Monday, March 22, 2010

Versatile Mexican Shredded Beef

I joke that the menu at a Tex Mex restaurant really contains 50 varieties of five main ingredients. Tortillas, beef, beans, tomato or tomatillos and cheese. With these ingredients you can make enchiladas, fried corn chips with salsa, flautas, nachos, chalupas, fajitas....the list goes on and on. There is only some truth to my rash statement. But I do prove a point with this recipe: I stretched this shredded beef into at least four different meals! See how I did it below.

I enjoy reading the blog, Homesick Texan. She often posts recipes for entrees I've loved for years and never knew how to make. Her post for how to make flautas, to me, is basically a pot roast recipe with a mexican twist. We braise the beef chuck in all these wonderful flavors until the spices and richness of the ingredients infuse the meat with so much flavor!

You will need the following (or a variation of the following, I don't follow rules/recipes very well.)
2 pounds of chuck roast, cut into four-inch chunks
1 tablespoon fat: lard, bacon grease or canola oil
1 medium Spanish onion, quartered
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
2-4 jalapenos, diced
1 pound tomatillos, quartered
1 cup cilantro chopped
2 tablespoons cumin
Salt and black pepper to taste
Juice of one lime
12 corn tortillas (I stopped here, and didn't make flautas, just the tender shredded beef)
About 1 cup of canola oil (omitted)
Salsa, lettuce, chopped cilantro, diced onions and sour cream for garnishing

I begin by rendering a little fat from some chopped bacon.

I cut the chuck roast into four pieces and brown on all sides in the rendered bacon fat.

Ohhhhh... nice and brown!

Before bacon got too dark and crispy, I removed with a slotted spoon and set aside.

I quartered an onion and halved a bunch of fresh garlic.

I only had one sad little jalapeno on hand so I gave it a rough chop.

Top left you can see the quartered tomatillos, moving counter clockwise the chopped celery, then a small bowl of chopped cilantro, some chopped carrots and my bacon, chopped jalapeno and quartered onion at the top.

Into my dutch oven I add all the seared beef.

Then start layering the chopped fresh ingredients. Onion and garlic.

Carrots, celery, tomatillos.

For MUCHO flavor, I add about a cup of red wine.

Add a couple squirts of Worcestershire sauce.

Chopped cilantro and bacon pieces.

Oh, I found a half used can of tomato paste in the fridge, lets add the rest of that!

Now add four cups of beef stock, or enough water/stock to cover the meat with liquid.

Season heavily with salt, pepper and cumin.

Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook for two hours until meat is tender. Everyone in my house, including the two dogs Madeline and Cole are salivating. This smells divine!

Once cooked through, remove the beef and start shredding. This is so tender, it's not much work. Just take two forks to the meat and pull apart into a nice pile of succulent beef.

Meal number one was an easy stack of beef with guacamole, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream all atop a crispy tortilla.

This my friends is a chalupa, and I love eating them more than a taco.

The next night, I thinly sliced half an onion and caramelized it in in some olive oil. Then I took another quarter of the braised beef and sliced/shredded the cold meat into the hot skillet with the onions. For the sauce, I opened a can of petite diced tomatoes. Let this heat through until meat is falling apart in the skillet. Taste and season with salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro if you have it.

I served this tomato beef and onion mixture with egg noodles. Jim thought I was genius. For more ideas on what to do with mexican shredded beef, stay tuned! Next will be an easy soup recipe!


  1. mmmm.comfort Mexican food!!!!!!

  2. This looks great! I've always said the same thing except about taco bell. Everything they sell is the same thing, just arranged differently!


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