Serves 2. (For several days.)
Time to table: 1 hour, or more if you’re unreasonably slow like me
What you’ll need
For the spice blend (used for 3lb. flank steak. Adjust accordingly.)
Combine the following and set aside:
For the sweet potatoes:
- 1 Tbs. Chili Powder
- 1/2 Tbs smoked paprika
- 1/2 Tbs. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbs. sea salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 Tbs. black pepper
- 1 Tbs. ground espresso
For the Ropa Vieja:
- one large sweet potato, peeled & cut into large chunks (large enough to yield 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy whipping cream (other “milks” will not work, as they are too runny)
- reserve 1/2 Tbs. of the spice blend for the sweet potatoes
- 1 whole yellow onion, sliced
- juice of 1 lime
- One (1) 3-lb flank steak (adjust recipe accordingly if your flank steak is smaller or larger)
- 26-ish ounces chopped tomatoes in liquid
- 2 cups water
- 3 Tbs. coconut oil (or other stable cooking fat) for searing
- Coat the steak in the lime juice.
- Coat the steak in the spice blend, reserving 1/2 Tbs. for the sweet potatoes.
- Heat (medium-high heat) 2 Tbs. coconut oil in a heavy cast-iron skillet or dutch oven. Sear the flank steak on all sides, about 1 minute per side, then set aside (there will be some spice blend left in the skillet — to loosen, you can add a dash of water to help scrape them up.)
- Add 1 Tbs. coconut oil to skillet to saute the onions. Saute the onion until browned.
- Add 2 cups water to skillet. This will “deglaze” the skillet, allowing you to scrape up any leftover spices and onion bits. Pour this liquid into the pressure cooker or crock pot.
- Add tomatoes to pressure cooker or crock pot.
- Place flank steak in the pressure cooker or crock pot, in the liquid.
- Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions (mine said 45 minutes in the pressure cooker). For a crock pot, this would take 8 –12 hours on low.
Meat is done when it can be easily shredded with a fork.
Right before meat is done cooking, steam sweet potato chunks for approximately 15 minutes. (It will probably take that long for pressure cooker to cool, so plan accordingly.) Remove, add coconut milk and spice blend, then mash or whip.
You’ll have a lot of cooking liquid left over, which you can either reduce into a “gravy” by boiling (or adding 1 Tbs. arrowroot flour dissolved in 1/2 cup water and simmering until thick).
Pat self on back, smirk, do a superiority dance, and devour!
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