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Easy Shredded Beef for Tacos and More

I'm always looking for good, easy ways to make meat for tacos, taco salads, and other dishes that call for seasoned beef with a Mexican touch.  There is a huge explosion of taco trucks here, and their interpretations got me thinking of familiar but different tastes.  For the following, I combined a rub, with a slow braise to create a moist, flavorful meat filling.


  • 2 1/2 lb. Chuck Roast
  • 2 cups  Salsa (use your favorite)
  • 1 cup  Water
  • 2 Tbsp  Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp  Liquid Smoke

For the Rub

  • 1 tsp  Onion Power
  • 1 tsp  Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp  Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp  Cumin
  • 1 tsp  Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp  Paprika
  • 2 tsp  Chili Powder

Cut the chuck roast into large 2" cubes, I ended up with 8-10 large pieces.  Heat a large non-reactive pot over medium high and add the olive oil.  Toss the beef pieces in the rub and add to the pot, don't overcrowd the pan because we're looking for good browning, so you may have to work in batches. 

Return all the browned pieces to the pot, add the liquid smoke, salsa and enough water to cover the meat.  Reduce heat to low to simmer for 3-4 hours. (note: at this point, I'd consider moving it to a crockpot).  Once the meat is done, move to a bowl and shread with two forks.  Feel free to add some of the cooking liquid back to the meat for added flavor. 

I've used this meat in a taco salad, tacos, taquitos, burritos, and even some 'quicky' muffin pan tamales.  Also, the braising liquid makes a great finshing sauce.  You can either use a stick blender to smooth it out or use chunky style like we do.

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