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Our zesty, flavorful Mexican Shredded Beef is the delicious basis for so many different recipes! Cook up a batch tonight!

Mexican Shredded Beef

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 large, commercial pressure cookers to cook the beef, but our version is cooked low-and-slow in the oven, making it a recipe that anyone can prepare at home.

I’ve got to say – the aromas that fill our house when this Mexican Shredded Beef is cooking in the oven are pretty amazing!


How do you make Mexican Shredded Beef?

First, place a layer of sliced onions and peppers in the bottom of a baking dish or Dutch oven – this serves as a bed for the beef as it cooks.

Then, a wet rub made with tomato paste, honey, spices, 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 for sandwiches or other recipes!

Mexican Shredded Beef

What kind of beef should I use?

We have made this recipe a number of times over the years with different grades of chuck roast – ranging from a really nice Angus beef to a less expensive, lower grade of beef known as “select”.

*The cooking times varied greatly as a result. The select grade of beef, for example, took almost five hours to become fall-apart tender, while the Angus beef was tender in a little over two hours. Depending on your cut of beef, you’ll need to check to make sure your beef is tender.  (It may even be easier to make this a day ahead of serving, or start it early in the day to make sure the meat is ready for your meal.)


Mexican Shredded Beef

What recipes can I make with this Mexican Shredded Beef?

Here are a few delicious options:

Can I make this in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot?

Lots of readers have asked this question – and the answer is yes, although we do think the best caramelized flavor will come from roasting the beef in the oven as written in our recipe below.

Mexican Shredded Beef

Can I freeze the leftovers?

Yes – in fact, we often cook up a batch of this Mexican Shredded Beef, then freeze half for a recipe another day. Just seal the portions of beef in an air-tight bag to avoid freezer burn (a food saver bag sealing system like this works especially well.)

This Mexican Shredded Beef recipe originally appeared on A Family Feast in September 2013. We’ve updated the photos and post text.

You may enjoy these other Mexican dishes:

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Mexican Shredded Beef

Mexican Shredded Beef

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: entree
  • Method: braise
  • Cuisine: Mexican


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 9×13-inch glass baking dish or Dutch oven with cover, 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 the beef, then 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. (Or place the cover on the Dutch oven.)
  5. Roast in oven for three hours or until fork tender. Check after three hours and cook for another 30 minutes if not falling apart tender. Depending on the size, grade, quality and cut of the chuck, this cooking time could be much longer, see notes. *
  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.


* We have made this a few times with different grades of chuck from a really nice Angus beef to a really low grade of beef known as “select”. The cooking times varied greatly as a result. The low grade of beef for example took almost five hours to become fall apart tender, where the Angus was tender in a little over two hours. Depending on all of the variables, you need to keep checking and cooking until tender. It might be easiest to make this a day ahead, or start cooking early in the day to ensure that your beef is ready for your meal.

Keywords: Mexican Shredded Beef

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Mexican Shredded Beef

Mexican Shredded Beef

Mexican Shredded Beef

Mexican Shredded Beef

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  • Jennifer wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      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

  • Gayle Matsumoto wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Claire wrote:

    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!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Claire – so glad you’re enjoying the recipe!

  • Steph wrote:

    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?


    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Steph – just lay the parchment over the pan and then the foil tightly over the parchment. Hope that helps!

  • Danielle wrote:

    Can I ask where you find the chili sauce?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Danielle – Sriracha is at most supermarkets! It is a red bottle with a rooster on it. Hope that helps!

  • Marianne wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Marianne – We really wouldn’t recommend using brisket for this recipe! Sorry!

  • Erin wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      We’re so glad you like the recipe Erin!! I agree – there are tons of ways to use this recipe! Thanks for writing to us!

  • Leann wrote:

    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.

    • Martha Pesa wrote:

      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!

  • Andrea wrote:

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

    • Martha Pesa wrote:

      We haven’t tried this in the crockpot so I can’t say for sure…please let us know if you try it!

  • stephanie wrote:

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

    • Martha Pesa wrote:

      Thanks so much Stephanie – Check back over the next two days…we’ll be sharing some additional recipes using our Mexican Shredded Beef!

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