Mexican food meets pot roast in this easy Mexican Shredded Beef recipe! Full-flavored and fork-tender, chuck roast is transformed into succulent, juicy shreds of beef drenched in a savory, Mexican-spiced gravy.
This dinner is absolutely perfect for curing your comfort food cravings and those Mexican food cravings in one fell swoop. It’s hearty, filling, and the uses for leftovers are practically endless.
Turn this Mexican shredded beef into shredded beef tacos, use it as a filling for burritos or quesadillas, or as a topper for nachos or burrito bowls!
ABOUT MEXICAN SHREDDED BEEF
The cut of beef we will be using for this Mexican shredded beef recipe is called chuck roast. Chuck roast comes from the shoulder of the cow, which is an area that gets lots of action. When it comes to meat, the more movement a specific area gets, the tougher the cut.
The toughness is due to the connective tissue that runs all throughout the chuck roast, but on the bright side, that connective tissue is exactly what makes chuck a prime candidate for slow cooking methods!
When this cut is cooked for a long period of time over low heat, the fat melts down and turns into deeply flavorful succulent beef.
So what does this mean for your Mexican Shredded Beef? It means that as the meat slow-cooks in the crockpot, the fat will melt down throughout the interior of the beef, making it irresistibly juicy and delicious.
THE MEXICAN BEEF GRAVY
If you’ve looked through other Mexican Shredded Beef recipes on the web, you’ll see many of them are gluten-free and come without the addition of flour. Here’s the reasoning for using it: The sauce.
If you love nothing more than a watery sauce that drips right off the meat come serving time, no flour is surely the way to go. If you like a sauce with a little more body, one that stays put and keeps that beef extra succulent from slow cooker-to-tortilla, flour’s your friend.
Bonus alert: It’s also a time-saver. Using a 1/4 cup of flour at the start of the recipe keeps you from having to waste time with a simmer/reduction at the end!
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN SHREDDED BEEF
- Season and sear the beef.
- Make the gravy.
- Slow cook, shred, and serve!
1. SEASON AND SEAR THE BEEF
Searing the meat makes a huge difference when it comes to flavor, so we want to get the very best sear possible! Wet meat can’t properly brown, so you’ll need to pat away the excess moisture from the chuck roast before seasoning it.
Pat the chuck roast all over with a small bundle of paper towels, and then prepare your seasoning mix. Add ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, Kosher salt, and pepper to a small bowl and mix to combine.
Then, take that spice mixture and rub it all over the beef. Leave no surface untouched! After you’ve got your seasoning down, sprinkle the roast with flour, and again, rub all over.
Now, it’s time for the sear! Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven and turn the heat to medium-high.
In order to get a really good sear on your roast, you need to use an oil with a high smoke point.
This way, your flour won’t burn before the roast has browned. Oils with a high smoke point are avocado, canola, vegetable, and peanut oil. My go-to oil in the kitchen is typically avocado oil, but feel free to use any of the listed oils.
Once your oil is good and hot in the pan, it’s time to add the beef! Sear the beef for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side and then transfer it to the crock pot.
But, don’t put that pan away just yet! We still have to make that irresistibly delicious, savory gravy to complete our Mexican Shredded Beef!
2. MAKE THE GRAVY
To make the gravy, you will sprinkle flour into the meat drippings left behind in the pan and whisk to combine. Then, you’ll slowly add in big splashes of the beef stock, whisking after every addition.
Once all of the beef broth has been incorporated, you’ll add in adobo sauce and a can of crushed tomatoes.
3. SLOW COOK, SHRED, AND SERVE!
Pour the gravy over the beef in the slow cooker and cover. Your cook time will vary depending on whether you are using the high or low setting of your slow cooker.
If you are cooking your beef on the high setting, cook covered for about four hours. If you are cooking your Mexican shredded beef on the low setting, plan to cook it for 6 1/2 to 8 hours, covered. The beef is ready to serve once it easily pulls with the tines of a fork.
Once the Mexican shredded beef has finished cooking, transfer the beef to a large cutting board and use two forks to pull it into big shreds. Then add it back to the crockpot and stir so that every shred is completely coated in the gravy!
If you’d like to add a little extra brightness and zest to your beef once it has finished cooking, feel free to hit it with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, sliced jalapenos, and a sprinkle of fresh, chopped cilantro!
HOW TO SERVE MEXICAN SHREDDED BEEF
There are endless uses for Mexican shredded beef!
Tacos | Most often, Barbacoa-style beef is served in tacos. Drop mounds of the shredded beef into corn or flour tortillas, and top it with fresh lime juice, chopped white onion, chopped cilantro, and Cotija cheese for an authentic Mexican street taco experience.
Shredded Beef Burrito Bowl | You could also serve your Mexican shredded beef in a bowl over white rice with a scoop of beans. To deck it out, dress it similarly to street tacos: with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Quesadillas | One of my favorite uses for leftover shredded beef is quesadillas. All you need is leftover beef, Monterey Jack cheese, tortillas, and a skillet!
Nachos | Another great way to use up those leftovers is nachos. If you’d like to make shredded beef nachos, here’s how you do it!
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN SHREDDED BEEF NACHOS
Preheat your oven to 400°F and ready a rimmed baking sheet.
Line the baking sheet with tortilla chips, top them with the Mexican shredded beef, add about a quarter cup of rinsed black beans over the top of the beef, along with a mix of Monterey Jack and shredded cheese. You can use as much or little cheese as you’d like!
Slide the tray into the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or just until the cheese has melted.
Then you can top your shredded beef nachos with toppings like pico de gallo, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, or guacamole.
6 MORE MEXICAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Mexican Stuffed Shells
- Mexican Spaghetti
- Carne Asada Tacos
- Tacos de Camaron
- Chicken Flautas
- Steak Quesadillas
Fork-tender Mexican Shredded Beef is easy to make and flavor-packed! In this slow cooker recipe, succulent, juicy shreds of beef are braised in a savory, Mexican-spiced gravy with chipotle peppers and a simple blend of spices.
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, separated
- 2 1/2 - 3 pound beef chuck shoulder roast
- 2 tablespoons canola or avocado oil
- 1 cup low-sodium or unsalted beef broth
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
- 1 (14-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
Pat away the excess moisture from the exterior of the roast using a paper towel, and combine all of the spices in a small mixing bowl. Sprinkle the roast with half of the spice mixture. Rub it and pat the make sure it sticks. Then, sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of flour and rub that all over the roast as well. Set the roast aside.
Add the 2 tablespoons of oil to a large pan over medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature. Add the beef and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side, and transfer to the slow cooker.
Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into the pan and whisk to combine. Add in the beef broth one big splash at a time, whisking after each addition. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 2 minutes, then add the adobo sauce and crushed tomatoes.
Stir, remove from the heat, and carefully pour (or ladle) over the beef.
Cover and cook on the high setting for 4 hours or on low for 6 1/2 to 8 hours.
Shred the beef, return to the slow cooker, stir, and serve!