Carne Ripiada (Shredded Beef) is juicy, flavorful, easy to make. Venezuela has carne mechada, Cuba has ropa vieja, and Dominican Rep. has carne ripiada.
Carne Ripiada (Shredded Beef), is known throughout Latin America with many different names, with some variations in preparation and ingredients. 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)
About our recipe
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.
Every Dominican home has its own version, so be sure to add and remove vegetables to suit your taste.
Dominican Carne Ripiada Recipe (Shredded Beef)
- 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 vegetable oil, (peanut, soy or corn)
- 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
- Season beef with a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, thyme and oregano.
- 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).
- 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
- Once the meat is cool enough to handle, cut into slices no more than 2 inches wide and shred the meat with your hands.
- In a heavy saucepan heat the remaining oil and cook and stir the onions until they become translucent. 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.
- Add the tomato sauce and the meat and the remaining liquid from boiling the meat.
- Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat, or until all the vegetables are cooked through. Taste and season with salt to taste if needed.
- Serve with your choice of rice.
Latino shredded beef recipes
Venezuelan Carne Mechada recipe by Oriana [archived].
Cuban Ropa Vieja recipes by Alejandra, and by Ericka.
Mexican Salpicón recipe by Yvette.
Chilean Plateada recipe by Pilar.
Colombian Carne Desmechada recipe by Erica.
Shredded beef in slow cooker recipe by Vanessa.