This delectable Mexican Shredded Beef brings the whole family to the table with joy. With tender pulled beef in a rich, flavorful sauce, this meal is so easy to make, it practically cooks itself!
Need more easy keto dinners in your life? Wait, is that even a question? I think it’s safe to say that we can all use more recipes like this Mexican Shredded Beef.
I first created this recipe for my cookbook, The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen. I had some chuck roast I needed to use and I was craving bold flavor. So I browned it, tossed in some tomatoes and spices, and braised it in the oven for 5 hours.
Holy moly, was it ever spectacular. The beef was lusciously tender and fell apart at the slightest touch. It became an instant family favorite. It’s almost as well loved as Taco Pie and that’s saying something!
Easy Pulled Beef Recipe
This one is a crowd pleaser, believe me. Juicy pulled beef recipe appeals to everyone, from the kids to the grown ups. It’s not overly spicy, and it has so much flavor it makes your tastebuds sing.
Mexican Shredded Beef serves a crowd, which means it’s great for potlucks and get togethers. But it also makes the perfect meal prep dish for a smaller family as it freezes so well. We sometimes make a batch before we head out on family road trips. We just bring the frozen container and let it thaw on the way, so we have an easy meal when we get to our destination.
Don’t be intimidated by the long cooking time, because this Mexican Shredded Beef recipe is ridiculously easy to make. The prep work will take 20 minutes at the most, and then it practically cooks itself.
You just get to sit there and enjoy the aromas emanating from your kitchen!
Ingredients you need
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- Chuck roast: You braise the beef at low temperatures for a long time, so inexpensive cuts of meat like chuck are perfect for this recipe. I get organic, grassfed beef from Wild Pastures.
- Avocado oil: I like to use avocado oil for browning the beef but you can use olive oil as well. You can also use lard or coconut oil.
- Tomatoes: A 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes is perfect for this Mexican Shredded Beef. But you can also use fresh tomatoes.
- Liquid smoke: It is entirely optional, but I find that liquid smoke adds a nice smokiness to the final dish.
- Garlic: I always use fresh minced garlic but you could sub in 1 teaspoon garlic powder if you needed to.
- Cumin: Ground cumin gives this recipe a classic Mexican-style flavor.
- Chipotle powder: Ground chipotle adds another level of spice and smokiness. You can sub in chili powder but you will need more of it.
- Salt and pepper
Step by Step Directions
1. Prepare the oven: Preheat the oven to 300°F and set an oven rack on the second lowest position. Season the roast liberally with salt and pepper.
2. Brown the beef: In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the roast and brown well on all sides. Stir in the diced tomatoes, water, liquid smoke, if using, garlic, cumin, and chipotle powder.
3. Transfer to the oven: Bring to a simmer and then cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook the roast until it is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork, about 5 hours.
4. Shred the beef: Remove from the oven and use two forks to shred the meat. Toss the meat in the juices that have collected at the bottom of the pot to moisten it.
Tips for Mexican Shredded Beef
Tougher cuts of beef, such as chuck roast or rump roast, benefit from slow braising like this. It doesn’t need to be boneless, since you will shred the beef at the end and can easily remove the bones.
Browning the roast at the beginning deepens the overall flavor of the dish. You could just dump everything into the pot and set it cooking, but I think you’d be missing out.
Slow Cooker Method: Brown the roast in a skillet before adding it to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Instant Pot Method: Use the sauté function to brown the beef. Reduce the water to ⅓ cup. Turn to manual high or stew/meat for 70+ minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most recipes call for chuck roast, which is an inexpensive cut of meat that responds well to braising. Look for a roast that has some fat marbling, so the shredded beef will be juicier and more flavorful.
To get truly tender, fall-apart shredded beef that stays juicy, you should braise the beef. Braising means cooking in liquid at low temperatures over a long period of time. This method breaks down the connective tissues of tougher cuts so that the meat pulls apart into individual fibers.
This Mexican Shredded Beef recipe is low carb and keto-friendly. It has 2.1g of carbohydrates and 0.4g of fiber per serving.
How to serve it
Serve Mexican Shredded Beef with all of your favorite toppings like chopped avocado, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, and cilantro. Then use keto tortillas or lettuce wraps to scoop it up!
My favorite way to eat it is in a keto taco bowl, over Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. You could also serve it on top of Creamy Mashed Cauliflower.
Or you could serve it like pulled pork, piled on Easy Keto Biscuits or Cheddar Zucchini Waffles. You could even turn it into a spectacular Keto Enchilada Casserole.
Mexican Shredded Beef Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and set an oven rack on the second lowest position. Season the roast liberally with salt and pepper.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the roast and brown well on all sides. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juices, water, liquid smoke, if using, garlic, cumin, and chipotle powder.
- Bring to a simmer and then cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook the roast until it is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork, about 5 hours.
- Remove from the oven and use two forks to shred the meat. Toss the meat in the juices that have collected at the bottom of the pot to moisten it.