International New Years

Some of my closest friends and I have thought of having an "International New Years" party this year to save on $$ and stay in together to celebrate at our house. The idea has evolved over time from a rotating dinner party idea where each of us would prepare food from our distinct heritages...Danish/Swedish, Eastern European, Italian, Cuban, Welsh, Middle Eastern and American / Spanish wanna-be (thats me!). So this NYE we will be ringing in 2011 with a variety of worldly cuisines!

(note: it helps to do this with friends from all over the place, they come up with great ideas, recipes and family traditions!)

We will be preparing a Cuban favorite, Ropa Vieja or "old clothes".

Trust me, it doesn't taste like laundry!

Recipe for Traditional Cuban Ropa Vieja:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef flank steak
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar or sherry

Boil the flank steak with bay leaves, carrot, green pepper, onion and oregano and enough water to cover all ingredients. Continue to cook for at least 2 hours in a crock pot until meat is super tender. Shred meat with fork once tender.
Saute remaining onion, peppers, and garlic in olive oil. Deglaze with sherry or white vinegar. Add tomato sauce and paste and cumin and cook together for 15 minutes. Add to the shredded meat and cook until ready to serve.
Serve over white rice or with Moros y Cristianos (black beans mixed with white rice) or even on sandwiches on hearty toasted garlic bread.