• file:5634_spanish-lamb-and-yoghurt-ropa-vieja.jpg

Originally from Spain, Ropa vieja has been adopted as a national dish by Cuba. Traditionally made with beef, this version uses lamb which is slow roasted in spiced yoghurt and tomatoes until falling apart.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 kg boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 400 g tin crushed tomatoes
  • 200 g Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds, ground
  • 20 g brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • steamed rice, to serve

Black bean vinaigrette

  • 200 g black beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 2 eschallots, finely sliced
  • 50 ml (2½ tbsp) white wine vinegar
  • 50 ml (2½ tbsp) extra virgin olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 15–20 minutes

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Place a large frying pan over high heat. Add the olive oil and lamb and cook, in 2 or 3 batches, for 3–4 minutes until evenly browned. Remove and set aside.

Combine browned lamb, tomatoes, yoghurt, cumin and sugar in a deep roasting tray and season to taste. Mix well to combine, cover tightly with foil or a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2½–3 hours until the lamb is tender. Remove from the oven and allow to rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the black bean vinaigrette place black beans in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes until tender, drain. Combine black beans with chives, shallot, vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste and toss to combine.

Serve lamb garnished with black bean vinaigrette and steamed rice.


Photography by Alan Benson