Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley- 1/2 cup , plus small spring for garnish.
Season flank steaks with salt and pepper. Spray your skillet with cooking spray or just heat 4 tbsp vegetable oil ( I used Canola). Transfer the steaks into the hot skillet and fry over high heat until well-browned.( 4-5 minutes)
Flip and cook the second side. ( another 4- 5 minutes).
In your slow cooker combine crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef/chicken stock, onion, red bell pepper,garlic, bay leaves, whole black pepper, cumin, oregano. Mix well. Add fried steaks.
Set slow cooker " high" and cook 7-8 hours or until meat is very tender.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE ROPA VIEJA
Transfer the cooked meat onto the cutting board. Using 2 forks or 1 fork and a knife, shred the meat.
With a large spoon discard any fat.
Return the meat into the slow cooker, add capers, beans, lemon juice and fresh cilantro leaves. Mix well.
Taste Ropa Vieja and adjust the seasonings with more lemon juice, pepper & salt.
Cover and cook another 30 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with steamed rice or tortillas right away!