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Mexican Shredded Beef (and tacos)

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This Mexican Shredded Beef recipe is the only one you will ever need! Tender, juicy, fall apart beef loaded flavor to make restaurant-quality shredded beef tacos, chimichangas, and burritos. It is made with simple ingredients and easy to prepare!

I have an Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef recipe as well if you are looking for that cooking method.

Shredded beef in a white bowl with corn tortillas and bowls of rice and black beans in the background.

A new Mexican Restaurant (Adelita’s) opened recently, and this would be the perfect time to give it a try. The food arrived quickly and hot, always a good thing.

I ended up with 1 chicken, and 1 beef chimichanga. He claims I ordered it that way, but I have never ordered a chicken chimichanga in my life. He offered to fix it, but I figured I would give it a try. I am so glad that I did, the chicken was actually better than the beef. It had big chunks of chicken, not shredded chicken that looks like it has been pulverized in a food processor. It was very moist, mixed with chiles and tomatoes. The beef had decent flavor, but was dry. Unlike the chicken, there were no tomatoes or chiles to keep it moist.

Why am I telling you this? Because this recipe for Mexican Shredded Beef is better than most Mexican restaurants that I have tried!! I have been tweaking this recipe for over 20 years, and it is perfect!!

What you will need:

  • beef chuck roast
  • yellow onion – sliced
  • canned green chiles – whole, split into quarters or diced
  • whole peppercorn
  • water
  • diced tomatoes and chiles – such as Rotel
  • fresh garlic
  • lime
  • cilantro
  • cumin and chili powder
  • large Dutch oven
  • tongs
  • strainer
  • measuring cup
Ingredients to make Mexican Shredded Beef.

How to make Mexican Shredded Beef:

Sear all sides of the beef in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Chuck roast seared in a Dutch oven.

Add water, onions, peppercorns, diced tomatoes, garlic, and green chiles.

Diced tomatoes, chiles, minced garlic, sliced onion , and water in a Dutch oven.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.

Cover and let simmer for 2.5 hours, or until meat pulls apart easily with a fork. Flip meat over halfway thru cooking.

Cooked Mexican shredded beef in a Dutch oven.

Move beef to a large bowl, reserving the liquid. Using two forks, shred beef into bite size pieces. Set aside.

Shredded beef in a glass bowl.

Strain 1 cup of reserved liquid from Dutch oven into measuring cup, and set aside.

Add the lime juice, cilantro, reserved liquid, cumin, and chili powder to the beef.

Shredded beef, tomatoes, seasonings, cilantro, and tomatoes in a glass bowl.

Return mixture to the Dutch oven, cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

A bowl of shredded beef, rice, and black beans with corn tortillas on the side.

Use to fill tacos, enchiladas, or chimichangas.

How to make restaurant style tacos:

For crispy shell tacos

Heat about an inch of oil in a small frying pan until hot!

Place a corn tortilla into the oil and heat until the tortilla starts to bubble

Corn tortilla frying in oil inside a small skillet.

Flip the tortilla over with a pair of tongs. Once it starts to bubble up, fold the tortilla in half and continue cooking until it starts to brown on both sides.

Corn tortilla folded in half in boiling oil inside a small skillet.

Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel covered plate. Fill as desired and serve.

Three Mexican Shredded Beef hard-shell tacos on a bed of shredded lettuce with a bowl of pico, a bottle of beer and two lime wedges in the background.

For soft shell tacos

Warm taco-size flour tortillas in a skillet until charred, in the oven wrapped in foil for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees, or in the microwave wrapped in plastic wrap; time depends on your microwave and how many tortillas you are heating.

Three Mexican Shredded Beef soft tacos topped with crumbled queso, diced tomatoes and onion, and avocado slices with a bowl of pico and two limes in the background.

Shredded Beef Tacos

Simple serving suggestions to make shredded beef tacos like the restaurants do.

  • Pico de Gallo
  • Homemade Guacamole or avocado slices
  • Crumbled Queso Fresco, shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Shredded lettuce

Recipes to serve with your tacos

You can wash all these delicious recipes down with a Classic MargaritaFrozen Peach Margaritas, or a Paloma.

If you love this recipe, please rate it five stars and help me share on facebook and to help other readers in our community!

Enjoy!!

A bowl of Mexican shredded beef surrounded by bowls of rice and black beans, with corn tortillas in the background.

Mexican Style Shredded Beef

Tender, juicy, fall apart beef loaded with flavor to make restaurant-quality Mexican shredded beef tacos, chimichangas, and burritos.
5 from 3 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beff, shredded, mexican, chiles, recipe, tacos, filling
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 332kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 10 ounce can diced tomatoes & green chilies I used Rotel
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 0.5 large yellow onion quartered
  • 1 piece canned green chile split into 4 portions or diced chiles
  • 20 whole peppercorns
  • 3 cups water
  • .25 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Instructions

  • Sear all sides of the beef in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add tomatoes and chiles, garlic, onions, peppercorns, green chile, and water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
  • Cover and let simmer for 2.5 hours, or until meat pulls apart easily with a fork. Flip meat over halfway thru cooking.
  • Move beef to a large bowl, reserving the liquid. Using two forks, shred beef into bite size pieces. Set aside.
  • Strain 1 to 2 cups* of reserved liquid from Dutch oven into measuring cup, and set aside.
  • Return the beef to the pot and add the lime juice, cilantro, 1 cup of reserved liquid, cumin, and chili powder. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Cover, and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning, add salt if needed. Add additional liquid if needed.
  • Use as taco, burrito, chimichanga or enchilada filling.

For Crispy Shell Tacos

  • Heat about an inch of oil in a small frying pan until hot!
  • Place a corn tortilla into the oil and heat until the tortilla starts to bubble. Flip the tortilla over with a pair of tongs. Once it starts to bubble up, fold the tortilla in half and continue cooking until it starts to brown on both sides.
  • Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel covered plate. Fill as desired and serve.

For Soft Shell Tacos

  • Warm taco-size flour tortillas in a skillet until charred, in the oven wrapped in foil for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees, or in the microwave wrapped in plastic wrap; time depends on your microwave and how many tortillas you are heating.

Notes

  • The taco meat* will absorb liquid in the refrigerator. Make sure you have enough excess liquid before storing. You may not need the extra cup of liquid, but it’s worth having just in case.
  • Leftover shredded beef can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Simple serving suggestions to make shredded beef tacos like the restaurants do.
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Homemade Guacamole or avocado slices
  • Crumbled Queso Fresco, shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Shredded lettuce

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Vitamin C: 6.3mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4.7mg

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6 Comments

  1. This is my new favorite recipe for beed tacos, burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas! So simple but but juicy and delicious every time. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I never saw an update about if you could cook this in a crock pot or not. I’m cooking this right now in my crock pot! I just added all the ingredients right in the pot on top of my seared roast! I always cook my meat a day ahead of when I need it because of my hectic schedule. I will let everyone know how it turned out and thank you for sharing!

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