Carne Ripiada (Shredded Beef)

Carne Ripiada (Shredded Beef)

Carne ripiada (shredded beef), with some variations, is known throughout Latin America with many different names. The base is an inexpensive cut of beef (flank, for example), cooked over low heat for a long time until it becomes very tender. Some vegetables are also added to the mix.

The Dominican carne ripiada is pretty close to its Venezuelan cousin carne mechada (carne mechada is something else in the DR) and the famous Cuban ropa vieja, which translates into “old clothes” in English (a sure entry into the Cuban version of foods with odd names)

And it’s time to make a confession: I rarely ever eat meat. And no, I am not a vegetarian.

Carne Ripiada (Shredded Beef)

You see, a good Serrano makes my heart sing. And since my avoiding meat is just a matter of taste, not of ethics or religion, I occasionally eat meals that contain meat (which  I just avoid), in the interest of not inconveniencing my hosts when people don’t know of my food choices.

The funny thing is that my husband is absolutely carnivorous, and I have no qualms about cooking meat (within reason), but I go about it by memory, intuition and my husband’s taste buds. Whenever I add meat recipes to our site you can be almost certain that my husband – or Aunt Ilana’s – are around to approve. By the way, Aunt Ilana doesn’t eat meat either, neither of us did by the time we met. It was just a coincidence.

My spousal unit did not grow up eating meat cooked this way, he went mostly for the “big, bloody chunk of cow” to go with his potatoes, but he has come to be a huge fan of this method of cooking beef, which means that he can enjoy other cuts of meat, and get a serving of veggies with it, all in a delicious package. If you haven’t tried it, do so, you too will become a fan.

Venezuela has carne mechada, Cuba has ropa vieja, and Dominican Republic has carne ripiada (shredded beef): juicy, flavorful and easy to make.

Buen provecho!

Aunt Clara
Dominican Carne Ripiada (Shredded Beef)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Venezuela has carne mechada, Cuba has ropa vieja, and Dominican Republic has carne ripiada (shredded beef): juicy, flavorful and easy to make.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 lbs [0.9 kg] of beef (flank, shank, chuck, or skirt)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (more if needed)
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper (more if needed)
  • 1 sprig of thyme (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 large red onion cut into slices
  • ½ tablespoon of crushed (or sliced) garlic
  • 1 cup of carrots cut into large cubes (optional)
  • ½ cup of peppers cut into cubes
  • 2 cups of tomatoes, cut into large cubes
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  1. Season beef with a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, thyme and oregano.
  2. In a large cast aluminum or cast iron pot heat half the oil. Sear the meat throughout (be careful with splatters, you are trying to cook the beef, not yourself).
  3. Add enough water to cover the meat and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, simmer over low heat until the meat is very tender (it will start to flake). Rotate the meat every once in a while so it cooks uniformly. Add water if it becomes necessary so it doesn't get completely dry. By the end you should have left about 3 cups of liquid. Cool down to room temperature
  4. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, cut into slices no more than 2 inches wide and shred the meat with your hands.
  5. In a heavy saucepan heat the remaining oil and cook and stir the onions until they become transparent. Add the garlic, carrots and peppers and simmer over very low heat for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes are tender.
  6. Add the tomato sauce and the meat and the remaining liquid from boiling the meat.
  7. Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat, or until all the vegetables are cooked through. Taste and season with salt to taste if needed.
  8. Serve with your choice of rice.

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{ 17 comments… add one }

  • MaxiaSev May 13, 2014, 11:41 AM

    Hi Aunt Clara!

    I’d like to know the translation of flank beef to spanish? Because I have no idea of what I’ll be looking for in the supermarket (I live in DR).

    Thank you!

  • Christine March 3, 2014, 7:12 PM

    Hola Clara! If I wanted to follow this recipe but make it in a crockpot, how could I adjust the time? Also, should I put it on high or low? Thank you!

  • Chloe Madison Marie September 19, 2011, 8:21 PM

    Oh my oh my… I'm a bit surprised at some the heat you are getting, that said, the recipe and the dish looks delish just the same. I can understand how the one commenter might feel, but cooking, baking is a learning process. I'm not an authority on DR cooking so, I will have to stay mum… but it looks delicious.

    • Aunt Clara September 20, 2011, 2:00 AM

      Thank you, Chloe. I left that comment there because I find it very amusing.

      You should try that dish, it is a favorite in our family.

  • Sandra B Gomez September 16, 2011, 3:50 PM

    Finally I found a Dominican recipe on foodgawker! I love that site, I like looking at recipes from all over the world, and every few months I look just to see if there is a recipe from our country! and NADA! thank you Aunt Clara! nobody better to represent us!

    • Aunt Clara September 16, 2011, 6:21 PM

      Thanks, Sandra! I finally started to use my FoodGawker account.

  • Sophia May 4, 2011, 9:34 AM

    Yovanni- Dominican Republic is a pretty big country, every part has a different take on food. Cooking with adob, sofrito , or sazon does not make it a Dominican recipe. What makes it Dominican is using all the fresh ingredients mentioned above.

    Tia Clara- continue to bless us all with your delicious recipes!

  • Aunt Clara April 28, 2011, 4:49 PM

    I am so glad we finally got to hear from the final authority on all things Dominican. It was about time.

  • yovanni estrella April 28, 2011, 4:32 PM

    Again…There is nothing Dominican about this recipe. Do your research before publishing recipes. Try contacting a real Dominican chef to understand the way they cook and the spices they use. There is not 1 real Dominican spice included in this recipe. A real Dominican would not cook any cut of meat without using at least one or more of adobo, sofrito, or sazon.

    • Eva September 23, 2012, 7:35 PM

      We don’t need recipes from Dominican Chefs… We look for recipes that are cooked in the kitchens of any Household … The wholehearted Dominican meals that Tia Clara posts on here is what people want to cook. My mother died when I was very young and I remember her foods but was never taught how to cook them. I am from Miami Florida with Dominican background , and married an amazing man from Alabama ( very very country ) that knew nothing of my culture … So Aunt Clara , thank you for this website. I swept him away with my ( your ) great cooking skills 😉
      . Its more than recipes , it’s a way to keep my heritage and roots alive … And although I’m completely Americanized I can say … A “real” Dominican would appreciate her cooking skills instead of writing disparate over her forum… :) gracias Aunt Clara … N please keep the recipes rolling !

    • Esteban March 9, 2013, 10:41 AM

      Plenty of talented Dominican chefs do exist but they are in the kitchens of the top French, Spanish and Mediterranean restaurants in the world. The open mind and artistry is inspired by this very home cooking growing up. Both my grandmothers are great cooks but season things differently. Doesn’t mean one is more Dominican than the other. One is from Dajabon, the other from La Vega. Saying without sofrito is not Dominican makes as much sense as saying food is not Indian unless it has curry. Dominican food is a mix of African, Spanish, French and Taino. Over time and as the world gets smaller more international foods are incorporated as our own. Potato salad(Russian) kipe(Arab) spaghetti, salami, longaniza(Italian). Pre-mixed seasoning isn’t what makes food Dominican. The love of cooking and feeding people does.

  • Mari's Cakes March 22, 2011, 6:51 PM

    One of my favorite recipes! Clara te ha quedado divina.

    Un saludo :)

  • Amity March 22, 2011, 11:40 AM

    Sounds very good :)

  • Aunt Clara March 22, 2011, 9:59 AM

    It's a large piece of meat filled with ham and some veggies, braised then sliced.

  • Amity March 22, 2011, 8:58 AM

    What is carne mechada in DR? I meant the Venezuelan version :)

  • Amity March 22, 2011, 8:57 AM

    Flank steak is pricey here, perhaps because there is so much in the cut it feels expensive…usually 12-18 bucks for when I make "carne mechada".

    Love this recipe!