Mexican Shredded Beef

This flavor packed Mexican Shredded Beef is juicy, spoon tender, and so easy to make in the slow cooker, oven or stove – it’s perfect for tacos, burritos, taquitos, quesadillas, and more!

This Mexican Shredded Beef belongs in your easy dinner, crowd pleasing, set-it-and-forget-it arsenal.  The shredded beef is braised (in the crockpot, oven, stove or instant pot) with a caravan of rich, earthy, fiesta seasonings, punchy salsa, tangy green chilies, savory beef broth and smoky liquid smoke until fall apart tender.  This intensely juicy, Mexican Beef is great for crowds (think taco bar/Game Day!), make ahead meals and multiple meals throughout the week like tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, enchiladas, enchilada casserole and more!

We love easy Mexican proteins that keep giving throughout the week. Some of our favorites include: Beef Birria, Carnitas, Ropa Vieja, Beef Barbacoa, Mexican ChickenChipotle Sweet Pulled Pork, and Honey Lime Salsa Verde Chicken.

PIN THIS RECIPE TO SAVE FOR LATER

HOW TO MAKE mexican beef VIDEO

 
up close or Mexican shredded beef in a bowl showing how juicy it is

why make this shredded beef recipe

This Mexican Shredded Beef is long overdue.  It is its own kind of signature scrumptious that will have you craving its hypnotic blend of juicy beef and mouthwatering flavor fireworks.  Here’s why its such a stunner:  

It’s easier to make than Beef Birria but still brimming with flavor.  While Beef Birria is fabulous, it’s a process to make from scratch starting with dried chili peppers and homemade chili sauce.  I wanted to bring you a more accessible Mexican Shredded Beef recipe that takes half the prep time by utilizing pantry friendly, flavor packed shortcuts like chili powder, ground chipotle chili pepper and salsa.

It’s rich and saucy, with an enticing complexity of flavor. This Mexican Beef recipe is based off of my wildly popular Crockpot Mexican Shredded Chicken with hundreds of rave reviews.  I translated elements of that recipe – the seasonings, chilies, salsa and liquid smoke into this recipe with the addition of beef broth and tomato paste to create a bold, aromatic, lightly smoky, deeply satisfying chili sauce with a customizable kick of heat.

The braising does the tenderizing.  You are going to fall in love with the EASE and FLAVOR of this shredded beef – just sear, dump and let the crockpot/oven/stove/instant pot do the work!  The beef is braised low and slow in a mélange of salsa and seasonings until its succulent, meltingly tender.  And if it’s not as tender as you’d like?  Just cook on and it is guaranteed to become the most spoon tender beef you ever tasted.

WHAT IS THE BEST CUT for shredded beef?

CHUCK ROAST

The best cut of beef for shredding is chuck roast, which also can be labeled as a shoulder roast, chuck eye roast, or arm chuck roast.  I use chuck roast in ALL of my shredded beef recipes such as Beef Barbacoa, Mississippi Pot, Traditional Pot Roast and Italian Beef with nothing but tender results.

Chuck roast is considered the Mercedes of roasts thanks to its rich marbling which delivers succulent, beefy flavor and melt-in-your mouth texture.  The marbling melts as it slow cooks, creating a self-basting effect that drips over the meat, keeping it extra juicy and infusing it with a coveted depth of flavor.

A few notes about using chuck roast in this recipe:

  • This recipe calls for a 3–4-pound chuck roast but the seasonings and liquid are very forgiving – so don’t worry if your roast is slightly larger.
  • Use boneless beef chuck roast that is thick cut and not rolled and tied with a string.
  • I purchase my chuck roast at Costco, use one roast for this shredded beef recipe and freeze the other for later. You’ll love having it on hand to pull out when you need it!

Other beef options

  • Different cuts:  Many tough cuts of beef can be used for shredding as long as they are cooked long enough such as brisket, rump roast, round roast and even flank and skirt steak. Take care that whatever cut you choose has rich marbling (fat=flavor and tenderness) because they are already leaner than chuck roast and therefore won’t be as flavorful.
  • Multiple cuts: Chuck roast can be combined with short ribs, beef oxtail or beef shank to equal 3 pounds.
a bowl of shredded Mexican Beef garnished with cilantro

shredded beef iNGREDIENTS

This Mexican Shredded Beef recipe elevates pantry staples to new heights complete with a saucy, rich finish.  You will need:   

  • Chuck roast:  Select boneless chuck roast that’s deep red, smells sweet and boasts bright, white marbling of fat throughout the meat. Beef that appears grayish brown isn’t as fresh and may have been sitting on the shelf too long.
  • Oil: You need a little oil for searing the roast. Use a high smoking point oil such as vegetable oil, avocado oil or sunflower oil to sear the beef– don’t substitute olive oil.  Olive oil has a lower smoking point and will not only smoke like crazy but can burn, leaving behind a bitter taste and harmful chemicals.
  • Beef Broth: Use low sodium beef broth so we can control the salt level and also add beef bouillon for more flavor.
  • Beef bouillon:  Adds a depth of concentrated beefy flavor. I use granulated beef bouillon for ease but you may also use an equal amount of better than bouillon, or cubes. If using cubes, crush them up then add directly to the crockpot then stir to dissolve.  You will need three cubes in this recipe.
  • Salsa:  Use your favorite salsa, whether chunky or smooth.  Use mild if you don’t like spicy foods or use medium if you crave some heat.
  • Chopped green chiles: Come in a 4 ounce can and are delightfully tangy to cut through the richness of the beef.  Use mild diced green chiles so it’s easy to control the heat.  
  • Tomato paste: Adds concentrated tomato flavor that mingles with the spices to create a thick, rich aromatic sauce.
  • Lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice is best but you may also use bottled.
  • Liquid smoke:  Adds a delightfully subtle smoky flavor that makes the recipe.  Liquid smoke comes in a bottle and is located next to the barbecue sauces at your grocery store.  I use mesquite but hickory will also work.
  • Brown sugar: A little sugar is needed to balance out the tangy heat in this dish. If you must omit the sugar, it will still be tasty, just tangier.
  • Dried herbs and spices: A mixture of chili powder, ground chipotle pepper, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, ground coriander, salt and pepper create a spice rub to bring the FLAVOR.  
top view o Mexican shredded beef tacos showing what you can make with shredded beef

HOW TO MAKE mexican shredded beef

You will love the explosion of bold, unapologetic, flavor in this Mexican Shredded Beef recipe and equally important, you will love how simple it is to make!  Just sear, cook, shred, then soak. I’ll detail the slow cooker method below (my personal favorite) followed by the different options. (Full recipe with ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

STEP 1: Season the beef

  • Whisk together seasonings:  You’ll combine all of the seasonings except the oregano to create the spice rub. Instead, the oregano is added to the slow cooker with the salsa because the delicate herb can burn over the high heat of searing.
  • Cut the beef into 7 or 8 pieces: You want the pieces about 3-inches thick. I cut the beef along the seams of fat.  These smaller pieces mean the beef will cook faster but more importantly, it will be more flavorful because 1) more sides of the beef will be seared resulting in the caramelizing Maillard reaction and 2) the chili salsa sauce will penetrate deeper into the beef as it cooks.  
showing how to make shredded beef recipe by cutting chuck roast into 7 pieces
  • Spice rub the beef: Pat the beef dry with paper towels to ensure the seasonings stick.  Season all sides of the pieces with the spice rub.  There is a lot of seasonings so be as liberal as you can.  Save any leftover seasonings (including seasonings that fall off the beef) and add them to the crockpot with the beef broth.
showing how to make shredded beef recipe by seasoning with Mexican spice rub on a cutting board

STEP 2: SEAR THE BEEF

  • Sear the beef in batches:   Sear every piece of beef on all sides until deeply golden to develop flavor and to seal in the juices. You can use tongs or two forks to rotate your pieces. Transfer the seared roast to a 6-quart crockpot or large Dutch oven. 
showing how to make Mexican shredded beef recipe by searing beef in a cast iron skillet

STEP 3:  ADD INGREDIENT TO SLOW COOKER

  • Add ingredients: Add beef broth, beef bouillon, salsa, green chilies, tomato paste, lime juice, brown sugar liquid smoke and any leftover seasonings.
  • Give them a stir.  Stir the ingredients together on top of the beef but don’t worry too much about evenly combining, because they’ll become one with the sauce as the beef cooks and shrinks.
showing how to make Mexican shredded beef recipe by adding beef, beef broth, salsa and seasonings to a slow cooker

STEP 4:  COOK BEEF

  • Cover and cook: Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours OR until roast is super tender and easily sheds with a fork.   I suggest checking your beef on the earlier end of the cooking spectrum but don’t be alarmed if it takes another two hours.
  • How do I know when the shredded beef is done? There are many factors when it comes to cooking times – the size and thickness of the beef, the shape/size of your crockpot and your actual slow cooker (they all cook differently!).  If your beef is not tender, then cook on, it just needs more time.  Even 30 minutes can make the difference between okay beef and melt-in-your-mouth beef. Your beef is done when it falls apart with the tug of two forks.

sTEP 5:  SHRED and soak BEEF

  • Shred beef:  You may shred the beef directly in the slow cooker or I find it easier to transfer to a rimmed plate or bowl to remove excess fat. 
  • Soak beef:  Add the shredded beef back to the slow cooker to cook on low for another 20 minutes. The beef is now thin enough to soak up even more flavor in every nook and cranny. This is when the magic really happens and your beef emerges buttery tender and exploding with flavor.  This shredding and soaking trick will change your culinary life. I do it with EVERY shredded meat or chicken I cook in the slow cooker. 
showing how to make Mexican shredded beef by shredding beef on a plate with two forks

how to make shredded beef ON THE STOVE

This shredded beef recipe is easy to make on the stove, but be sure to add an extra ½ cup beef broth for a total of 1 ½ cups, then be ready to as more as needed.

  • Follow the recipe through seasoning the beef then sear the beef in a large Dutch oven instead of a cast iron skillet. 
  • Stir in all of the ingredients and gently simmer, covered, for 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours, until the beef is fall apart tender. I recommend checking to see if the beef is fork tender at 2 ½ hours, and if not, continue to cook an additional 30-60 minutes – or as long as it takes!  Keep an eye on the beef and add additional broth if needed because more liquid will evaporate on the stove.
  • Remove the roast to a rimmed plate or large bowl and shred with two forks, discarding any excess fat.
  • Return the beef to the pot and let rest for 20 minutes to soak up additional juices.

how to make shredded beef in the oven

I prefer the oven over the stove because there is less babysitting involved and it cooks more evenly.  The directions are essentially the same, except that you’ll pop it in the oven.  You will also need an additional ½ cup beef broth, for a total of 1 ½ cups.

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Meanwhile, season and sear the beef in a Dutch oven.
  • Stir in all of the ingredients and bring to simmer, then cover and transfer to the oven.
  • Cook, covered, for 3 to 3 ½ hours, until the beef is fall apart tender.  Keep an eye on the beef and add additional broth if needed.
  • Remove the roast to a rimmed plate or large bowl and shred with two forks, discarding any excess fat.
  • Return the beef to the pot at room temperature and let rest for 20 minutes to soak up additional juices.

how to make shredded beef in the Pressure cooker and instant pot

Sear the beef in the pressure cooker then add the rest of the ingredients.  Cover and set the lid to “Sealing.” Pressure cook on “Manual” for 50 minutes, followed by a quick release.

top view showing how to make Mexican shredded beef by soaking in braising liquid

Tips for the juiciest shredded beef

This recipe is very simple and will deliver dynamically flavorful, tender beef as long as you follow these tips:

  • Set yourself up for success with the right cut of beef. Choose a chuck roast that is fresh, bright in color and contains lots of marbling because marbling = flavor and tenderness. If you use a different cut of beef, I cannot guarantee it will be melt-in-your-mouth tender.  
  • Sear for flavor and moisture.  Searing the roast creates the Maillard reaction resulting in rich, deep, complex flavor and prevents the surface of the beef from becoming dehydrated. Sear ALL sides of each piece of beef until deeply golden – no sorry grey beef please!  Make sure to sear the beef in batches so it will sear and not just steam.   
  • Use a cast iron skillet to sear the beef. Cast iron gets piping hot without ruining the finish of your pan and retains heat exceptionally well for more even results.  
  • Cook the beef until very tender.  If your beef isn’t crazy tender, then cook on!  It just means the proteins needs more time to break down and tenderize. Even 30 more minutes can make the world of difference between “okay” and melt-in-your-mouth beef.
  • Don’t skip soaking the shredded beef.  This one step will transform flavorful beef into flavor fireworks that’s even more juicy and tender as the sensational salsa chili sauce is now able to penetrate the meat.
  • Don’t forget to season.  Taste the Mexican beef once it’s shredded and soaked.  If you feel like it’s missing something, it is likely salt and heat. Once you season to taste with salt, and either cayenne pepper or hot sauce heat, then all the flavors will come alive.

RECIPE VARIATIONS

This recipe is very adaptable, just use the spice rub then get creative!

  • Chicken variation:  Use this recipe here.
  • Use a different protein:  This recipe can be made with 3 pounds of beef, goat, mutton, veal, lamb, or a combination of any of those meats to equal 3 pounds.  Each will deliver a slightly different flavor and texture.  Make sure you use a balance of a meat with enough marbling.
  • Make it spicy: I use medium salsa and 1/1 2 teaspoons chipotle pepper for spicy. You can also add cayenne pepper, chipotle chili peppers in adobo, hot sauce and/or use spicy salsa or spicy diced green chilies for more heat.  
  • Make it saucy: If you would like “saucier” beef, add some enchilada sauce when you serve it.
  • Make it tangy:  Add additional lime juice to taste after shredding. You can also combine lime juice and apple cider vinegar for a tangier finish.  
  • Serve buffet style:  Line up the Mexican Beef, rice, tostadas and/or tortillas along with all the favorite toppings (lettuce, pickled red onions, cilantro, avocados, jalapeños, sour cream, Cotija cheese or queso fresco etc.).  Let family or guests pile on all their favs.  
up close of picking up Mexican Beef with tongs showing how juicy it is

Pro Tip for the Leftover Sauce

When I drain excess liquid from the beef, I top a large bowl with a strainer, add the beef and sauce, and press down on the beef with a spatula. I then use drained liquid plus additional needed water to cook my rice for AMAZINGLY flavorful rice.

WHAT ELSE CAN I MAKE WITH mexican beef?

Mexican Shredded Beef can be used a number of ways, so it’s perfect to make a big batch then use it throughout the week.  These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg!

  • Shredded Beef Tacos: Top warm tortillas with Mexican Beef and desired toppings such as sour cream, homemade guacamole, cotija cheese, cilantro, tomatoes, pico de galloblack bean corn salsaavocado corn salsa, etc.
  • Baked Shredded Beef Tacos:  Line stand-up taco shells in a 9×13 baking dish.  Sprinkle some cheese on the bottom of each taco shell and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes (baking crisps up the shells and the cheese prevents the shell from becoming soggy). Add the beef then top with additional cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.  Top with your favorite toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, etc.
  • Shredded Beef Burritos: Layer a burrito size tortilla with cheese, cilantro lime rice or Mexican Rice, black or pinto beans, Shredded Mexican Beef, guacamole, sour cream and salsa.  Fold and toast in a nonstick skillet until golden on all sides.
  • Smothered Shredded Beef Burritos:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a baking rack. Prepare burritos by layering burrito size tortillas down the center with ¼ cup rice, ¼ cup black beans (if using refried beans, layer first), 1 tablespoon sour cream, ½ cup Mexican Beef, and the desired amount of cheese. Place burritos on the baking rack and brush both sides lightly with olive oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Broil to desired crispiness, flip over and broil the other side until golden.  Remove baking rack and top burritos with warmed red or green enchilada sauce or salsa verde.  See this recipe for reference.
  • Shredded Beef Burrito Bowls: Layer cilantro lime rice or cauliflower rice with cheese, black beans or pinto beans, Mexican Shredded Beef, chopped lettuce, and your favorite toppings such as tomatoes, corn, and crushed tortilla chips. I also love adding roasted sweet potatoes and roasted cauliflower. Top the bowls off with sour cream/Greek yogurt, Avocado Crema, Tomatillo Avocado Ranch or Cilantro Lime Dressing.
  • Shredded Beef Quesadillas:  Layer a burrito size tortilla with cheese and shredded beef and grill until golden, cheesy perfection.  Top with guacamole, sour cream, chopped lettuce, hot sauce, etc.
  • Shredded Beef Nachos:  Pile thick restaurant style tortilla chips with cheese and beans and bake.  Top with warm shredded beef and toppings such as guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, cream, hot sauce etc.
  • Shredded Beef Flautas or Taquitos:  Roll shredded beef in corn (taquitos) or flour (flautas) tortillas along with cheese and beans if desired. To pan fry, heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until 325 degrees F. Once hot, add 2-4 flautas/taquitos seam side down in oil. Fry, turning as needed until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature so they don’t fry too quickly. To bake, place taquitos/flautas on a wire rack placed on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Brush the taquitos/flautas with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Broil for extra crispiness.
  • Shredded Beef Enchiladas:  Swap the ground beef for shredded beef in this recipe or make breakfast enchiladas in this recipe.
  • Shredded Beef Tostadas or Sopes:  Layer a tostada or sope with refried beans or avocado mash, top with Mexican Beef, lettuce or slaw, cilantro, avocados, sour cream, cotija cheese or queso fresco etc. and corn salsa.
  • Shredded Beef Tortas:  Slice French-style bread in half horizontally, spread refried beans on each side, top with beef, cheese, avocado slices or guacamole, tomatoes slices, pickled red onions, pickled jalapenos, etc. 
  • Shredded Beef Taco Salad:  Pile Mexican Beef over a bed of chopped Romaine lettuce. Add bell peppers, cucumbers, pepitas, olives, etc. and top with crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips.  Serve with Tomatillo Avocado Ranch or Cilantro Lime Dressing.
  • Shredded Beef Huevos Rancheros: Top your layers of creamy refried beans, runny, sunny side up eggs and cooked salsa over warm tortillas with shredded beef then garnish with cilantro, avocados, and Cotija cheese.   
  • Shredded Beef “Empanadas:” Swap the chicken for shredded beef in this easy recipe using puff pastry. 

SOME LESS traditional, TASTY IDEAS

  • Shredded Beef Pizza:  Use your favorite pizza dough recipe or store-bought and layer with pizza sauce or try this amazing Tomato Black Bean Sauce used in my Pulled Pork Taco Pizza (please excuse the super old, hideous photos)!  Top with Monterrey Jack cheese and Mexican Shredded Beef then pile on your toppings of choice such as lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, diced onions, Tomatillo Avocado Ranch, tortilla strips, etc. 
  • Shredded Beef Avocado Toast: Smear avocado over toasted bread, top with Mexican Beef and optional shredded cheese and melt.  You can also keep it fresh with all sorts of toppings like pickled red onions, pickled beets, sprouts, tomatoes, radishes, pico de gallo, etc.  A sunny side up egg would also be delish.
  • Shredded Beef Ramen:  This new mashup is trending in restaurants across the country using the braising liquid as the ramen broth!  Drain the beef from the liquid then add additional beef broth as needed to create the broth. Add your toppings of choice such as sliced onions, shredded cabbage, chopped avocados, shredded carrots, cilantro, lime juice, a soft-boiled Ramen egg and crispy tortilla strips.
  • Shredded Beef Loaded Baked Potatoes: Poke holes in washed, dried potatoes. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and lightly brush with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender and the skin is crispy.  Slice open the potatoes, top with beef and cheese then place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Top with sour cream, cilantro, onions, etc.
  • Shredded Beef Stew: Add Yukon gold potatoes and carrots to the pot to cook with the beef.  Serve with rice and warmed tortillas on the side with chopped onions, cilantro and freshly squeezed lime.
  • Shredded Beef Sliders:  Pile beef on toasted buns and toss the coleslaw mix with cilantro and lime juice.  Add pickled jalapenos and/or red onions if you’d like.
a fork serving Mexican Beef shredded in a bowl

Can this recipe be made ahead?

The Mexican Shredded Beef recipe can be made entirely ahead of time and reheated or you prep in steps:  

  • Meat: Can be seasoned, seared and stored in an airtight container or slow cooker with (or without) the sauce ingredients for up to 2 days.
  • Sauce:  Whisk all of the ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • 100% Made Ahead:  After you shred the beef, remove the crockpot insert (if using) so the beef can cool more quickly.  Once cooled to room temperature, cover and refrigerate (DON’T drain any juices).  Reheat gently the next day for extra tender, flavorful beef.

HOW LONG DOES MEXICAN BEEF LAST?

  • To store: Let the shredded beef cool completely then transfer with the sauce to an airtight container.  Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze:  Let the shredded beef cool completely then transfer the beef in the sauce to a freezer safe container or portion it into smaller containers.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat:  Warm the beef in the microwave for 1 minute then at 20 second intervals until warmed through or simmer gently on the stove until warmed through. 
  • Slow cooker:  Reheat on low for 1-2 hours until warmed through, stirring occasionally.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH MEXICAN shredded BEEF?

Mexican Shredded Beef stuffed into tacos or burritos with a side of rice, and beans is heaven or you can serve this recipe alongside any number of roasted veggies, fruits, and more. Here are some side dish ideas to get your started: 

MORE EASY MEXICAN RECIPES:

If you love Mexican food, you will also love: 

up close of Mexican shredded beef taco showing how to serve shredded beef

WANT TO TRY THIS shredded beef RECIPE?

PIN IT TO YOUR MEXICAN, TACOS OR BEEF BOARD TO SAVE FOR LATER!

FIND ME ON PINTEREST FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES!  I AM ALWAYS PINNING :)!

©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

a fork serving Mexican Beef shredded in a bowl

Mexican Shredded Beef

This Mexican Shredded Beef belongs in your easy dinner, crowd pleasing, set-it-and-forget-it arsenal.  The shredded beef is braised (in the crockpot, oven, stove or instant pot) with a caravan of rich, earthy, fiesta seasonings, punchy salsa, tangy green chilies, savory beef broth and smoky liquid smoke until fall apart tender.  This intensely juicy, Mexican beef is great for crowds (think taco bar/Game Day!), make ahead meals and multiple meals throughout the week like tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, enchiladas, enchilada casserole and more!
Servings: 8 -10 servings (20 – 25 tacos, 12 – 15 burritos)
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!

Ingredients

Beef

  • 1 3-4 lb. boneless beef chuck roast trimmed of excess fat, cut into 7-8 pieces
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil

Spice Rub

  • 1 TBS EACH chili powder, ground cumin, kosher salt (may sub 1 ½ tsps table salt)
  • ½ TBS EACH garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp EACH pepper, ground coriander,
  • ½ – 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili pepper (only 1 ½ tsp if you LOVE heat)

Braising Liquid

Instructions

Crockpot Directions

  • Whisk together all of the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Pat beef pieces dry with paper towels then liberally season with the spice rub, gently pressing to adhere. Save any excess spices to add to the pot later.
  • Heat 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet (or large Dutch oven for oven/stovetop method) over medium-high heat. Once very hot, add cubed beef and sear on all sides.
  • Transfer beef to a 6 quart (or larger) slow cooker along with all remaining ingredients, including any leftover spices. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 ½ – 4 ½ hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours, OR until the beef shreds easily with two forks.
  • Remove the beef to a rimmed plate or large bowl (do NOT discard juices in slow cooker), and shred with two forks, discarding any excess fat.
  • Add the shredded beef back to slow cooker and toss with slow cooker juices. Cook on low for 20 minutes for beef to absorb juices. Taste and season with hot sauce/cayenne pepper, lime juice or brown sugar to taste.
  • Remove beef with a pair of tongs to a serving bowl or strain in colander so tacos, etc. don’t get soggy. I like to save the liquid to cook my rice in (just add liquid plus water needed for rice). Serve in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, taquitos, salads, nachos, etc.

Video

Notes

*See post for TONS of serving ideas and instructions!

Stovetop method

  • Follow the recipe through step 3. 
  • Stir in all of the remaining ingredients including any leftover spices.  Add an additional ½ cup beef broth for a total of 1 ½ cups. 
  • Gently simmer, covered, for 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours, until the beef is fall apart tender. I recommend checking to see if the beef is fork tender at 2 ½ hours, and if not, continue to cook an additional 30-60 minutes – or as long as it takes!  Keep an eye on the beef and add additional broth if needed because more liquid will evaporate on the stove.
  • Remove the roast to a rimmed plate or large bowl and shred with two forks, discarding any excess fat.
  • Return the beef to the pot and let rest for 20 minutes to soak up additional juices.

oven method

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Follow the recipe through step 3.  
  • Stir in all of the remaining ingredients including any leftover spices.  Add an additional ½ cup beef broth for a total of 1 ½ cups. 
  • Bring to simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven.  Cook, covered, for 3 to 3 ½ hours, until the beef is fall apart tender.  Keep an eye on the beef and add additional broth if needed.
  • Remove the roast to a rimmed plate or large bowl and shred with two forks, discarding any excess fat.
  • Return the beef to the pot at room temperature and let rest for 20 minutes to soak up additional juices.

Pressure cooker and instant pot

Sear the beef then add the rest of the ingredients, including any leftover spices.  Cover and set the lid to “Sealing.” Pressure cook on “Manual” for 50 minutes, followed by a quick release.

how to store, reheat, make ahead 

  • Make ahead: The beef can be seasoned, seared and stored in an airtight container or slow cooker with (or without) the braising ingredients for up to 2 days. Alternatively, make the beef 100% ahead and store the beef in the juices.  
  • To store: Let the shredded beef cool completely then transfer with the sauce to an airtight container.  Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze:  Let the shredded beef cool completely then transfer the beef in the sauce to a freezer safe container or portion it into smaller containers.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat:  Warm the beef in the microwave for 1 minute then at 20 second intervals until warmed through or simmer gently on the stove until warmed through. 
  • Slow cooker:  Reheat on low for 1-2 hours until warmed through, stirring occasionally.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 Comments

  1. Jennifer Fulk says

    Hi Jen. Will be making this very soon. I love your crock pot Mexican shredded chicken, honey verde lime chicken and the barbacoa . One question- in the spice rub, is the tablespoon of kosher salt coarse or fine ? Thanks for another great recipe. We are in the process of moving to Oklahoma and this will be one of the first things i cook in our new house!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Jennifer – you have great taste! I use coarse kosher salt, hope that helps. Congrats on the move!

  2. Katherine says

    This was so delicious!! I made this the other night and my boyfriend and I quickly decided this would be a go to recipe in the household. I have also made the barbacoa and your salsa verde honey lime chicken is a go to favorite for us as well! Great recipe.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for the glowing review Katherine! I’m so pleased it’s going to be on repeat!

  3. Debbie says

    I only have a bottom of the round. How long would I need to cook it. Will it shredd. Thx Debbie

    • Jen says

      Hi Debbie, bottom round does not shred easily but it can shred if cooked long enough. I would cook it on low closer to 9-10 hours or until it shreds. Hope this helps!

5 Secrets to
30 Minute Meals

Tips, tricks & recipes to get dinner on the table fast!

FREE EMAIL BONUS