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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

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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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

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