Momma Told Me: Smart Cooking w/ Ingrid Hoffmann's Ropa Vieja + Mexican Rice Recipes

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Smart Cooking w/ Ingrid Hoffmann's Ropa Vieja + Mexican Rice Recipes

Ingrid Hoffmann
Momma Told Me: Smart Buys require Smart Buyers.

Growing up my family never owned a business, or coordinated large family get-togethers. For the most part Momma fed and entertained a party of 3, 365 days a year; and that alone was a challenge. With a disabled parent, and one income, my family relied greatly on Momma's skills to coupon and shop sales to make our budget stretch through the rough patches. Whenever an unexpected expense would pop up, in the form of a medical bill or household repair, I knew we'd be in for some creative meal planning through the following weeks. One of Momma's biggest tricks was buying in bulk, or making a 'smart buy', that is to pay a little more, for a larger quantity of an item, up front, in exchange for the added value over time. In addition to shopping 'club' based stores, she would frequent Smart & Final, where she could stock up on everything from fresh produce to frozen smart buys that would help her make multiple meals at once. She would go on these cooking crazes, where it seemed she wouldn't leave the kitchen for days; and our freezer would magically become stocked with ready to eat, homemade, meals.
Smart and Final
Today I choose Smart and Final for the very same reasons; there is no club membership required and I can save valuable pennies buying everyday items in bulk quantities. For example, my family goes through Teriyaki Glaze like it's water, so we buy our Kikkoman Glaze at Smart & Final, where we pay $.09/oz less than buying individual retail bottles. (And when we eliminate the extra packaging, we're helping out the Earth as well.) Recently I got the 'heads up' on a very exciting promotion that pairs Smart & Final with Procter & Gamble (P&G) favorite products. Running February 13-19, 2013, Smart & Final customers who purchase $25 or more in participating P&G brand products will qualify to receive a free 5.5qt T-Fal Caldero from celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffman's Simply Delicioso cookware line! It's as simple as stopping in to your local Smart & Final store between 2/13-2/19, purchasing $25 or more in the following brands; Always, Bounce, Bounty, Charmin, Cheer, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Dreft, Febreze, Fixodent, Fusion, Gain, Gillette, Glide, H&S, Herbal Essence, Ivory, Joy, Metamucil, Mr.Clean, Olay, Old Spice, Oral B, Pantene, Pepto Bismol, Prilosec, Secret, Swiffer, Tampax, Tide, and Vicks. Then simply print out and mail the rebate form, with required receipt, before 2/26/2013, to receive your Ingrid Hoffmann T-Fal Caldero and Recipe Cards (a $39.99 value) in the mail!

I had a chance to receive Ingrid Hoffman's T-Fal 5.5qt Caldero in advance of the promotion and headed straight to my local Smart & Final to shop for some ingredients to create an inspired recipe. The Simply Delicioso Caldero happened to match my other cookware beautifully, in it's crimson red finish, and features extra deep walls that make it suitable for everyday cooking from browning and frying to pasta and soup making. On the very bottom, inside, the Caldero is a heat indicator that turns bright red when the Caldero has reached the right temperature for cooking. It's slick non-stick surface and extra wide handles make it the perfect companion for long-term recipes that require hours of simmering on the stove; making it perfect for my chosen recipes, Pork Ropa Vieja and Mexican Rice, adapted from Ingrid Hoffmann's library of Cuban cuisine recipes. While the original Ropa Vieja recipe calls for beef, locating Flank steak proved exceedingly difficult, even in my predominantly Mexican local community. I chose to substitute this with a Pork Butt Roast, that shredded as intended with the Flank Steak.
Pork Ropa Vieja Part 1, Delicioso Adobo Rub


* 2 TBS Garlic Powder
* 2 TBS Onion Powder
* 2 TBS Dried Oregano
* 2 TBS Lemon Pepper
* 2 TBS Parsley Flakes
* 2 TBS Achoite Powder (From Annatto Seed)
* 1 TBS Cumin
*** 1/2 C Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all dry ingredients, then introduce to Worcestershire Sauce to make a paste.
Pork Ropa Vieja Part 2


* 6lbs Boneless, or Trimmed, Pork Butt Roast
* 6 Bottles/Cans of Beer
* 1/2 C Canola Oil
* 2 Medium Yellow Onions, Chopped
* 2 Red Bell Peppers, Cored, Seeded, Ribbed, Chopped
* 2 Green Bell Peppers, Cored, Seeded, Ribbed, Chopped
* 6 Scallions, White and Light Green Parts Only, Chopped
* 28oz Canned, Diced, Tomatoes
* 6oz Can Tomato Paste
* Salt and Ground Pepper to Taste


1.) Cut the Pork Butt into large and even chunks and place them in a large bowl. Rub Adobo Paste into meat generously. Add beer and allow to marinate in fridge 15 minutes.
2.) Transfer the meat, and marinade, into a large pot and bring to a boil over Medium Heat. Reduce heat to Low, Cover, and simmer until the meat is tender (about 3 hours). Be sure to check on meat regularly to ensure the liquid has not boiled off; if fluid is low, add an additional bottle.can of beer.
3.) Remove the meat from the pot and reserve 2C of cooking liquid. Using 2 forks shred the meat and set it aside. Be careful the inside of the meat will be very hot!
4.) Heat oil in large, deep, skillet over Medium-High heat. Add onions, peppers, scallions, and tomatoes and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and meat to the pan along with reserve cooking liquid. Cover and simmer until juices cook down, about 15 minutes. Serve over ice and enjoy!
Mexican Rice


* 2.5 TBS Olive Oil
* 1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
* 2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
* 2 C Long-Grain White Rice
* 1 Bay Leaf
* 2 C Canned, Chopped, Tomatoes
* 2.5 C Low Sodium Chicken Broth


1.) Heat oil in a medium saucepan over Medium-High heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are soft (about 2 minutes). Add Rice and Bay Leaf. Cook and stir until the rice is opaque (about 2 minutes).
2.) Add tomatoes and broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to Medium-Low.
3.) Cook until the liquid has evaporated to just below the level of the rice (about 10 minutes). Reduce heat to Low, cover and cook until the rice is tender (about 20-25 minutes). Uncover and fluff with a fork. Serve as desired.
#ChooseSmartmexican recipe
Cooking with the Simply Delicioso T-Fal Caldero couldn't have been more convenient; versatile enough for both of these recipes, and it proved especially well suited for cooking large portions! Ingrid Hoffmann's inspired recipes helped put an authentic Mexican-Cuban meal on my family's table, with plenty of leftovers to share with the neighbors (and that's what good cooking is really all about, right?) Be sure to mark your calendars to stop into Smart & Final between 2/13-2/19 to purchase your $25 in participating P&G family products and claim your T-Fal 5.5qt Caldero; you won't want to miss out on this amazing deal! Stay up to date with the chain's upcoming promotions and sales by following Smart & Final on Twitter.

What Daughter Says: Take advantage of Smart Buys and Smart Promotions when you follow your local Smart & Final!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Smart&Final.  #CBias #ChooseSmart #SocialFabric.


  1. That looks delicious!! Can I come over for dinner?

  2. We don't have Smart and Final near us. Sounds good. At first I was thinking, what the heck are you doing putting dayquil in your recipe. LOL! I think my husband would LOVE this dish.

  3. That looks SO GOOD!! I will be right over!


  4. As usual, you have outdone yourself showing us some great recipes and uses of super products.

  5. I am literally salivating just looking at those dishes!

  6. I am definitely making this recipe! Pinning as well!

  7. Oh my, looks really yummy. I've never heard of Smart and Final!

  8. Wow. Great photos, and those recipes look and sound delicious.

  9. The recipe for pork sounds so good. I think I'll make it the next time we buy pork :)

  10. My ya-ya Rose (from the Philippines) makes chicken or pork adobe all the time! I am going to show this one to her. By the way, I wish we had bulk discount stores here in Singapore. My grocery bill makes me cry, even with smart shopping!

  11. Nice recipe - great photos! Pinned and stumbled - thanks for linking up to #recipeoftheweek :) Please add the badge. Thanks.

  12. Love your recipe! I shop at Smart & Final all the time.

  13. Oh my. Thank you for breaking this recipe down, I have wanted to make Ropa Vieja but needed a very recipe - and now I have one. Thank you :)!

  14. This looks delicious and you make it look so easy!