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Mexican Shredded Beef, Slow Cooker Simple

Mouthwatering Mexican Shredded Beef is slow cooked in a flavorful and lightly spicy broth for deep, savory flavor in easy weeknight favorites.

Mexican Shredded beef in a with lime slices and cilantroin a square, gray stoneware bowl
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The perfectly spiced Mexican beef is great for the whole family. Even the littles that normally say, “Too picy,” will be able to handle the mild heat in this dish. And it’s easy to crank up that spicy kick for those that can handle it.

This easy recipe is another deliciously savory and flavorful main dish that is simple to make and versatile enough to become dozens of different quick and easy dinners.

My easy Mexican beef recipe, as written, makes about 5 cups of shredded beef and tons of flavorful broth. Five cups of this tasty beef goes a long way. That should typically be 16-20 servings depending on the recipe you’re using it in.

But, if you’re in a meal prepping mood, you can double or triple the recipe and get lots of this delicious shredded roast beef into the freezer.

Mexican shredded beef is a time and money-saving recipe that you’ll come back to time and time again. You’re gonna love it!

Mexican Shredded beef in a with chopped cilantro in a white oval stoneware bowl

The Ingredients for Mexican Shredded Beef

  • The Beef – You could technically use just a chuck roast, but the flavor and texture of the broth will be greatly impacted as well as the depth of flavor in the Mexican Beef.
    • Chuck Roast – for the best flavorful slow-cooked and tender beef
    • Short Ribs or Shank – for the unctuous, rich broth created by the bones. This will give your beef delectable juiciness. Use whichever you find cheapest, short ribs or shank.
  • Whole Peeled Canned Tomatoes – I use Jovial brand, which comes in 18 oz. jars. A 14 oz can or around half of a 28 oz. can of your usual brand will also work.
  • Red Onion – I tried something I’ve never done before with the onion and it worked beautifully. I literally pureed it in the blender before adding it to the pot. No water added or anything. Just pureed onion. It melted into the delicious Mexican Beef broth without a trace, other than it’s delicious flavor.
  • Beef Broth
  • Orange Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • The Seasonings
    • Dried Guajillo Chili Pepper, Minced Garlic, Southwest Seasoning, Beef Base (or bouillon), salt & pepper

Citrus in Mexican Cooking

Citrus is a great way to brighten savory dishes. The juice and the zest can bring an average recipe to life. Acidity cuts through greasiness and heaviness and it can alter texture.

In the case of this luscious shredded beef it helps tenderize less expensive cuts of meat and cuts through the fattiness that b

orange and limes, some whole and some cut

FAQs

What are guajillo chiles?

Guajillo chiles are one of the most popular chiles used throughout Mexico. They are fruity and complex with just the slightest hint of spicy heat. The heat is very mild and creeps up at the back of the tongue after the bite has already been swallowed. Guajillos are used dried and are the base of rich, deeply flavored sauces and salsas.

dried guajillo chiles on a wooden cutting board
What is a good substitute for guajillo chiles?

Because it’s such a mild chili, there aren’t a ton of peppers that make good substitutes. The best one would be an ancho chili. If you can’t find either dried chile at your supermarket, look in the spice aisle for guajillo chili powder or ancho chili powder. 1 teaspoon of powder is the equivalent of 1 dried pepper.

How to Serve Shredded Beef

Whether you make enough for one meal or prep a big batch of this scrumptious beef for the freezer, you’re going to love all the ways you’ll be able to use it. Weeknight dinners will come together in minutes when you have this delicious shredded beef on hand.

  • Mexican Street Tacos
  • Shredded Beef Tacos
  • Shredded Beef Sliders – Substitute the ham in this recipe for shredded beef.
  • Shredded Beef Burritos
  • Beef Ramen Bowls – Add 1/3 cup water and 2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce to 1 cup of the broth from Shredded Beef. Discard the packet from the ramen packet and cook the noodles in the broth. Top with 3 Tablespoons of Mexican Beef, some sliced green onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  • Quesadillas
  • Crunchwrap Supreme Recipe – Sub this delicious Mexican shredded beef for the chicken in my popular chicken crunch wrap supreme recipe.

  • BBQ Beef Grilled Cheese – Add BBQ sauce and pile shredded beef high on bread with grated Monterey Jack cheese. Griddle the sandwich until it’s golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  • Shredded Beef Tacos Rice Bowls or Burrito Bowls
  • Shredded Beef Tacos Salad
  • Mexican Cheese Steak Sandwiches
  • Beef Enchilada Casserole – Replace the ground beef in my easy, 5-ingredient beef enchilada casserole, with an equal amount of Shredded Beef.
  • Beef and Noodles – Sub this shredded beef into Laura’s Homemade Beef and Noodles recipe for a delicious comfort food supper.
  • Best Easy Chili – substitute Mexican Beef in place of the ground beef and make the recipe as usual.

Uses for this scrumptious shredded beef are limitless. Your creativity and imagination will help you dream up dozens of quick and easy weeknight dinners that your whole family will flip for.

Mexican Shredded beef in a with chopped cilantro in a white oval stoneware bowl

How to Adjust the Spice Level

This Mexican Beef is pretty mild on spiciness. After swallowing a bite and getting ready to take another, you may notice a slight bit of heat rising up at the back of your palate. It’s barely noticeable, which makes this a great recipe when you’re serving kids.

However, if you’re like us and you enjoy a spicy kick in your Mexican dishes, you can amp up the heat in this recipe pretty simply. Choose one of the options below to bring up the spice level.

  1. Double the amount of Southwest Seasoning. If you’re using my Southwest seasoning recipe it contains chipotle chili powder and can bring the heat when used in larger quantities.
  2. Add a 4 to 8 oz. can or jar of flame roasted green chiles to the slow cooker.
  3. Use ONE arbol chili. Keep in mind that these peppers are 2 to 3 times hotter than a jalapeno. Just one will bring enough heat to really fire up this dish.
  4. Mince up one or two jalapenos and add them to the pot when you start your Mexican Shredded Beef. Jalapenos are at least double and in some cases triple the heat of a Guajillo pepper.
Southwest Seasoning Blend in a jar and spilling out of a measuring spoon on a concrete counter top

How to Make Mexican Shredded Beef

  1. Arrange the chuck roast and short ribs (or beef shank) in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Add the garlic and guajillo chili.
  3. Sprinkle in the Southwest Seasoning, salt and pepper.
  4. Add the beef broth, beef base or bouillon, orange juice, lime juice, pureed (or finely minced) red onion and whole peeled tomatoes with their juice. Use your hands to break up the whole tomatoes into smaller pieces.
  5. Give everything a quick stir and then put the lid on.
  6. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. You’re cooking for shreddable texture, this time, not sliced meat. So, the cooking time will be longer than normal. The meat should be tender and easily pull apart with a fork.
Mexican Shredded beef in a with lime slices and cilantroin a square, gray stoneware bowl
  1. When the Mexican Beef is done cooking, remove it, the guajillo chili and any bones to a cutting board or platter. Bones can be discarded. Reserve all the broth in the slow cooker.
  2. Use a fork to shred the beef and carefully remove any fat that did not render down in the cooking process. Nobody wants to bite into a blob of beef fat.
  3. Transfer the beef to a storage container.
  4. Chop the guajillo chili and add it back to the broth. Then use an immersion blender to blend the sauce smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can create the same silky texture by blending the broth in your regular blender.
  5. Pour two cups of the broth over the shredded meat. Cover and store in the fridge up to 4 days. Or transfer to air-tight freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Do the same with the broth, in a separate container.
Mexican Shredded beef in a with chopped cilantro in a white oval stoneware bowl

Final Thoughts

Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef is a versatile and delicious dish. Put it on a plate with my 10-Minute Mexican Rice and a green salad and it’s a meal your family will ask to have again.

Or use it as the main ingredient in any of the quick and easy weeknight suppers mentioned above.

Having Mexican Shredded Beef in the fridge or freezer means back-to-school meal planning can be simple and delicious!

I hope you get a chance to make the recipe soon. And, if you do make and enjoy it, I hope you’ll consider leaving a comment to let me know, along with a 5-star rating to help others find the recipe on Google. Thanks, my friend!

The Recipe

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Mexican Shredded beef in a with chopped cilantro in a white oval stoneware bowl

Mexican Shredded Beef


  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Easy, flavorful, slow cooker Mexican Shredded Beef is essential comfort food. Use it to create dozens of quick & easy weeknight suppers, like Shredded Beef Tacos or Beef Enchilada Bowls.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 to 2.5 pound chuck roast
  • 2 pounds beef short ribs or beef shank
  • 1 (18 oz.) jar whole peeled Jovial tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion, finely minced or grated
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 dried guajillo chili pepper (or 1 teaspoon guajillo chili powder) *See NOTES for substitutions
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoons homemade Southwestern seasoning, (or your favorite store brand)
  • 1 Tablespoon Better than Bouillon Beef Base ( or your favorite bouillon)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, fine grind (or table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Arrange the chuck roast and short ribs (or beef shank) in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Add the garlic and guajillo chili.
  3. Sprinkle in the Southwest Seasoning, salt and pepper.
  4. Add the beef broth, beef base or bouillon, orange juice, lime juice, pureed (or finely minced) red onion and whole peeled tomatoes with their juice. Use your hands to break up the whole tomatoes into smaller pieces.
  5. Give everything a quick stir and then put the lid on your slow cooker.
  6. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. You’re cooking for shreddable texture, this time, not sliced meat. So, the cooking time will be longer than normal. The meat should be fork tender and easily pull apart with a fork.
  7. When the beef is done cooking, remove it, the guajillo chili and any bones, from the slow cooker to a cutting board or platter. Bones can be discarded. Reserve all the broth in the slow cooker.
  8. Use a fork to shred the beef and carefully remove any fat that did not render down in the cooking process. Nobody wants to bite into a blob of beef fat.
  9. Transfer the beef to a storage container.
  10. Chop the guajillo chili and add it back to the broth. Then use an immersion blender to blend the sauce smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can create the same silky texture by blending the broth in your regular blender.
  11. Pour two cups of the broth over the shredded meat. Cover and store in the fridge up to 4 days. Or transfer to air-tight freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Do the same with the broth, in a separate container.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Category: Meat, Beef, Main Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican American

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glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

17 thoughts on “Mexican Shredded Beef, Slow Cooker Simple”

  1. This was incredibly flavorful and made the house smell delicious all day! I can’t wait to make it again.

    Reply
  2. This was terrific! It’s an affordable dish that we used in tacos. The leftovers are going on top of nachos tonight!

    Reply
  3. You had me at “slow cooker.” But seriously, I love this recipe. The flavor is amazing, and the tips for blending the sauce and pouring it over the meat ensures that it does not dry out (which I’ve often struggled with). Thanks for a delicious recipe!

    Reply
  4. This Mexican Shredded Beef is amazing, simple to make, and full of flavor. The fact that it has a touch of spice added to it made my family adore it.

    Reply

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