Ropa Vieja Stuffed Onion

This post has been sponsored by FoodSaver®.

For the past few years I have been living with roommates and very much on my own when it comes to meals, but 2 months ago I moved in with my girlfriend and find myself planning our weekly dinners. We are both busier right now than we have ever been and it is easy to just grab takeout or throw together a few unsatisfying snacks and call it dinner. I have been making an effort to store, manage, and repurpose leftovers to make sure I am not wasting the food I make for this blog, and that we are both well fed and not throwing our money and food away!

That's why I was really excited when I was approached by FoodSaver® to create some recipes that focus on food saving tips from expert Jonathan Bloom because it honestly couldn't have come at a better time.

I came up with the idea of making ropa vieja, a cuban beef stew with long shreds of meat and red and green peppers. I was able to buy a bottom loin roast instead of the pricy flank steak that it is usually made with. I got 3 times the meat for the same price and vacuum sealed the extras with the FoodSaver® FM5000 System. This was one of my favorite of the food saving tips, and I knew the bottom loin would act the same way as flank in a braise due to the long grain running through the meat.

I made the dish for us to eat on FoodSaver® Sunday, the universal day for weekly meal planning and prep, while I also prepped some veggies and fruit for us to eat throughout the week, and then saved the rest of the stew in the vacuum bag until I stuffed it into onions for dinner on Thursday.
Meat, onions, and peppers in the pot. The sauce is wine, tomatoes, chipotle, and some spices. So much flavor! After it cooks a few hours, shred it up, add the olives, and cook it another 15 minutes. A great meal on its own with some rice. I packed up the leftovers into the FoodSaver® Vacuum Seal Bags. And sealed it up. Ready to go whenever I need it! A few days later I stuffed the meat into the onions and roasted them, topping with cheese towards the end of the roasting. I served it with plantains this time around to add something else new to the dish. Serve with plenty of hot sauce! The stew gets even better a few days later as the flavors meld together in the bag. Adding cheese was a nice touch as well. For more info about food waste and FoodSaver® Sundays, check out this Video featuring food waste expert Jonathan Bloom!

Ropa Vieja Stuffed Onion

  • Ropa Vieja
  • 2 pounds bottom loin, tri tip, or flank steak
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper sliced thin
  • 1 large Onion sliced thin
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce from the can
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 14 ounce can Diced Tomato
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 pinch Allspice
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • Stuffed Onions
  • 5 large Onions
  • 4 ounces Pepperjack Cheese


    Ropa Vieja
    1. Preheat oven to 325
    2. Heat some oil in a dutch oven or oven safe pot. Add the meat and cook on high heat to brown. Flip and brown on all sides.
    3. Turn heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring.
    4. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the olives. Move everything around in the pan a little to combine the liquids and spices but don’t worry about it too much. Place the pot into the oven and allow to cook for two and a half hours.
    5. Remove pot from the oven and shred the meat and stir everything together. If the meat won't shred, return to the oven and continue to cook until it is tender enough.
    6. Add the olives and cook 15 more minutes.
    7. Serve with rice and pack the remaining stew into the FoodSaver® Vacuum Seal Bags for later.
    Stuffed Onions
    1. Preheat oven to 400.
    2. Chop the top off the onions. Peel the onions and use a spoon to hollow them out. You will be crying during this step because the spoon will bruise the onions. Bring them down to only one layer. The core at the bottom might pop out, and if that happens, just use one of the internal layers of the onion to block the hole.
    3. Stuff the ropa vieja into the onions. Brush with vegetable oil.
    4. Bake the onions for 45 minutes to an hour until the onions are tender. Top with cheese and bake another 10 minutes.
    5. Serve with rice and sweet plantains.