Filed Under: Main Dish | Meat | Mexican | Slow Cooker

Slow-cooker Mexican Shredded Beef

Recipe By Tessa Arias
May 3rd, 2011
Cinco de Mayo is just a few days away. If you're like me and grew up in the southwest U.S., someone you know is bound to throw a Cinco de...
Cinco de Mayo is just a few days away. If you’re like me and grew up in the southwest U.S., someone you know is bound to throw a Cinco de Mayo party. We even had Cinco de Mayo fiestas in my Spanish classes in high school. Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that celebrates Mexico’s victory in a battle that took place in the 1800s. The funny thing is, Mexicans don’t really celebrate this holiday. It’s been adopted by Americans who I think wanted another reason to drink beer and eat Mexican food. Hey, why not? 
This slow-cooker shredded beef would be perfect to bring to a Cinco de Mayo party because people can use the beef in their favorite way (tacos, nachos, salad, etc., see below). Check out these Mexican recipes:

Recipe Rundown
Taste: Depth of Hispanic-inspired flavors with a hint of spice.
Texture: Fork tender. 

Ease: Taking the extra step of searing the beef before slow-cooking really adds a wonderful flavor and prevents the beef from falling apart in the slow-cooker. However, it does take a few minutes and dirties an extra pan.
Appearance: Looks just like the shredded beef from your favorite restaurant!
Pros: Simple, easy, tasty. Can be used for tacos, salads, tostadas, quesadillas, nachos, burritos, chimichangas, taquitos… the list is endless. The leftovers taste great too!
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Yes!

Slow-Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef
From Elly Says Opa

  • 1 (2 pound) boneless beef roast
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

In a large, heavy skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef roast liberally with salt and pepper.  Once the oil is hot, add the roast to the pan and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.  Place roast in the slow-cooker.

Add the sliced onion to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir garlic and tomato paste into pan. After another 30 seconds to 1 minute, add beef broth and spices.  Scrape any browned bits at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, then pour the broth-onion mixture into the slow-cooker over the roast.

Cook on low for 8 hours. The beef should be tender enough to easily pull apart with two forks. Once the beef is shredded, return to the slow-cooker to absorb any leftover liquid.

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Courtney — May 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Yay always looking for slow cooker recipes. Hubby will love this one, especially since it's like a taco 🙂

  2. #
    Lauren — May 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Hahaha… I didn't know that Cinco de Mayo is more of an American than Mexican celebration. Very funny! I'll certainly take advantage of any excuse to enjoy Mexican food, and this shredded beef looks delicious.

  3. #
    Maris — May 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    This is a fantastic recipe for Cinco de Mayo. I can see myself with this and a margarita, frozen strawberry one!

  4. #
    the sweets life — May 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    yum yum yum! love that it can be made in the slow cooker!

  5. #
    Sharon — May 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I was just thinking yesterday that I needed a recipe to make shredded beef for burritos 🙂 Thanks!

  6. #
    Banan Appealing — May 3, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    This looks yum!

  7. #
    mangiodasola — May 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I never thought about it until reading your post, but I never did see my ex-girlfriend or her family celebrate el cinco de mayo, and they were born and half-raised in Mexico City. Interesting. Anyway, this shredded beef dish looks incredible! I'm bookmarking this recipe.

  8. #
    Tracey — May 4, 2011 at 12:26 am

    I've never really celebrated Cinco de Mayo – maybe it's because I live in the Northeast, but regardless I really, really want to make this shredded beef. Any shredded meat is bound to be a favorite here!

  9. #
    Linds@TheLeanGrnBean — May 4, 2011 at 2:20 am

    just put something similar to this in the crockpot! thanks for the inspiration!

  10. #
    Jay — March 21, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Hi. My husband and I had this for dinner tonight. It was delicious. We ate it on rolls, like pulled pork. Tomorrow we're having tacos with the leftovers. Thanks!

  11. #
    Breakfast Ideas For Kids — August 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    You are the worst author

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    Emilie — October 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Thank you for this recipe. I love it! I’ve done in 4 times already and I keep coming back here to do it again.

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