I wanted to make a vegan version of Ropa Vieja but now it had to be gluten-free as well. So I turned to the ingredient that would best fit: portobello mushrooms. They are “meaty,” can be thinly sliced or shredded and they are the right color. The result was amazing! Juicy, beefy portobello mushrooms cooked in a rich sauce of sofrito, olives and cumin with delicious colorful vegetables. Not only is my Ropa Vieja muy bien but it’s also muy bonita!
Mushroom Ropa Vieja [Vegan]
- 6 large Portobello mushroom caps
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 Tbs. safflower oil
- ½ cup sofrito (see recipe below)
- 8-10 stuffed pimento olives (alcaparrado or other green olives)
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 medium stalks celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced, mix colors if possible
- 1 medium onion, diced
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- 1 medium Spanish onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 medium green pepper, cubanelle or frying pepper
- 8 garlic cloves
- 3 ajices dulce, optional (if you don’t have this, add more cilantro)
- 1 cup cilantro
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 red bell peppers, chopped
- Slice the mushroom caps thinly. Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add the mushrooms, season with pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Cook about 10 minutes until they are browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add sofrito, olives, and cumin to the pan. Add more oil if the pan is too dry. Stir in tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Add the bay leaves. Let cook for about 4 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble.
- Return the mushrooms to the pan, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat about 20 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and have taken on the flavors of the sofrito, olives, cumin and tomatoes.
- Remove the mushrooms again and shred with 2 forks (or slice them as thinly as possible; thinner than I did in the pictures). Return them to the pan.
- Add the onion, celery, carrots, and peppers to the pan. Season with salt, to taste. Bring it to a simmer, about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the frozen peas and heat through. Remove the bay leaves.
- Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve over rice or quinoa, with potatoes or plantains. Enjoy!
- For the Sofrito:
- Put the onion and peppers in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With motor running, add remaining ingredients one at a time and process until smooth.
The sofrito makes more than you need for the recipe. Keep the rest in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze serving size amounts in individual plastic bags.