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Apr 4, 2010 02:35 PM

Is there a name for shredded pot roast?

The other day I braised a 4# top round with onion, garlic, bay leaf, and cloves. I separated the meat where it wanted to split, so as to shorten the braising time a little. Partway through I added some au jus base, and tomato paste. When the meat was tender, I felt that the braising liquid was too salty but the inside of the meat needed salt - so I pulled it all as one would pork. It tastes better this way, and is versatile. I made a portion of stroganoff by adding a little yogurt and sour cream, and will stir some into meatless tomato sauce to serve over spaghetti. Did I come up with something new, or did I reinvent the wheel?

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  1. You can also use that in french dips, a different version of a philly cheese steak or just as a hot roast beef sandwich. I don't know if there is a specific name for it, but I've done this for years. Lucky you. You have officially made me hungry.

    1. I believe that there is a Cuban dish called Ropa Vieja (old clothes)...which is beef, slow-cooked and shredded but I don't remember the exact ingredients. Yours may be similar but not exactly the same...sounds delish!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Val

        Val, you beat me to it.

        From the 3 Guys from Miami

        pounds chuck or arm roast, well marbled
        Olive oil for browning
        Flour for dusting meat
        1 green pepper chunked
        1 onion sliced
        5 cloves garlic chopped
        2 onions, chopped
        4 cloves of garlic, mashed with 1 teaspoon salt
        2 green peppers, chopped
        Olive oil (for sautéing)
        4 ounces tomato paste
        1 (32-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
        2 tablespoons ground cumin
        1 cup red wine
        1 bay leaf
        Salt and black pepper to taste

        Do not trim excess fat from meat before cooking! (You can remove the fat when you shred the beef.) Salt and pepper the meat and lightly dust with flour.

        Brown the meat in oil in a large Dutch oven. Add enough water to surround the meat, but NOT cover it. Add chunked green pepper, sliced onion, and garlic. Simmer, covered, until meat is fork tender, about two hours. (Add more water as necessary to keep from burning!


        Remove from heat and cool. Discard vegetables. Shred the meat.

        Sauté onions, garlic and green pepper in oil in the same pan you cooked the meat in until limp. Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, cumin, red wine and bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste.

        Cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf and serve with rice.

        1. re: scubadoo97

          Nice. Those 3 guys are Cuban (not a bad thing at all) and their website has some great recipes.

          Ropa Vieja is classified more as a Caribbean dish, appearing on menus in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama, rather than just Cuba.
          Scubadoo97's recipe is a core interpretation, with slight variations from country to country and different names as well.

          Often flank or skirt steak is used but a 4# chuck roast would be great.

          Here's a slightly different version of Ropa Vieja:

          1½ lb. skirt steak (flank steak is classic))
          2 tablespoons salt
          2 bay leaves
          ¼ cup olive oil
          ¼ cup vegetable oil
          1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
          1 large onion, cut in thin wedges
          1 red pepper, julienned
          1 green pepper, julienned
          ¼ cup white wine
          ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
          ½ teaspoon ground cumin
          ½ teaspoon dried oregano
          1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

          1. Place beef with salt and bay leaves in water to cover plus 2 inches and bring to a boil. After the water comes to a rolling boil, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 1½ hours. Remove meat and RESERVE BROTH. (I put that in capital letters because, if I don't, I'll forget and toss it, like pasta water.) Shred meat and set aside.

          2. Combine olive oil and vegetable oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion and peppers together for 3-4 minutes.

          3. Add wine, spices, tomato sauce, and 1½ cups of the reserved broth and cook for 2 minutes more. Add shredded beef and let ingredients cook together until just warmed through.

          Serve with white or yellow rice and black or red beans.

          And a link for what I consider to be a real Boriqua (Puerto Rican) version of Ropa Vieja:

          The recipe is in English.

      2. I will sometime smoke a big chuck roll 20#+ overnight until it hits 190-200 internal. It will fall apart like pulled pork. Makes for great eats at tailgaters. I call it pit beef.

        1. Stracotto. It's Italian pot roast and the name literally means "overcooked" - until it's falling apart tender. You got it right with the addition of tomato paste and most recipes call for a little wine, such as a chianti. Many use dried porcini. The deep red-brown gravy is very rich and satisfying.

          The pot roast is cooked until it's fork-tender and really ready to fall apart. Make sure you use a good chuck for this so you don't end up with dry meat.
          After you take the meat out of the sauce, let it sit for a few minutes before slicing it across the grain. Add the slices back to the sauce. They'll be falling into shreds.

          This is great to serve with a hearty pasta, and it freezes well in meal sized portions - so make a lot for quick dinners in the future.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MakingSense

            You remind me that I did toss in some dried shitake. No wine, but that's part of the au jus base. After over 4 hours on the stovetop in my cast iron dutch oven, the top round fell apart when I tried to lift it with tongs, so I didn't slice it - just shredded it with the tongs and a fork. Though it is not as fatty a cut as chuck, it came out very tender. This will be my new standard method for "pot roast", as long as appearances aren't important. I like the versatilty. I piled some reheated meat on bread for a sandwich yesterday, and today added some to potatoes and more onion, for hash. It COULD have tomato, but wouldn't necessarily have to. It could also be in the style of a sweet&sour brisket,

          2. Also Mexican carne deshebrada, very common in carnicerias/taquerias here, and in Venezuela, carne mechada, part of the national dish pabellon criollo. Both of these are 'authentically' made with skirt steak, I think, but often made with brisket or chuck.

            I love shredded pot roast and usually use chuck or brisket myself