Vaca Frita with Queso de Papa Flatbread

This recipe for Vaca Frita is a close cousin to Cuba's famous Ropa Vieja. However, the beef for Vaca Frita is marinated in lime, garlic, and salt, then seared until crispy. Here, we make Vaca Frita in the traditional way, but serve it on top of an Arepa Amarilla. The perfect recipe to bring out our flavors in a flatbread.

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Dinner Lunch Renovando Las Tradiciones Snacks and Appetizers Arepa Amarilla Queso de Papa


  • 1 lb shredded cooked flank steak
  • 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1⁄2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups shredded Queso de Papa
  • 4 Arepa Amarilla


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place the steak in a pot and add just enough water until the meat is covered. Cover the pot and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the contents to cool down.
  3. When the steak is still warm but not hot, remove it from the pot and shred the beef using two forks, or pull the beef apart using your fingers.
  4. Add 1⁄4 cup of olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and green peppers and sauté until they are tender (about 5-8 minutes). Turn the heat up to medium-high, then add the shredded beef, oregano, cumin, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until crispy. Add the fresh lime juice and mix well. Remove from heat.
  5. Divide the shredded Queso de Papa among the 4 Arepas Amarillas. Layer the Vaca Frita and caramelized onions and peppers on top of the cheese. Bake in the heated oven for 7-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the edges are nicely toasted. Remove from oven and drizzle with a little olive oil (if desired); slice and serve. Makes 4 servings.
  6. Serve with a spring salad and tomato soup.

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