Spicy Shredded Beef Tacos

Make every night taco night with slow-cooked, chipotle flavored Spicy Shredded Beef Tacos.

Spicy Shredded Beef Tacos from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Do you taco Tuesday or pizza Friday or spaghetti Monday?

You know, I always wonder where these food themed nights come from but my theory resonates that it all goes back to school lunch days.  Think about it, they had a set schedule that didn’t really deviate week to week and you just got used to having tacos on Tuesday and pizza on Friday.  From there it seemed pretty obvious to go home and start begging for those meals on those days.  After all – a home cooked version was going to be way better than anything you picked up at your school cafeteria.

We definitely had tacos (and pizza for that matter) on the regular at home but since Mexican food was not exactly my moms cooking forte, that was the one food she would end up shortcutting.  Don’t get me wrong here, I loved my ground beef tacos with shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, black olives and hard shells growing up.   Sometimes I even get a craving for it every now and then but man oh man were my eyes opened when I finally had my taste of authentic Mexican street tacos.

Spicy Shredded Beef Tacos | girlinthelittleredkitchen.com

Say goodbye to those crispy shells, lettuce and shredded cheddar.  Instead it’s all about the long simmered and incredibly flavorful meat piled into pillowy soft corn tortillas with hardly any toppings at all.

I fully admit though that I hardly cook tacos at home myself anymore.  Why should I when I have access to great Mexican food just down the street from me (seriously I do!) or a hop on the bus for a quick ride to Sunset Park for taco trucks, restaurants and bodegas galore!

Sometimes though, sometimes the cravings strike.  That’s where this shredded beef comes in handy.

What I love about this recipe is that it makes a ton and is more or less hands off for the entire two hours while it simmers away on your stove top.  Your house starts to smell amazing while the chipotles in adobo, onions, dark beer and beef simmer away.  You can absolutely go ahead and do this in your slow cooker but this recipe is so easy that the stovetop is my preferred way to go.  Have this simmering while you take care of some house work, garden in the backyard, or watch some Netflix.

Spicy Shredded Beef Tacos | girlinthelittleredkitchen.com

You’ll barely be into your Netflix binging before this is finished.

Once this beef is cool enough to be shredded, use it for any of your favorite Mexican meals.  Tacos are my gold standard but this is awesome on nachos, in a burrito, torta or tostada!

p.s.: Pro-taco tip make sure those corn tortillas are double wrapped to avoid a soggy mess!

Spicy Shredded Beef Tacos
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  • 2 1/2 - 3lbs flank steak
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 - 12 ounce dark Mexican beer
  • 1- 14.5 ounce can low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • For the tacos: Corn tortillas, sliced avocado, thinly sliced radish, fresh cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese, lime wedges


  1. In a small bowl combine the salt and spices and set aside.
  2. Pat dry the flank steak with paper towels and season generously with the spice mix on all sides.
  3. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and drizzle 2 tablespoons of avocado or grapeseed oil until it begins to shimmer.
  4. Brown the steak on both sides - about 4-5 minutes per side and remove from the dutch oven.
  5. Add in the sliced onions and smashed garlic, stir to coat with the remaining oil in the pan and lay the steak on top of the onions.
  6. Pour in the beer, beef broth and entire can of chipotle chiles in adobo. Bring the sauce up to a boil and reduce the heat to low, so it is barely at a simmer.
  7. Cover the pot and simmer for about 2 hours or until the beef is tender and shreds easily with a fork.
  8. Remove the beef from the pot and let cool on the counter for 15-20 minutes.
  9. While the beef is cooling, increase the heat to medium and bring the liquid back up to a boil and begin to reduce the sauce between 1/4 and 1/2.
  10. Once the beef is cool enough to handle shred with either two forks or your hands and add back into the sauce.
  11. At this point you can serve tacos immediately by charring corn tortillas over a dry skillet or low flame and adding some shredded beef to the tortillas with sliced avocado, sliced radish, fresh cilantro and cotija cheese.
  12. Or you can cool the beef completely and refrigerator for a later use or portion into freezer bags to freeze for up to 3 months.
Recipe Type: Main, Mexican

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