Shredded Beef Tacos

Birria tacos
Shredded Beef Tacos

This recipe is from Carlsbad Cravings. As always, Jennifer goes into a ton more detail and lists how to cook the beef in a crock pot first. I don't have a crock pot so I left that out of this recipe. Braising it in the oven or on the stove top works fine and takes much less time. If you want to use a crock pot and cook the meat for up to 6 hours, click on the link above. 🙂 These tacos are a lot like birria tacos, another recipe I got from Jennifer.

Ingredients

Beef And Tortillas

  • 3-4 lb. boneless beef chuck roast trimmed of excess fat, cut into 7-8 pieces
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 16-20 soft white corn tortillas

Spice Rub

  • 1 TBS EACH chili powder, ground cumin, coarse kosher salt (may sub ½ TBS table salt)
  • ½ TBS EACH garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp EACH pepper, ground coriander
  • ½ – 1 ½ teaspoons chipotle chili pepper (only 1 ½ tsp if you LOVE heat)

Braising Liquid

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup mild salsa, medium if you like spicy
  • 1 4 oz. can mild diced green chilies, don’t drain
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-3 teaspoons liquid smoke, depending on how “smoky” you like it
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules, cubes or base (crush cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

Cilantro Lime Ranch (Optional)

  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped (measure before chopping)
  • 2-4 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos, optional
  • ½ tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, dried chives, dried dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

  • Guacamole
  • Avocado Crema
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Pickled Red Onions
  • Hot Sauce
  • Corn Salsa
  • Avocado Corn Salsa

Instructions

Cooking the Beef, Oven Method

  1. Whisk together all of the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
    Pat beef pieces dry with paper towels then liberally season with the spice rub, gently pressing to adhere. Save any excess spices to add to the pot later.
    Heat 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet (or large Dutch oven for oven/stovetop method) over medium-high heat. Once very hot, add cubed beef and sear on all sides.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  3. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients including any leftover spices.  Add an additional ½ cup beef broth for a total of 1 ½ cups.
  4. Bring to simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook covered for 3 to 3 ½ hours, until the beef is fall-apart tender.  Keep an eye on the beef and add additional broth if needed.
  5. Remove the roast to a rimmed plate or large bowl and shred with two forks, discarding any excess fat.
  6. Return the beef to the pot at room temperature and let rest for 20 minutes to soak up additional juices.

Stove Top Method

  1. Whisk together all of the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Pat beef pieces dry with paper towels then liberally season with the spice rub, gently pressing to adhere. Save any excess spices to add to the pot later.
  3. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet (or large Dutch oven for oven/stovetop method) over medium-high heat. Once very hot, add cubed beef and sear on all sides.
  4. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients including any leftover spices.  Add an additional ½ cup beef broth for a total of 1 ½ cups.
  5. Gently simmer, covered, for 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours, until the beef is fall apart tender. I recommend checking to see if the beef is fork tender at 2 ½ hours, and if not, continue to cook an additional 30-60 minutes – or as long as it takes!  Keep an eye on the beef and add additional broth if needed because more liquid will evaporate on the stove.
  6. Remove the roast to a rimmed plate or large bowl and shred with two forks, discarding any excess fat.
  7. Return the beef to the pot and let rest for 20 minutes to soak up additional juices.

Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot

  1. Sear the beef then add the rest of the ingredients, including any leftover spices.  Cover and set the lid to “Sealing.” Pressure cook on “Manual” for 50 minutes, followed by a quick release.

MAKING THE TACOS

  1. A little before making the tacos, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place tortillas between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until pliable. Working in 2 batches (because the tortillas won’t all fit open faced on the baking sheet at once), lightly brush the top of the tortillas with olive oil then flip over (the oiled side should now be face down, touching the baking sheet so it gets crispy).
  3. Add a layer of cheese to the bottom half of the tortilla and top it with shredded beef (about ⅓ cup of each, give or take). Make sure to drain the beef well so it doesn’t make the tacos soggy. Fold the tortillas over in half and lightly press so they stay folded, you may need to flip the whole taco over so it stays. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes, flip the tacos over and bake an additional 5-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tacos are crispy.
  5. Stuff with desired toppings and dig in!