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

Mexican Shredded Beef

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5 from 9 reviews

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


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.


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


  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