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Mexican Shredded Beef

Mexican Shredded Beef - Simple to prepare and super delicious! This fork-tender Mexican shredded beef is delicious on it's own, or in other recipes.

Ever since we published our recipe earlier this year for Mexican Pulled Chicken, as well as all of the various recipes you can make using pulled chicken (see here, here, and here), we’ve had a number of readers comment or email us, asking if we had beef versions of those recipes.

Happily – the answer is yes!  And today’s recipe for Mexican Shredded Beef is the first of several that we will share over the next few days using this versatile and delicious recipe!  This Mexican shredded beef is an adapted version of the one that my husband Jack made many years ago, when he worked at the popular Edgewater Café, in Magnolia, Massachusetts.  At the restaurant, they used pressure cookers to cook the beef, but our version is cooked low-and-slow in the oven, making it a recipe that anyone can make at home!

Mexican Shredded Beef - Simple to prepare and super delicious! This fork-tender Mexican shredded beef is delicious on it's own, or in other recipes.

And I’ve got to say – the smells filling the house when this Mexican shredded beef is cooking in the oven is pretty amazing!  First a layer of sliced onions and peppers is placed in the bottom of a baking dish which serves as a bed for the beef.  Then a wet rub made with tomato paste, honey, spice, chili sauce and our popular Rocket Fuel (or your favorite hot sauce) is slathered over the beef before it is cooked.  Roast in the oven for about 3 to 3 ½ hours and your Mexican shredded beef will be fork tender and ready to shred!

And coming up later this week, we’ll be sharing some more great recipes that use this Mexican shredded beef including Beef and Bean Enchiladas, and Beef Chimichangas – plus a fabulous homemade Enchilada Sauce that you won’t want to miss!

Note: We have received some reader questions asking if this Mexican Shredded Beef can be made in a slow cooker.  The answer is yes – however, we found that the best results came from cooking the beef in the oven as written in this recipe.)

Mexican Shredded Beef
Serves: 8 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • ½ large onion peeled and cut into large slices
  • ½ large red bell pepper seeded and cut into large slices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Agave Nectar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Rocket Fuel, or your favorite hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
  • 2 ½ pounds chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef stock
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a 9x13-inch glass baking dish or roasting pan, lay sliced onions and peppers on bottom.
  3. Mix tomato paste, Agave or honey, all the dried spices, Rocket Fuel and the chili sauce. Smear all over beef and set beef over peppers and onions. Pour the beef stock around the sides of the beef.
  4. Cover with parchment paper and then foil, sealing tight.
  5. Roast in over for three hours or until fork tender. Check after three hours and cook for another 30 minutes if not falling apart tender.
  6. With two forks, shred meat and mix with all liquid, cooked onions and cooked peppers.
  7. Use as a filling for a variety of Mexican or Southwestern-inspired dishes.

You may also like:

Mexican Pulled Chicken

Mexican Pulled Chicken - A Family Feast

Beef Enchiladas

Beef and Bean Enchildas - A Family Feast

Beef Chimichangas

Beef Chimichangas - A Family Feast


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  1. I love how you give great detailed recipes and then offer additional ones to use it up! Much appreciated!

  2. How long do you think in the crockpot? Recipe sounds delish!

  3. Did you intend to say plastic wrap? Would foil work as well instead of the plastic wrap. I worry about the melting and bpas dripping into the meat.

    • Hi Leann – If you’d rather not use plastic wrap, then we suggest parchment paper with the foil. You can use just foil, but you must be sure to avoid having the foil touch the meat since the acids in the tomato and pepper can also literally dissolve the foil in the heat and in addition to it getting in your food, you won’t have the tight seal when cooking! The plastic or parchment helps prevent that from happening – it’s a technique used in professional food service and is perfectly safe, but if you’d rather not use plastic, try to use parchment instead. Thanks!

  4. I have to say – I came across this recipe about 3 weeks ago and today is my fourth time making it! Normally I’m not even big on beef but this is absolutely my favorite since I can just throw it in the oven and forget about it for a few hours. I keep waiting for my boyfriend or myself to get sick of eating it, but it’s just not happening since the meat is so versatile (tacos, taco bowls, mexican omelets! It just doesn’t end) – thanks for my favorite recipe!

  5. Could you use brisket? Nif so, would the cooking time change?

  6. Can I ask where you find the chili sauce?

  7. Hi Martha,

    I’m a bit confused as to how I would wrap the parchment paper around the roasting pan–do I need to tuck it into the foil on the edges on the corners of the pan?


  8. Oh my, it’s just gone in the oven & the smell is incredible!! I’ve gone for a larger piece of meat so I can freeze leftovers.. My husband loves tacos so after the smell of this I’ll never use mince beef & “packet tacos” again!!

  9. Gayle Matsumoto :

    I cannot find dried coriander. Can ground coriander seed be substituted and if so, how much do we use?

    • Hi Gayle – Yes – in fact, we meant to write ground coriander. I’m so sorry for the confusion and we will update the recipe! Thank you for writing to us!

  10. This sounds delicious! In the description you say this is an adaptation of a recipe for the pressure cooker: if I wanted to make this in a pressure cooker (always looking for recipes to use the darn thing, hehe) are there any major changes or tips? Thank you.

    • Hi Jen – My husband used a commercial pressure cooker in the past – and unfortunately we haven’t tried making it at home using a pressure cooker (we don’t use ours very often either!). So…I’m afraid I don’t have cooking directions for you! I’m sorry! Martha

  11. Hi, I made this and cooked for the recommended 3.5 hours but my beef turned out a little chewy (I used very high quality organic chuck) to make it melt in the mouth would you recommend cooking further? Can I re-cook it after it’s been in the fridge overnight?

  12. In your instructions you say in number 3 to add chili paste-didnt you mean chili powder?

  13. Hi in the recipe it states to use red pepper – but what kind? I’ve been to a farmers market, and 3 different grocery stores including a specifically hispanic one. The only red peppers I can find are either bell peppers or dried peppers, maybe if you can tell me more specifically the name of the red pepper I’ll have a better chance of finding it???? Thanks

    • Hi Serena – my huge apologies for the confusion. It should be red bell pepper – and we’ve updated the recipe to reflect the clarification. I hope you enjoy the recipe and sorry again for the confusion!

  14. Thanks for the great recipe, and thanks also for adding the feature that let’s you print off just the recipe! I will be back for more recipes.

  15. I am so happy I came across this recipe. Absolutely love it! I’ve already made this recipe three times. I’m obsessed!!

  16. Hello Susan,

    This recipe looks amazing. If I were to make double the recipe, and cook side by side in separate pans, do you think it would affect the cooking time in any way?

    • Yes, your oven’s heat is now dissipated which will extend the cooking time. I would cook to the directions, then test every 30 minutes to gauge the extended cooking time. With baked goods, you don’t want to do this but with non-baked goods, it is fine and just takes longer. Another option would be to boost the temperature by 25 degrees and still check it every 30 minutes after the full cooking time.

      • Thank you Jack for the swift reply. I am going to be making this tomorrow for a gathering, and appreciate the feedback.

        • You are quite welcome. If you are worried about timing, you could make this ahead, refrigerate and reheat as needed. Pulled meat recipes are very forgiving.

  17. I made the Mexican shredded beef. I thought it was pretty flavorless and desperately needed salt. Also, it took a lot longer to cook than 3 hrs, it actually took over 5 hours. The consistency was wonderful, and it was a great base recipe, but it needed way more flavor. I did leave out the sriracha, as we do not like that, but I put extra regular hot sauce in. I will doctor it up tonight to give it some flavor, and will use the recipe as a base recipe, after I adjust the seasonings. Love the red pepper in it, gives it a beautiful and authentic look!

  18. Hi Martha,

    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe. I have done this meal in advance for lunch wih friends and I am a bit worry on how to reheat it. Would you recomend to heat it up in the oven a low temperature or high temperature or maybe better in a pan?



    • Hi Lina – Assuming you’ve cooked it completely, I’d recommend simply reheating it in a pan on the stove top or even in the microwave – just enough to warm it up! Hope that helps and we hope you all enjoy the recipe!

  19. I was wondering if I’m only using 1 1/2 lbs do I need to cut the cooking time down by half?

    • Hi Jenni – It will take less time with less beef, but probably more than 1/2 the original cooking time. I’d suggest start checking it half way through and then every 20-30 minutes until the beef is fork tender. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  20. Great recipe, mine turned out perfectly. Do you have any thoughts on adding achiote to the rub?