Shredded Beef Tacos (Carne Deshebrada)

Shredded-Beef-Tacos-Main

I have to admit, that as I continue to grow older my tastes continue to love deeper and more complex flavors in food. I am a fiend of moist, tender and richly flavored meat filling that you can back into a corn tortilla, tamale or a chile to make a delicious chile rellenos.

In Mexican inspired cuisine, often these meats are braised in a full-bodied lager.  Combined with the seasonings, and long cooking times normal rough meat cuts will turn into meat magic.  The best part of this recipe, is it’s easy.  You can easily cook this in a slow cooker, and after 8 hours of low and slow you come home to a delicious smelling home.

Shredded Beef Tacos (Carne Deshebrada)

Serves 6-8
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 3 hours
Total time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party
Region Mexican
Website America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients

Beef

  • 1 1/2 Cups beer
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2oz dried ancho chiles ((4-6) stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 Cloves garlic (lightly crushed and peeled)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Large onion (sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds)
  • 3 Lbs boneless beef short ribs (trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes)

Cabbage-Carrot Slaw

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (cored and sliced thin (6 cups))
  • 1 onion (sliced thin)
  • 1 Large carrot (peeled and shredded)
  • 1 jalapeño chile (stemmed, seeded, and minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup fresh cliantro (chopped)
  • 18 corn tortillas (6-inch diameter, warmed)
  • 4oz queso fresco (crumbled, (1 cup))
  • lime wedges

Note

It is recommended that you use a full-bodied lager or ale such as Dos Equis or Bohemia beer. If you cannot find queso fresco, you can substitute feta. If you do not have a tight fitting lid for your dutch oven, you can use heavy-duty aluminum foil and then place the lid on top. Best practice to warm the tortillas is to place them on a plate, cover them with a damp dish towel, and microwave them for 60-90 seconds. This shredded beef mixture also makes a great filling for tamales, chiles rellenos and empanadas.

Directions

For the Beef
Step 1
Position your oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Meanwhile while the oven heats, combine the beer, vinegar, anchos, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cloves and cinnamon in a Dutch oven. Arrange the onion rounds in a single layer on bottom of the pot. Place the beef on top of onion rounds, in a single layer. Cover and cook until the meat is well browned and tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
For the Cabbage-Carrot Slaw
Step 2
While your beef mixture is cooking whisk the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cabbage, onion, carrot, jalepeño, and oregano and toss to combine. Cover and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Drain this slaw mixture and stir in the cilantro right before serving.
Step 3
Using a slotted spoon, transfer your beef mixture to a large bowl, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and set aside. Strain the meat mixture's left over liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup (mind to not wash the pot). Discard the onion rounds and the bay leaves. Transfer the remaining solids to a blender. Let the strained liquid settle for 5 minutes, then skim any fat off surface. Add the water as needed to equal 1 cup. Pour this liquid in blender with reserved solids and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer sauce to the now-empty pot.
Step 4
Using two forks or meat rakes, shed beef into bite-size pieces. Bring the sauce to simmer over medium heat. Add the shredded beef and stir and coat. Season with salt to taste. (this beef can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; gently reheat before serving.)
Step 5
Spool small amounts of the beef mixture into each warm tortilla and serve, provide plenty of slaw, queso fresco and lime wedges separately.

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