Machaca Recipe, Mexican Beef, 3.8 out of 5 based on 28 ratings
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This is a great machaca recipe, I made 3 different recipes with one batch! It starts off with a big batch of shredded beef (4lbs.) simmered slow until it starts to fall apart. It’s soooo tender and juicy, your gonna love it! Then we kick it up by adding sliced onions and Anaheim chili’s to give even more great flavor and texture. After the meat reaches perfection I made 3 different San Diego taco shop style recipes out of it. If you’re going to have friends and/or family over you’ll definitely have enough to go around. You can also freeze some for a later time for a quick meal. So, lets get started.

Machaca RecipesIngredients: Machaca

Machaca Beef UncookedMachaca Veggies 14 lbs. chuck roast

2 1/2 teas. salt

1 teas. + 1/4 teas pepper

1 tbsp. + 1 teas onion powder

1 teas. garlic powder

1 really big onion (or 2 small ones) sliced

2-3 Anaheim chili’s (sliced)


1 tbsp. oil (vegetable or corn) optional

Method: Machaca

Machaca Veggies 2Machaca Veggies 3Machaca Veggies 4Machaca Beef TrimmedMachaca Beef SeasonedMachaca Beef BrownedMachaca Beef In LiquidFirst, slice your onion into half moon slices about 1/4in. thick.

Cut the tops off your Anaheim chili’s. Slice them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Depending on the size of your chili’s, cut them in half or into thirds. You want strips about the same length as your onions.

Then cut them into strips like the onions, about 1/4in. thick. Place your prepped veggies on a plate or in a bowl, cover and set aside or refrigerate. We’ll get back to these later.

Next, trim the fat off of your chuck steak. Dice into big cubes, about 1 1/2-2 inch cubes. You’ll want them big so when it starts to break down you’ll still have nice chunks.

Add the salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to a small bowl so it will be easy to add to the meat.

Preheat your pot to medium high heat. If you are using a non-stick pan you do not have to add the oil. If your pan is not non-stick you’ll want to add the oil to keep the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add your cubed meat to the hot pan along with your little bowl of seasoning.

Fry the meat stirring often until it has browned, about 10-15 minutes or so.

Pour in enough water to barely cover the meat, about 1/2 gallon or so.

Turn the heat to high and cover. Once the meat comes to a boil, back the heat off until you have a “hard simmer”. This means that the liquid is bubbling but not boiling over. You want to have it bubbling as hard as possible, covered, without it boiling over. Cook it for about 2-3 hours stirring occasionally.

Note: You want a very tight fitting lid because you don’t want the liquid to evaporate too quickly. If you notice the liquid evaporating fast you may need to add more water so keep this in mind.

After 2-3 hours poke the meat to see if it is starting to break up. If it is, remove the lid, turn the heat down “just a little” and keep simmering until most of the liquid has evaporated. If it is not breaking down yet just put the lid back on and continue simmering until it is breaking up.

The point here is to keep as much liquid in your pot until the meat starts to break up. Only at this point do you want to remove the lid and let the liquid evaporate. This will ensure your meat is extremely tender and falling apart. All together the meat will take about 3 1/2-4 hours. Keep monitoring your meat and stirring during the last hour.

Machaca Beef ShreddedOnce the liquid has almost completely evaporated use a wood spoon to break the meat down. You don’t want to completely shred it with your spoon, just to the point where some of the meat is shredded but you still have some nice chunks. At this point the meat is ready for the next step, onions and chili’s… Yum!

Adding Your Chili’s And Onions To The Machaca (2 methods)

Method 1 (recommended)

Cooking Veggies For MachacaCooked Veggies For MachacaPreheat a very large skillet to medium high heat, preferably non-stick (if you don’t have non-stick you’ll need about a teas. of oil).

Add your prepped veggies to the dry pan (if you’re using non-stick) and grill them until they’re just tender, about 2-4 minutes.

Turn the heat off and add your warm beef Machaca Finishedand stir until thoroughly mixed. That’s it, your meat is now ready.

Method 2 (still very good)

Once your meat is done, simply stir the veggies into it. Keep the heat on low and cook until the veggies are tender. This will take about 5-7 minutes. (Be careful with this method. If you cook it too long the veggies will shrink down and turn into mush so be careful.)

Now For Some Recipes With This Meat!

I’ll break this down into an easy to use format. How you use it is up to you so here we go.

Recipe #1, Machaca Burritos

Machaca Burrito

Machaca Burrito Assembly 1Ingredients: Machaca Burritos


shredded beef mix

flour tortillas (large or small)

Method: Machaca Burritos

Machaca Burrito Assembly 2Machaca Burrito Assembly 3Machaca Burrito Assembly 4Put a tortilla on a microwave safe plate, add the meat mix in a horizontal line just below the center of the tortilla.

Leave it open and place in your microwave. Cook on high for about 45 sec. to a minute. Remove it and roll it up.

Or for mass production, wrap a bunch of tortillas in foil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes (10-12 tortillas).

Remove them, add your meat and roll them up.

Note: Be sure to keep your tortillas warm by keeping them wrapped in foil until you’re ready to roll the “next” burrito.

Or place your tortillas on a griddle and cook them for about 45 seconds to a minute per side.

Remove them, add the meat and roll them up.

You can also add any of your favorite Mexican toppings such as guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, salsa, hot sauce or whatever you like. (You’ll want to add this before rolling it up)

Recipe #2 Machaca Tacos Dorados

Machaca Tacos Dorados PlateIngredients: Machaca Tacos Dorados

Frying TortillasCooked Tortillas


shredded beef mix

corn tortillas


shredded cheese

hot sauce or salsa

oil (corn or veg. for frying)

wood toothpicks

Method: Tacos Dorados

Machaca Taco Assembly 1Machaca Taco Assembly 2Machaca Taco Assembly 3Machaca Taco Frying 1Machaca Taco Frying 2Machaca Taco FriedMachaca Tacos DoradosFry your tortillas (1 or 2 at a time) in preheated 350 degree oil for about 15-20 seconds a side.

Do not over cook them because they will crack when folding them into tacos.

Give them just enough time to make them pliable.

You do not want them crispy!

(I’m using a 9in. skillet with about 2 cups of oil.)

Remove them to a plate.

Continue until all of your tortillas are done.

Turn of the heat.

Using a pair of tongs carefully flip the whole stack over to allow for proper drainage.

Lay out a piece of foil or use a large plate for the next step here.

Place about 2 large spoonfuls of the beef mixture in a horizontal line just above the center of a tortilla.

Fold it in half and “sew” it up with 2 toothpicks. (refer to the picture above)

Place your taco on the foil or plate and continue until all of your tacos are done.

Turn the heat back on for the oil about 5 or so minutes before you’re ready to fry your tacos.

When the oil reaches 350 degrees again, “Gently” place them into the oil and fry for about 2-4 minutes a side, until crispy.

Remove them to a plate and remove the toothpicks.

Careful, they will be hot but the best time to remove the toothpicks is right after they come out of the oil.

If you let them cool off the toothpicks will be harder to remove.

Tip: Twist the toothpicks first as this will loosen them from the taco making them easier to pull out.

Also, when you’re “sewing” them up leave enough of the toothpick hanging out so you’ll be able to grab onto it when they come out of the fryer.

Next is to split them open and add your lettuce cheese and sauce.

As with recipe #1 you can add any other toppings you like 🙂

Recipe #3 Machaca Con Huevos Burritos (It’s like a steak and egg burrito)

Machaca Burrito Con HuevosIngredients: Machaca Burritos Con Huevos

Eggs 1 For Machaca Burrito Con Huevosshredded beef mixture

flour tortillas (large or small)

eggs (2 for large tort. and 1 for small tort.)

salsa (optional)

cheese (optional)

salt for the eggs (optional and not really needed)

Method: Machaca Burrito Con Huevos

Eggs 2 For Machaca Burrito Con HuevosEggs 3 For Machaca Burrito Con HuevosEggs 4 For Machaca Burrito Con HuevosPreheat a skillet to medium heat.

Again no need for oil if you are using non-stick.

Scramble your eggs in a bowl.

Add them to your skillet and cook them until they are about 2/3rds done.

Stir in your warm meat and cook until the eggs are done.

To make them into burritos just use the method(s) described in Recipe #1.

Of course you can add any of your Machaca Burrito Con Huevos Assembly 1Machaca Burrito Con Huevos Assembly 2favorite Mexican toppings with this recipe as well.

Important Note: If you are going to be making a bunch of burritos or tacos all at once you will want to set up an “assembly line” and have 2 or 3 people putting your stuff together.

Time becomes a factor when you are making many items all at once.

This is because you don’t want things to get cold.

Well there you have it, 3 recipes in 1!

I hope you’ll try all three, they’re all easy to make and you’ll definitely have enough meat to go around.

With my batch I used the big 14 inch tortillas. If you use those and “just” make the shredded beef burritos you’ll get around 10 to 12 BIG burritos. If you use the small tortillas (8in.) you’ll get around 25 to 30.

If you were to use “all” of the meat for Machaca burritos you’ll get around 15 or so BIG burritos or about 35 to 40 small ones.

If you use “all” of the meat to make tacos we’re looking at around 50.

So as you can see there is plenty of beef to make multiple recipes with the same batch of meat.

Of course, if you don’t use all of your shredded beef you can freeze the meat for 1 to 2 months and save yourself the 4 hour cooking time later on when you need a quick meal. Just “thaw, pack, wrap and heat” for the burritos and “thaw, stuff and fry” for the tacos! This eliminates a major chunk of time in the kitchen.

Here they are again.

Machaca RecipesYou could also use this meat to make enchiladas, chimichangas, soft tacos or anything else you can think of. Add any of your favorite Mexican toppings, maybe some beans and rice and you’re ready for a fiesta! This beef recipe is extremely versatile so don’t be afraid to use your imagination. And last but not least…. ENJOY!


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Machaca Recipe, Mexican Beef — 24 Comments

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      Hi Carol,

      I’m not sure what to think??? It sounds pretty weird to me, Machaca is not “fuzzy” so without seeing what they gave you I’d be a little hesitant about eating it. If it looks like insulation I’d probably just throw it out. I hope I’m not hurting anybody’s feelings 🙂

  1. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Thank you for keeping this recipe on here! My Mexican husband raved about it, and has asked me to make it again…and I am not known for being a good cook! I haven’t looked at anything else on your site yet, but I’m going to now! We live just north of Mexicali, and machaca is plentiful here, but it feels good to make it myself. Thanks again!

    Debra Zaragoza

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Debra,

      You are very welcome and I’ll bet you’re a better cook than you give yourself credit for so give yourself a BIG pat on the back for a job well done 🙂 It’s so nice to hear your husband loves it!

      I’m glad you’ll be trying more of the recipes and look forward to hearing what you have to say about them. Please come back and let me know what you think when you try something else, I’d love to hear your input.

      Keep up the good work and Happy Cooking!

  2. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Just made the shredded beef burritos! They were great. I grew up in Mexico and am now living abroad in the UK, so this meal really brought me back home. I appreciated the photos and easy steps. Thanks for putting together and sharing such a helpful site!

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Rachel,

      Thank you very much 🙂
      I’m happy to share my recipes (and website) with you. I hear a lot of comments about people living in places where they can’t get good Mexican food. Isn’t it nice to be able to bring that “taste of home” to your own kitchen!
      I also try to make the recipes as easy to follow as I can since a lot of them require a lot of steps and the pictures help tell the story of how to go about making them.
      Thanks again and Happy Cooking!

  3. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Hi David, Thank you so much for your recipe for machaca meat. I used it to make tacos, and they were the best tacos I’ve ever made! Since tacos are my favorite food, that is saying a lot. I appreciate all of the recipes you have shared and can’t wait to try more. I am going to share this recipe on my blog with credit to you if that is okay. I am new to blogging and am not sure what the etiquette is for mentioning recipes gotten from other blogs.

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Shari,

      Thank you so much for your comment and it would be an honor if you shared the recipe.

      Since you are new to blogging a basic rule of thumb for sharing other peoples work is to write about it in your own words and put a link back to where you found the information. This way the original author gets credit for their hard work and all of your friends will thank you for letting them know about what you’ve found. Hope that helps and I look forward to more comments as you try new recipes 🙂

      Happy Cooking!

  4. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Hi David!

    I made the tacos for dinner and they were amazing! The flavor and texture of the meat was awesome! I made a few changes I thought I would share with you, first I reduced the salt to 1 1/4 tsp., I added 1/2 tsp. cumin and instead of all water I used water and a beer. So yummy!

    I just love your recipes and can’t wait to try more! Keep up the good work. 😉


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      Hi Courtney,

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it 🙂

      I’m glad you altered the recipe to your liking and thanks for sharing what you did, it sounds delicious!

      It’s also nice to hear you’ll be trying more of the recipes. I have a few more in the works right now and hope to post them soon.

      Take care and Happy Cooking!

  5. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Hi David,

    It’s cooking right now, two more hours and it will be ready, can’t wait to taste it!

    /Ali 🙂

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Ali,

      I think you’re going to like this a lot! Let me know which one of the 3 recipes you use it for or if you try all three. By the way, that salsa recipe I gave you goes really well on the tacos 🙂 Enjoy!

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        We’re going for the Machaca Burrtito with green chilies. The salsa will be added as a side with chips, will make a double batch to satisfy all 5 of us…
        I will make your mexican rice and pico as well and will try to see if I can find a good potato recipe, that can be added to some of the burritos.

        PS: The meat came out perfect, both in texture and taste!

        • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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          HI Ali,

          Great choice! That’s the first one I made too. The salsa will go very well with them and I think you’ll like the rice as well 🙂
          I have an idea for the potatoes, this is just off the top of my head but I think this will work with the Machaca.
          Peel a few potatoes and dice them into about 1/2 inch cubes. Add them to a pan with enough cold water to cover. Bring them to a boil and then boil for about 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let stand in the water for about 5 minutes to finish cooking. Drain them using a strainer so all of the water is removed (you want them as dry as possible).
          Add some butter and oil together in a large skillet and melt over medium high to high heat. The oil will keep the butter from burning. Gently pour your dried cooked potatoes to the hot pan and stir or “flip” the potatoes to coat with the butter/oil.
          Lightly season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and chili powder. Just sprinkle over the top and then mix in.
          Once mixed, spread the potatoes out in a thin layer and leave them to cook for about 5-10 minutes, no stirring. Too much stirring will not let the potatoes brown. After about 5-10 minutes or so flip them and leave them alone. Once they start to brown it’s ok to stir. In about 20 or 25 minutes you’ll have a nicely browned fried potato dish you can add to the machaca.
          Note: Depending on how many potatoes you use the amount of butter and oil will vary. Just be sure to use enough to fully coat the potatoes. As for the seasonings, that will be to your taste. I recommended lightly seasoned as to not overpower the Machaca.
          Hope that helps you Ali and enjoy your dinner!

  6. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Those “tacos dorados” look really good – now I’m hungry. Yes, the method of fastening the shells together for frying is quite traditional.

    It all looks pretty good except for some terminology: The first burrito appears to be a “machaca burrito”, while the second a “machaca con huevos” burrito.

    Machaca is simply shredded meat cooked in its own juices with seasonings. So that means your “shredded beef with green chilies” is actually a machaca recipe 🙂

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Kirk,

      Thanks for the heads up! I’ve changed the “terminology” to make it right.

      Growing up in San Diego where there is a taco shop on almost every corner I got used to their terminology and I guess everyone has a different style. One taco shops version of a shredded beef burrito may have chili’s where as another one may not. The same holds true with the tacos and machaca, all though every “machaca” burrito I ordered had eggs in it, I guess that’s just how “they” make them.

      Anyway, thanks for setting me straight and I hope you’ll try the recipe. One thing I do know is that this is a delicious recipe 🙂

      Thanks again and Happy Cooking!

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        No problem; happy to help. Actually I had the same impression about machaca growing up in Ventura, CA, until i moved to LA and a Mexican friend set me straight. The term “tacos dorados” (golden tacos) can also apply to taquitos or flautas in Mexico, but in the US I mostly see them offered as we know them – taquitos and flautas.

        • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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          Hi Kirk,

          Thanks again for your input, it was really helpful. I guess a lot of SoCal people have the same idea about machaca being a “shredded beef burrito with eggs”. I’m glad you gave me the heads up. I also never heard the term “tacos dorados” but I guess there are so many non espanol speaking people that go to the taco shops in California that they had to use easy to understand “terminology”. Anyway, thanks again and Mexican food rocks! Take care.

  7. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    This website is amazing and reminds me of growing in san bernardino. Now that I live in new york, my mexican food selections are very weak unless I make my own. Do you have a homemade chorizo recipe by any chance.

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for the compliment, I really appreciate it! I hear all the time about how there is no good Mexican food on the east coast and I always wonder why that is.
      About the chorizo. I don’t have my own chorizo recipe… Yet 🙂 To make it right requires time, patience and a meat grinder and here in California it’s just too easy to pick it up at any local store. I have a variety to choose from as well, sooo, I did a little checking around for you and came up with 2 recipes for you. One is made the “right” way and one that is much easier but not as authentic. Here are the links for you to check out.

      #1 “Cheaters Chorizo” (this is the easy one)

      #2 “Oaxacan Style” (more authentic)

      I hope that helps and thanks again for your comment.
      Happy Cooking!

  8. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    such a great idea using toothpicks to hold them shut while frying!!! i didn’t even think of that when i was making fried tacos 🙁

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Kat,

      Isn’t it? I learned this trick years ago and its helped me ever since. No longer do my tacos open up while I’m frying them and ruin the oil. Please let me know what you think of the recipe, I’m always looking for input to help me improve.
      Thanks for commenting and Happy Cooking!

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