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Ropa Vieja Joses (Cuban Sloppy Joes), Sliced Tomatoes, Plantain Chips and Mojo Sauce

Ropa Vieja Joses (Cuban Sloppy Joes), Sliced Tomatoes, Plantain Chips and Mojo Sauce



  • 10 cloves garlic, cracked from skin

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, eyeball it in your palm

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), eyeball the amount

  • 1/4 cup water, eyeball it

  • 2 pounds ground sirloin

  • 1/4 cup green olives with pimiento, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon paprika, (eyeball it in your palm)

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, (eyeball it)

  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco) eyeball it

  • 1 cup tomato sauce

  • A palmful grill seasoning blend (such as McCormick Brand Montreal Steak Seasoning

  • 4 crusty rolls, split (if available to you, look for Cuban rolls or Portuguese rolls, they are slightly sweet, but good ole keisers work fine, too)

  • 2 large dill pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 1 sack plantain chips, on International foods aisle of market with Latin foods

  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced


Make the mojo sauce: put the garlic and onion in a food processor with cumin, lemon zest and juice. Turn processor on and stream in about 1 cup of EVOO and 1/4 cup of water. Turn off processor and reserve.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown. Add half of the mojo and crumble the meat as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Add olives and pimientos, paprika, Worcestershire, hot pepper sauce, tomato sauce and grill seasoning. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook over low heat 10 minutes.

Split Cuban rolls and pile the bottoms with hefty spoonfuls of Sloppy Ropa Vieja Jose mix. Cover meat with sliced dill pickles and bun tops. Serve the plantain chips and sliced tomatoes along side to finish your plates and drizzle tiny spoonfuls of raw mojo sauce over the chips when passing out the plates. Season the tomato slices with a pinch of salt as well.