Shredded beef tacos

Weekend recipe: Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

Nikki ParkinsonFood and Wine, Life 22 Comments

Hello weekend. I see you. You’re almost here. And you’re one of those special three-day ones.

Really special for us Queenslanders. We’ve never had one in the second half of the year before. It’s like a little pregnant pause before the madness of Christmas, isn’t it?

I will not let the fact that there is not one but two football finals occurring across this weekend deter me from any kind of enjoyment.

No, I will embrace it and use the opportunity to escape from Mr SY being all shouty at the TV.

If you are a footy family … or just a family who loves tasty food served up with a minimum of effort, then perhaps you might like to add this little recipe to your menu this weekend.

Taco night is one of the few nights of the week where all members of my family are happy with the dining choice on offer.

I’ve been making tacos for longer than I can remember but I’ve never really had the hang of re-creating the shredded beef you get at Mexican restaurants.

Until I visited my brother and his family in LA last month.

See, my sister-in-law knows her way around proper Mexican. I knew this in advance of our visit and was beside myself when she announced a Mexican feast was in order for one of our nights there. So beside myself, I had to buy margarita ingredients from Walmart.

Anyhoo, my SIL even makes her own tortillas (yep, talented) but it was the secret to her shredded beef that I really wanted in on.

Turns out it’s not so secret and involves slow cooking a hunk of beef, shredding it with a fork and letting it marinate for at least an hour in a good chilpotle (smoked jalapeño) sauce.

So, what did I do when I returned home? I experimented a bit and think I’ve come close.

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos


1kg blade roast beef

200g chilpotle sauce (I found the La Morena brand at my local deli, fruit and veg store, Get Fresh)

Diced tomato

Shredded lettuce

Shredded cheese

Avocado (I mix mine with a little sweet chilli sauce for a quick guacamole)

Sour cream

Chilli sauce


 1. Wrap roast meat in alfoil, place in slow cooker.

Shredded Beef Tacos

2. Set to low and walk away for the whole day (I like this part best because it involves no effort on my part).

Shredded Beef Tacos

3. About an hour before you’re wanting to eat, remove cooked roast from slow cooker, drain off juices. Return meat to dry slow cooker and shred with a fork. The meat will already have fallen apart. You will just be scraping the fork in a downwards motion on the meat to create that shredded texture.

Shredded beef tacos

4. Add tin of chilpotle sauce and mix.

Shredded beef tacos

Shredded beef tacos

5. Return slow cooker to low and let marinate for a hour. The sauce will be soaked up by the meat, infusing it with a smokey chilli flavour. It’s not too spicy, just really flavoursome. While that’s doing its stuff, prepare your other taco ingredients for self-serve at the table.

Shredded beef tacos

6. Tuck in! Oh, and instead of flour tortillas, I use the big outside leaves of an iceberg lettuce as a gluten-free alternative. Any other GF wraps or hard-shell tacos pale in significance to my SIL’s homemade variety.

Shredded beef tacos

Do you have Taco Night at your house? What do you usually put in yours?

Comments 22

  1. Hey, Nikki, I made this for the first time yesterday and it was a big success. It would have been an even better meal if I had bought the right sauce instead of a tin of Morena chipotle peppers in sauce! I couldn’t locate the right one so made do and chopped up all the peppers and threw them in. It was only after that, that I thought of googling recipes for chipotle sauce and saw that it requires only a fraction of what I had thrown in! This had me sifting through to pick out what pieces I could find. Fortunately, it had a happy ending and tasted good but I think I might have to try and find the right tin online!
    I have lived in the Texas and am very excited to know how to make this now!

  2. Hi Nikki
    One question (dumb as it may sound! LOL). When you place the beef in the slow cooked wrapped in foil do you put any water in the bottom of the cooker or just cook it dry? Cheers

  3. Nikki, when i first read your post about this shredded beef i was so excited – i love shredded beef and mexican food (but have never cooked shredded beef). I wanted to say thank you for your recipe – i have cooked this twice since you posted and i have to say that my whole family loved it and it will become a regular at our house. Thanks again Niki

    1. Oh that’s so great to hear! It’s a winner at our house too. I’m also doing a wrap dinner that cooks pork the same way but then at end adding a Chinese barbecue plum sauce and serving with Asian coleslaw. A reader gave me this idea after I put this on Facebook!

  4. Oooh yum! We have a fabulous store down the road from us called Chile Mojo and I’ll bet they sell chipotle sauce. Thank you for sharing this!

  5. We had tacos for dinner last night,but I have actually got a marinated piece of beef in the freezer ,so thank you I will be using it to make your slowcooked version very soon,thanks Nikki for sharing.Yes football all long weekend ,myself don’t care for it either BUT my husband and son enjoy it,James my son is having friends over for the AFL tommorow and hubbys loves his grand final leauge games,so I will have some quiet time away from them as well,may watch a chick flick with my daughter,Enjoy your weekend lovely Lady.

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