Shredded Beef Tacos – Authentic Mexican Style

Shredded Beef Tacos - Authentic Mexican Style, 3.6 out of 5 based on 128 ratings
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This
Rating: 3.6/5 (128 votes cast)

Here is a great recipe for shredded beef tacos. If you like tacos this is for you! If you’ve ever been to San Diego you’ll probably remember this flavor. I used to eat these while looking out over the ocean. Ah, that’s the life..

Shredded Beef Tacos PlateIngredients: Shredded Beef Tacos

2lbs. chuck roast, 2in. cubes and trim off fat ( you can also use top or bottom round )

2 teas. salt

2 teas. pepper

1 tbsp. cumin

1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder ( light or dark )

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. onion powder

4 bay leaves

1 onion ( small dice )

2/3 head lettuce ( shredded )

2 tomatoes ( small dice )

3 oz. cheddar cheese ( shredded )

16-20 corn tortillas ( 6in. )

2-3 cups oil ( corn or vegetable )


Method: Shredded Beef

Add meat, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and bay leaves to a 3 to 5qt. pot. Add water to cover, about 1/2in. over the top of the meat and boil covered for 2 hours stirring occasionally.

Add diced onion and boil for 1 more hour covered stirring occasionally. At this point the meat should start to break down. Remove bay leaves and continue to break it down using a wooden spoon or spatula ( I like the spatula ). Continue to boil uncovered until the liquid has evaporated and continue to shred the meat with the wooden spoon or spatula.The meat should be completely shredded after about 4 hours. Set aside and let cool to warm or room temperature.

Method: Tortillas

Heat oil in an 8in. cast iron skillet for more even cooking. You can use any 8in. skillet, I just like the performance of cast iron for frying. Or use a deep fryer. Never fill pan more than 1/2 full of oil, it may bubble over during cooking.Heat to 350 degrees. It is very important to reach 350 degrees or the tortillas will not cook right. With a pair of tongs place 1 tortilla into the oil and fry for about 3-5 seconds, just long enough to make the tortillas pliable and easy to work with. Repeat process until all tortillas are cooked, stack them on a plate, flip the entire stack over and get ready for assembly.

Note: Always be careful when using hot oil it can be very dangerous if not handled properly.

Assembly: Shredded Beef Tacos

Shredded Beef Tacos Assembly 1Shredded Beef Tacos Assembly 2Take about 2 to 3oz. of shredded beef and place on upper half of the tortilla.

Fold the tortilla in half and insert 2 toothpicks.

Kind of like sewing. Repeat until all of the tacos are done.

You might want to turn the heat down on the oil while doing this.

It will take a few minutes to assemble your shredded beef tacos.

In that time your oil could overheat causing your tacos to burn. Make sure the temperature of your oil is right.

Frying: Shredded Beef Tacos

Take 2 to 3 tacos at a time and place into 350 degree oil and cook for about 1 to 3 minutes a side, or until crispy. You might notice after a batch or two that the oil will lower in temperature. There is something called “recovery time” when using hot oil. This is caused by putting a cool product into something hot.

Remove tacos and let stand for 1 minute. Remove toothpicks, open and add shredded lettuce, cheese and diced tomatoes. You’re ready to eat!

Shredded Beef Tacos PlateThis is a good time to add your favorite toppings to your shredded beef tacos, such as: hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo or anything else you like.

Note: It is best to cook your tacos just before you eat for best results. Any uncooked tacos can be refrigerated for a few days. Or you can freeze them for up to 2 months. If you freeze them do not thaw them out before frying, the tortillas will fall apart. Frozen tacos will take about twice as long to fry.


Print Friendly


Shredded Beef Tacos – Authentic Mexican Style — 148 Comments

  1. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    Please tell me the authentic taco shell – is it a corn tortilla?

    Can you also tell me the Mexican authentic burrito, is it corn tortilla or flour?

    Thank you so much. Your recipes are great

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for asking.

      Traditionally tacos are made with corn tortillas if you’re looking for a crispy shell, although flour tortillas can be used but they tend to soak up the oil when frying, making them more greasy.

      For soft tacos, both are popular… it’s a matter individual preference.

      Burritos are made with flour tortillas. They are more pliable and slightly stretchy so they don’t rip or tear when you try to eat one.

      Hope that helps and you’re welcome :-)

      Happy Cooking,

  2. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    David, thank you so much for this recipe. It has become part of my rotation, and I have made it about 10 times in the last couple of years. We live in a rural area, and we buy a 1/4, of a cow from a local farmer each year. I have used this recipe for many of the large cuts, and it always comes out fabulous. My spouse doesn’t like a traditional roast beef, but he loves Mexican food. This recipe is a winner every time; it has also wowed our most picky and well traveled guests. I use a ground sea salt, and I’ve found it is easy to over salt this recipe, even though I reduce it each time. My husband suggested adding the salt at the end, is it necessary to add the salt earlier in the process to get the meat to come out perfect? My other question: I have been trying to make a shredded beef chili like a Mexican restaurant I used to frequent. So far, I’ve tried many different recipes, and I haven’t been successful. It was browner than red, any suggestions? I look forward to trying more recipes on your website.

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you so much, I’m glad this is now one of your go to recipes now! It’s nice to hear everyone likes the tacos :-)

      To answer your first question, it is easy to over salt, especially since we add all of the salt in the beginning. It is necessary to add salt in the beginning as it flavors the meat during cooking. I would suggest adding a little more than half of what you usually add and then taste it at the end. This way you can’t over salt the meat and if you need a little more you can add it at the end.

      If you do find the meat to be over salted at the end (after the liquid has evaporated) you can add a little more water, boil it for about 2 to 3 minutes and then strain off the excess liquid. This will take some of the salt flavor out.

      As for your second question.. Here’s what I can suggest. Start with the refried beans part of This Recipe. You’ll only need about 1/2 of the cooked beans from this and do not mash them. Start the beans before the meat as they take longer to cook. Or, you could buy a 24 to 32oz. can of cooked pinto beans. In my area there is a brand called Sun Vista pinto beans that will work.

      For the meat you can use this basic beef taco recipe with a few minor adjustments..
      First cut the meat into bite size cubes.
      Season the meat just like you would normally but add twice the amount of chili powder and one extra teaspoon of cumin powder. Also the bay leaves are not necessary.
      When it’s time to add the onion, add that along with a small diced green pepper.

      When the meat starts to break up and the water has evaporated by about half add the cooked pinto beans along with a 6 to 8oz. can of tomato paste and stir that in. Reduce the heat so that your chili is barely simmering with the lid cracked.

      Simmer for about an hour or until it thickens. Taste it to see if you might need a little more chili powder. That’s it dig in!

      For an extra kick you could add a diced jalapeno when you add the green pepper and onions.

      I hope that helps and if you have any more question feel free to ask :-)

      Take care and Happy Cooking!

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

        Thank you so much for your great advice. I really appreciate you answering all my questions. The next time we eat beef, I am making the chili as you advised. Thanks again!

        • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

          Hi Lisa,

          I’m glad you found the information useful and hope you like the chili when you make it. It’s kind of a “Tex Mex” version of chili.

          Here’s another option you can try if you like Chili Colorado

          You may like that recipe even more :-)

          Happy Cooking!

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
            Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

            Hey Lisa, anytime u are cooking meat in a sauce / liquid and it reduces….it will get salty

            • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
              Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

              Hi Suarez,

              You’re right. Anytime you make a “reduction” the flavors intensify :-)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>