The Country Cook: Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Beef

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Beef

One of the great things about slow cookers is they allow you to take a fairly tough and fairly inexpensive cut of meat and really transform it. By cooking it at a lower temperature and for a longer amount of time, the meat  improves in texture and flavor.
Here's the smarty pants science: Slow cooking softens the connective tissue that binds the muscle fibers in the meat and the proteins in the muscle are less likely to overcook.  The longer cooking time allows the collagen in the meat to break down, creating a rich gelatin. Translation: the meat is tender and juicy, y'all. And then when you add different spices and flavors to the party, you can change a simple Beef Dip into Beef Tacos. I'm using a 3-step flavoring process with this recipe. With each step, we are really "upping" the flavor in this meat. It comes out so tender and so flavorful and there are a bunches of uses for this shredded beef.
1 (2-3 pound) chuck roast
1 (1.5 oz.) packet taco seasoning
1 (16 oz.) jar salsa
1 cup water
1 (8 oz.)  jar taco sauce

Note: You'll need to try to plan this out ahead of time since the meat needs time to marinate. Place roast on a large piece of plastic wrap
Sprinkle entire packet of taco seasoning over chuck roast. Make sure all sides get coated. Rub it in to ensure good coating.
Wrap up roast with plastic wrap.
Then wrap in aluminum foil.
And then pop it in your fridge overnight (or for at least 2 hours but overnight is best).
The next morning, place your marinated roast into your slow cooker.  Note: you'll need a minimum 5-quart slow cooker for this recipe and this oval shape works great for the shape of a chuck roast.
Pour jar of salsa over the roast.
Then pour in 1 cup of water. No need to stir.
Cover and cook on low for about 8-9 hours.
Take meat out and shred with a fork. At this point the roast should be very tender so it should be fairly easy to shred. Discard any fatty pieces.
Dump out the remaining liquid that is in the slow cooker. Note: I like to leave about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in the crock pot. Then put the shredded meat back into the slow cooker. Pour in jar of taco sauce.
Give it a good stir. Then cover and cook on high for 15-20 minutes until warmed through. 
Then serve! You can use any type of shell you like. Or use the beef in a taco salad or on a tostada. Whatever is your preference.


  1. I'm pinning this recipe! Looks incredible! I've never thought about a Mexican spin on a roast, but I like it!

  2. Definitely doing this!! Thank you so much!

  3. I will learn to never look at your blog until after lunch! Thanks - will be adding this one to my menus very soon.

  4. We love using slow cooker meat for tacos! I'll have to try this recipe next time!

  5. This makes total sense to me because I was thinking to myself my Crockpot Chinese Chicken leftovers resembled an Aspic (sp?) the next day.

  6. I love this idea. It looks completely delicious!

  7. This looks fantastic! Pinned! ;) Thanks for sharing!!


  8. I've done this recipe with a minor variation for years, and it is always a hit. My sister asks for it for her birthday every year! For flavoring I use about 1/2 jar of medium salsa, store brand is great and 1/4 -1/2 regular sized bottle of open pit original BBQ sauce. I also save a little of the liquid from the crock pot and use about 1/2 a cup or more to moisten up the mixture. It goes great for burritos, or a BBQ sandwich.

  9. Made this tonight and it was delish!!! My four kids and husband loved it. Will be a keeper!! Nice to come home to a ready meal after the zoo.

  10. This recipe sounds awesome and I have it ready to go in the crockpot this morning for dinner tonight! I am a Weight Watchers member and am trying to calculate the number of PointsPlus values one serving would be for this-but to do that I need a number of servings for the whole recipe. I know number of servings would depend on how much beef each person puts on their taco, but those of you who have tried it, could you please give me an estimated number of servings per recipe please? Thanks!!

  11. Hi Mary! That is great! I love to help out all my Weight Watchers folks where I can. I am terrible at figuring servings because what I think might be a serving could be totally different from what someone else thinks. But I will say my best guess for this would be 8 servings. I think you could reasonably get 2 tacos per person from this recipe. But once again, I could be overshooting it so please know this is just a best guess. :) ~Brandie

  12. Can this be cooked on high for maybe 6 hrs?

  13. Hey Brandie,
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I just found roast on sale at my Market Street. I have 4 roasts sitting in my fridge wondering what is going to be done to them. I assure you this recipe will be used. Thanks for sharing. <3 Kim

  14. This looks delicious. Pinning! Thanks for sharing.



  15. Thanks Brandie for the recipe. I pinned it and will be trying it out this winter, I love easy Mexican recipes.

    Raven J. True Blue Baking

  16. Going to make it in the pressure cooker!!! 30 minutes from raw to shredded!!!! Yum!

  17. I loved this recipe! Of course I'm impatient, so I seasoned the meat and immediately cooked it, instead of marinating it, and it still turned out so great! I also tried to use a pot roast instead of a chuck roast and that did not turn out so well.... But wanted to share that it was still delicious when seasoned right before cooking! Thanks for the great recipes!

  18. Pot roast and chuck roast are the same cut of meat. They both come from the shoulder. It just depends on what you butcher decides to mark them as. [Grew up on a cattle farm.]

    Definitely a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing and for letting us know it has to be marinaded in the fridge for a while. With this type of meat it makes all the difference. :)


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