Mexican shredded beef tacos are a meal the whole family craves. This flavorful beef recipe is also a favorite for, gorditas, tostadas, and more! With stove top, slow cooker, and Instant Pot instructions included, there’s no excuse not to make this delicious recipe. Gluten-free and super kid-friendly.
Recipe first posted on September 22, 2021 and last updated on November 24, 2023.
A big plate of tender beef tacos are really hard to beat.
This recipe for Mexican-inspired 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 rump roast with plenty of garlic, jalapeños, and my homemade taco seasoning made with 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.
Keep reading for a Mexican food recipe 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’re slow cooking 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. Ask the butcher at your local grocery store if you are unsure.
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. Here’s the full ingredients list, see the recipe card for the exact amounts.
For the beef roast:
- Basic chuck roast
- Kosher salt
- Smoked paprika
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Ground coriander
- Ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- White onion
- Beef stock
- Dried oregano
- Bay leaves
For the tacos:
You’ll need tortillas and your favorite toppings. Here’s some of mine:
- Tortillas. Whatever your family likes, flour tortillas, white corn tortillas, or even a crunchy taco shell or low-carb tortillas
- Sour cream
- Queso fresco or Cotija cheese
- Fresh cilantro
- Pico de Gallo
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 boneless beef 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 sear 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. Check occasionally as it slow cooks and give it a stir.
- Pull apart beef 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
If you are looking for a good slow-cooker Mexican recipe, this is it! To make this recipe in the slow cooker you follow the same instructions as above through step 4. It will cook in 6-8 hours in the slow cooker depending on the heat level.
- 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 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
- Shred and enjoy in burritos with guacamole!
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 as a rice bowl with refried beans or on top of nachos!
Storage and Freezing Instructions
The beef will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight then reheat in the microwave or covered on the stove until warmed through.
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.
Top 5 Most Popular Beef Recipes
- Tangy Green Tomato and Beef Chili
- Red Wine and Garlic Marinated London Broil
- Carne Picada
- Classic Grilled Steak Fajitas
- Easy Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa
cook once, eat all week!
We all need recipes like this—reliable, tasty, and can be spun in a million different directions! I hope you try it out and if you do, let me know how it went. Share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so that I can see your stuff (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating)! Also, sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
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