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Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos | The Little Epicurean

Slow Cooked Shredded Beef Tacos // Carne Deshebrada

Super flavorful shredded beef spiced with cinnamon, cumin, and ancho chili. The original recipe calls for boneless beef short ribs. This version uses less expensive boneless beef chuck for an equally delicious substitute!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: shreded beef taco, slow cooker beef tacos, carne deshebrada
Servings: 6
Author: Maryanne Cabrera



  • 1 ½ cup full bodied lager or ale beer
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 oz dried ancho chili steam and seeds discarded
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large onion cut into ½-inch thick rounds
  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck cut into 2-inch cubes

Carrot and Cabbage Slaw:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ head cabbage shredded
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot cut into matchsticks
  • 2 jalapeños seeded, minced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro

Other Components:

  • small corn tortillas as needed
  • crumbled queso fresco as needed
  • lime wedges for serving


Shredded Beef:

  • In the slow cooker pot, whisk together beer, apple cider vinegar, torn anchos, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and cinnamon.
  • Arrange sliced onion rounds in a single layer in the pot.  Place beef chunks over the onions.  The onions will protect the beef from the heat at the bottom of the pot.  If needed, gently push down the beef so it is covered with the sauce.
  • Cover slow cooker with lid and cook for 4-5 hours on low heat.  Cook until the beef is browned and tender.
  • Use kitchen tongs to transfer cooked beef to a large bowl.  Set aside.
  • Remove onion rings from slow cooker pot and discard.  Take remaining cooking sauce and transfer to a blender.  Puree until smooth.  Alternatively, use an immersion blender.  Reserve sauce.
  • Use two forks to shred cooked beef.  Pour reserved sauce over shredded beef.  Toss to coat beef in sauce.  Season with salt as necessary.

Carrot and Cabbage Slaw:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, water, sugar, and salt until sugar has dissolved.
  • Add cabbage, onion, carrots, and jalapeño.  Toss to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours).
  • Drain liquid.  Toss in cilantro.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.


Note: Shredded beef can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.  Gently reheat before serving.  You can also use leftover beef to fill empanadas, quesadillas, or use it to top nachos!