September 15, 2020

Ropa Vieja with Cuban Rice & Beans

Recipe by Chef Nick Kubitz
Serves 6

Ropa vieja is the national dish of Cuba with quite a history. It originated in Spain and its name literally translates to ‘old clothes’ because of the penniless old man who shredded and cooked his own clothes because he could not afford food for his family. As it cooked, a miracle happened and the mixture turned into a tasty stew.

Now that is just a story, but what we do know is ropa vieja is over 500 years old and it originated in Spain. The dish traveled to the Americas, where it became a staple in the Caribbean and Cuba. Over the years, the recipe has been personalized, like this version from Chef Nick.

Chef Nick’s ropa vieja is a rustic dish consisting of tender shredded beef with stewed onions and peppers with a tangy tomato flavor. Olives add a subtle brininess, and the cilantro on top adds freshness. By serving it on a pile of rice and beans, paired with a bottle of River Ranch Montepulciano, the meal is complete. Enjoy!


Ropa Vieja
  • 2 Lb Chuck Roast
  • 1 Qt Beef Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tbps Sweet Paprika
  • 1 Tbps Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers (Julienned)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (Julienned)
  • 2 Medium Yellow Onions (Julienned)
  • 5 Cloves Garlic (Finely Chopped)
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (Drained)
  • 1 Cup Pitted Green Olives (Drained)
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Cup Red Wine
  • 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cuban Rice & Beans
  • 2 Cups Long Grain Rice
  • 3.5 Cups Water
  • 2 Cans Black Beans (Drained)
  • 1/2 Large Yellow Onion (Diced Small)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Finely Chopped)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (Diced Small)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (Diced Small)
  • 1 Bunch Cliantro (Finely Chopped)
  • 2 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper To Taste


  • Ropa Vieja
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  • Mix dried spices together. Using half of the spice mixture, season the chuck roast all over. Drizzle some olive oil into a large sauté pan or dutch oven on medium high heat. Sear seasoned chuck roast on each side until browned. About 6 minutes per side. Remove chuck roast and place in an oven safe dish or plate to put back in the dutch oven after following the next steps.

  • In the same pan add another drizzle of olive oil and add the julienned onions and peppers. Sauté onions and peppers for about 5 minutes on high heat. Add the rest of the spice mixture and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and diced tomatoes. Cook For another 5 minutes. Add the red wine and cook until almost entirely evaporated. Add the red wine vinegar and juice of 1 lime. Pour in beef stock and bring to a boil. Either pour vegetable mixture over chuck roast in oven safe dish and tightly cover with tin foil or put chuck roast back in the dutch oven into the vegetable mixture. Braise meat in the preheated oven for about 2 hrs or until meat is fork tender.

  • Once meat is fork tender, shred with tongs or two forks. Mix in green olives and add more salt if needed. Serve on top of the Cuban Rice & Beans topped with picked cilantro.

  • Cuban Rice & Beans

  • Bring 3.5 cups of water to a boil with about a 1-Tbsp of Kosher salt added on high heat. Add the 2 cups of long grain rice. Once rice begins to simmer again, cover with a lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat after ten minutes and let sit for another 10 minutes without removing the lid. Once done, remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork. Set aside.

  • In a large sauce pan on high heat, drizzle in some olive oil. Add the onions, bell peppers and garlic to the pan. Saute for about five minutes. Add the ground cumin, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the drained black beans and chopped cilantro. Cook for another 5 minutes. Once done, stir bean mixture into steamed rice. Add salt if needed. Serve topped with Ropa Vieja and enjoy with LangeTwins River Ranch Montepulciano.

Chef Nick Kubitz

Our partnerships with talented chefs always start with the wines. When planning for any event, we consider the wine first before we move on to the challenge of asking our team to develop a meal that reflects a unique synergy. We are grateful to have a homegrown guy as one of our ‘aces’ in the kitchen. He is definitely a man who demonstrates a unique sense of tasting, pairing, and creating food recognizing the efforts made in the vineyard to produce our fabulous varietals.

At first glance, Chef Nick Kubitz looks like he should be a bouncer at your favorite club - big, burly, gritty but with a quiet confidence that owns the room. And actually he has clawed his way to the top with those jobs while earning his culinary management and hospitality degree at the Art Institute of California, San Diego. The past decade has found him trying his hand at a BBQ restaurant, managing a food truck, and working alongside Michelin starred chefs in San Francisco.

Kubitz has developed a passion for the best and freshest ingredients that San Joaquin County has to offer, and his past experience of overseeing a large kitchen in a San Francisco tech company allowed him to harness and integrate the tastes of ingredients from around the world to satisfy the many cultures of that particular employee base.

And he is not one to shy aware from pressure – Kubitz has twice joined us at the world-renowned Aspen Food and Wine show creating a series of private food experiences to tease guests away from the main tent headliner chefs. His knowledge of Lodi wines, the appellation, and terroir all layer into the choices he makes in the kitchen to offer what we would consider a ‘perfect pairing’.

We sit up nights trying to figure out how to shackle Kubitz to our kitchen – we block his calendar every chance we get, but support his dream of owning a unique fine dining company called Range – a place that will showcase the range of his talents and experiences.

You’ll find unique crafted recipes from Kubitz within this blog, give them a try and send us your thoughts and of course, a photo of the final product!

LangeTwins Single Vineyard wines

Pairing |

The Ropa Vieja’s rich, tangy flavors with slight sweetness pair perfectly with the vibrant fig and plum flavors in our 2018 Single Vineyard Montepulciano from the River Ranch vineyard.

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