Mexican Shredded Beef for tacos, gorditas, tostadas, and more! With stove top, slow cooker, and Instant Pot instructions included. Gluten-free and super kid-friendly.
A big plate of beef tacos is really hard to beat.
This recipe for Mexican Shredded Beef (or Carne Deshebrada) is the perfect thing when the weather is starting to turn and you’re ready for a warming dinner, or when you want to cook once and eat all week long.
I’ve dressed up a basic chuck roast with plenty of garlic, jalapenos, and my favorite mixture of spices like chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.
If you have the time to slowly braise the beef chuck on the stove, great.
If you want to set the crock pot and forget it, I’ve got you. And if you need dinner ready, like yesterday, I’ve got instructions for the Instant Pot as well.
So keep reading for a recipe for shredded beef for tacos you’ll make again and again!
making shredded beef for tacos is so, so easy
This is one of those delicious recipes you should get the gist of then make it your own. It is completely adaptable to whatever you have on hand.
No smoked paprika? Use regular paprika. Don’t like anything spicy? Leave out the jalapenos. Want to swap beer as the cooking liquid for the beef broth? Go for it!
Essentially we are making slow cooked beef which, in my opinion, makes the ultimate tacos recipe.
All you need is a good-sized boneless chuck roast. If you are unfamiliar with cuts of beef a chuck roast comes from the shoulder of the cow and is what you’d use to make roast beef. This helpful cuts chart is worth checking out.
Other than the meat, you’ll need a few spices, aromatics like onions, garlic, jalapeños, beef broth, salt and pepper and about 30 minutes of hands-on cooking time.
how to make it on the stove top
If you’re going to be hanging around the house (and who isn’t these days), go ahead and braise the beef in a Dutch oven on the stove top.
- Cut the chuck roast into large chunks (about 3 inches across)
- Combine all the spices in a small bowl and sprinkle all over the chuck roast. If you want to do this the night before—even better!
- Heat the oil over medium high heat, once shimmering, add beef and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.
- Add vegetables, season with salt, and cook until browned.
- Add beef broth and chuck roast back to pot.
- Cover and simmer until very tender, about 3 hours.
- Shred the meat using two forks, mix back into the sauce and stuff into warm tortillas. Top with a squeeze of lime juice or your favorite salsa.
slow cooker shredded beef
To make this recipe in the slow cooker you follow the same instructions as above through step 4.
- Once the vegetables and beef are browned, transfer everything to the crock pot, making sure you get all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan (FLAVOR BOMBS)!
- Pour only 1 cup of the broth into the slow cooker then set the cook time for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
- Shred and enjoy!
how to make it in the pressure cooker
The pressure cooker is the perfect method to cook this shredded beef—FAST! Here’s how:
- If you’re Instant pot has a sauté setting you can do steps 1-4 right in the pressure cooker pot.
- Only add the 1 cup of broth, like we did for the slow cooker.
- Set the pressure cooker setting to high and the cook time to 30 minutes.
- Once the cooking is done, you can either do a quick release or let it slow release for as long as you wish. The beef will be nice and tender either way.
- Shred and enjoy!
what to make with it
Clearly tacos are one way to devour this whole pot of shredded beef. It makes about 18-20 tacos but if you want to try something else or freeze some for later are a few more ideas:
- Beef Enchiladas. Swap the shredded beef for the Picadillo in this recipe.
- Easy Beef Empanadas. Use the shredded beef instead of the chicken filling in this recipe. Instead of the Mojo sauce serve the empanadas with the Salsa Verde from this recipe instead.
- Deep Dish Enchilada Casserole. Add shredded beef as an extra layer in this cheesy enchilada casserole.
- Roasted Squash and Kale Quesadillas. Just add beef!
- Gorditas. Substitute the shredded beef and some boiled, cubed potatoes for the chorizo and eggs in this recipe.
more taco recipes to try!
- Grilled Fish Tacos with Sweet Corn Salsa
- New Potato and Chard Tacos
- Chicken Street Tacos
- Chiles en Nogada Tacos
- Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Radish Pico de Gallo
- Vegan Chipotle Mushroom Tacos with Jicama Slaw
- Quinoa and Queso Breakfast Tacos
cook once, eat all week!
We all need recipes like this—reliable, tasty, and can be spun in a million different directions! If you try this shredded beef for tacos recipe, let me know OK? Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so that I can see what you made with it!
- 3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into large pieces (about 3-inches across)
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 3 jalapeños, stemmed and sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 quart (4 cups) beef broth or 2 cups beef broth and 2 cups beer
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 bay leaf
Prep the beef: Combine salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle on all sides of the beef pieces and rub into the meat. If you can do this in advance even better. You can let it sit with the rub anywhere from 4-24 hours in the refrigerator.
Brown the beef: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef, leaving some room between the pieces and brown on all sides (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pot). Remove to a large plate.
Brown the vegetables: Add the onions, jalapenos, and garlic. Cook until starting to brown and soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth: Add broth and scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Return beef to pot with any juices that are on the plate. Add oregano and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer.
Braise the beef: Cook, covered, stirring every once in a while, until meat easily comes apart with a fork, about 3 hours.
Shred the meat: Shred meat with two forks into bite-sized pieces. Taste and add more salt if needed. Stir back into the juices and enjoy tucked in warm tortillas with your favorite salsa.
To Freeze: Transfer meat in the sauce to a freezer-safe container with a tight lid. Try to fill it to the top to keep the top from getting freezer burnt. Freeze for up to 6 months.
For Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Instructions: See Blog Post
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 198mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 34g
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