Instant Pot Ropa Vieja

This recipe is created from the traditional Cuban dish made with beef brisket…it is so flavorful and delicious over rice.

I hope you all had a nice and enjoyable holiday surrounded by your loved ones…and here we are, a whole new year ahead of us…filled with hope, dreams and wishes…talking about wish…I have been wanted to make this dish for a while, but really got inspired when a couple of weeks ago we had ropa vieja at Portos Bakery, a local Cuban bakery, which has been often featured in the news for their successful family business.

– What is ropa vieja?

In Spanish ropa vieja means “old clothes”.  Really? Yes, according to Wikipedia it is one of the national dishes of Cuba, although very popular in many countries such as Puerto Rico, Panama and Philippines. This dish is mainly shredded beef with vegetables with a touch of sweet from red peppers.

– Why use Instant Pot?

Using Instant Pot will cut your cooking time to a fraction since the meat has a lot of connective tissues, therefore a tough cut of meat. Instant Pot will work magic to tenderize the meat and it can all be done in one pot, yes one pot.

– Can I use other kind of meat?

Absolutely, you can use flank steak, flap steak, chuck roast, brisket…all kind of meat that is rich in connective tissue.

– Should we jump to the recipe?

Of course…since there are hundreds of ropa vieja recipes on the internet, I really cannot tell you which one really based on…it was really a combination of many of them…match and mix…


  • 2-2 ½ lbs brisket
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 bell peppers (1 green and 2 red)
  • Green olives, sliced
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Avocado for garnish
  • Cilantro for garnish


Season the beef with salt and pepper and let it set for a few minutes.

Set the Instant Pot to “sauté”, add the olive oil and sear the brisket, both side. Set the brisket on aside.

Add the sliced onion, garlic and sauté until aromatic and golden brown.  Return the brisket to the pot and add the tomato paste, fresh tomatoes and all the spices.

Add 1 cup of water and turn to pressure cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Once the time is up, let the steam release naturally.

When the steam stops, carefully open the pot and add the sliced bell peppers. Taste for salt and pepper. Turn the pressure cook at high pressure for another 10 minutes and set the steam to release naturally.

Once the steam stops, carefully open the pot, remove the brisket. Place the brisket in a dish and using 2 forks shred the beef. Return the shredded beef to the pot and add the sliced olives. Cook for another minute.

Transfer the ropa vieja to a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro and avocado.

Serve with rice, noodles or with anything you like.

– Looking for more meat recipes?  Please check the recipes below…you might find something you want to try.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

2019-01-01T19:49:03+00:00Instant Pot, Meat|


  1. lisaiscooking January 14, 2019 at 1:16 PM - Reply

    I’m having instant pot envy! I still haven’t tried cooking with one. This looks like a perfect use of it!

  2. Ron January 14, 2019 at 7:09 AM - Reply

    This a great dish, we used to enjoy it at a local Puerto Rican restaurant in the US when we lived there. I’ve never made it but, with our instant pot, I’ll be giving it a try. I love the blend of sweet and smoked paprika. I see some nice Puerto Rican rice plating up with this. A rib sticker this one will be. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Susan January 12, 2019 at 9:36 AM - Reply

    This sounds like a delicious comfort meal, Juliana! Even though I don’t have an Instant Pot I think I could do this in the oven too. I also love brisket!

  4. gloria Roa Baker January 11, 2019 at 7:42 AM - Reply

    Looks so delicious Juliana, I ate one time this and was soo good!

  5. Evelyne January 10, 2019 at 8:50 AM - Reply

    A few members of my Eat the World group made this when we did Cuba, love your version with the Instant Pot. And all the cilantro and avocado on top too. Have a great week Juliana!

  6. Blackswan January 9, 2019 at 11:37 PM - Reply

    Yummy! This is the first time I’ve heard of instant pot tho. Happy 2019, Juliana! xoxo

  7. Abbe@This is How I Cook January 9, 2019 at 8:17 PM - Reply

    I have never made this and have always wanted to! Sounds delish! Happy New Year Juliana!

  8. Pam January 9, 2019 at 11:40 AM - Reply

    Oh, this really sounds delicious, Juliana! I haven’t made brisket in ages and want to try this in the Dutch oven. I ditched my IP, nothing but problems with it and gave up on it. Glad you like yours! Thanks for the great recipe!

  9. John / Kitchen Riffs January 8, 2019 at 5:04 PM - Reply

    I love this dish — so much flavor. I always make it in a Dutch oven, mainly because I don’t have an Instant Pot! The Instant Pot is a great way to make it, though. Good stuff — thanks.

  10. Karen (Back Road Journal) January 8, 2019 at 11:21 AM - Reply

    No instant pot but it really isn’t needed, I’ll just cook it the “old fashioned” way. 😀

  11. Inger @ Art of Natural Living January 8, 2019 at 5:47 AM - Reply

    Unfortunately I gave my Instant Pot to my daughter after not really using it. But this looks great!

  12. Healthy World Cuisine January 8, 2019 at 5:25 AM - Reply

    Love the addition of the briny olives in this recipe. Cozy dish that you can just throw in the instant pot and come home to a delicious meal. Love that!

  13. angiesrecipes January 7, 2019 at 8:05 PM - Reply

    Brisket is my top favourite! This looks so comforting and tasty, Juliana.

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