with that, but the rest went perfectly according to plan. I did add olives though, even though I’m not such a fan – I wanted to make it as close to the original recipe as possible! It’s quite a rich meal so needs the rice to assist in that regard. But wow, really so delicious and a definite repeat cook because of the easiness to cook it, and obviously how tasty it was.