Paleo-Friendly Ropa Vieja

Let me start by saying that I love, no adore, Cuban food. I mean, they really know how to season their food. Last night I was really needing a change to our normal diner routine and I’ve made a beef roast that is very similar in the past and it’s delicious, but I think I like this dish even more.

It very closely resembles the authentic Cuban dish, Ropa Vieja. This dish is typically served with rice and usually some very delicious fried plantains. I was hesitant to serve it with anything else, but I’m really trying to eat less carbs and more nutrient dense food. Insert riced cauliflower…delicious! I bought pre-packaged riced cauliflower from Costco and simply sautéed it with a little salt and grass-fed butter and it only took about 5 minutes or so. My kids devoured it and my 2 year old ate a bowl of the cauliflower by itself. Winning!

One trick I have learned to making the best roasts, whether it’s beef or pork, is to cut the roast in to 3 inch cubes prior to slow cooking. It allows the meat to cook fast and more evenly. This recipe can be cooked in an instapot or crock-pot.

Paleo-Friendly Ropa Vieja


  • 1 grass-fed beef chuck roast (2-4 lbs)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp real sea salt (Redmond's is seriously the best)
  • 4 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 3 stalks celery-diced
  • 2 bell peppers-chopped -I used red and yellow
  • chopped cilantro -for garnish
  • 1 cup water or beef broth if using an instapot


  • Cut the beef roast in cubes, about 3 inches in size, and place in the slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle the salt and cumin over the meat.
  • Add the minced garlic.
  • Cut the butter into small slices and spread out over the top of the meat.
  • Cook on low for about 4 hours. (The meat should easily fall apart when done.)
  • Add the onion, celery, and bell peppers to the roast and cook for another 30-60 minutes.
  • Once it's finished, I usually find that I need to add a bit more salt (about 1 tsp). Salt the roast to your taste.
  • Serve with rice, or riced cauliflower for a low-carb option.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.


If using the instapot, follow the directions above, but also add 1 cup of water or beef broth to the pot. Cook on the meat setting for 60 minutes. If the meat does not easily fall apart, cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Open the lid and add the vegetables and cook for an additional 15-20  minutes. Enjoy! 

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