Ropa Veija (“old clothes” or “rags”) is one of my favourite classic Cuban dishes, though though it’s found in one form or another from the Canary Island all the way to Colombia. It’s a dish of tender braised beef that’s been pulled into strips and tossed with a sofrito of tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives and spices.
I’ll be serving it with a couple of traditional Cuban sides: Congri, rice cooked with black beans, a “vianda” of Yuca con Mojo, wedges of boiled yucca root with a garlicky sour-orange dressing, and Tostones, crispy twice-fried plantain chips. The only thing not authentically Cuban would be the grass-fed Ontario Angus beef I’ll be using (from Custodio’s Meats and Eats on Roncy).
There will be a vegan option too, made with yuba (dried tofu skin), that I think is going work out really well.
There’ll be fresh Afoodgypsy soup, organic baby greens salad, hot apple cider, and fresh-baked pie for dessert.
Len Senater is the founder and proprietor of The Depanneur, who happily cooks for his friends and neighbours every Tuesday night.