Slow Cooker Shredded Beef is an easy and delicious way to make a moist, flavorful, and juicy beef filling for tacos, quesadillas or nachos. This is the perfect weeknight meal to change up your Taco Tuesday.
What you’ll need to make slow cooker shredded beef
Most importantly, you’ll need a crockpot. I use one from Calphalon- I got it before we got married, and unfortunately it’s not made any longer. But it’s lasted for years! Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- flank steak
- kosher salt
- dried oregano
- chili lime seasoning (I get one from Trader Joe’s) – if you can’t find chili lime seasoning, you can omit it, or add paprika
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
- tomato paste
- lime juice
- beef broth
- diced green chilis
What is flank steak? Flank steak is a generally inexpensive cut of meat; it’s similar to skirt steak, but leaner. Some people also refer to this cut of meat as “London Broil.” Flank steak surprisingly cooks really well in the crockpot. When fully cooked, it shreds really easily.
How to prepare the beef
Just like any slow cooker recipe, you really only need to combine your ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook. But for this recipe, the beef gets some special treatment. So before we get to the slow cooker, let’s work on the meat. Usually, flank steak is pretty lean. But sometimes it might have a fat cap along the bottom. Be sure to trim that off just to make sure the crockpot sauce doesn’t become too fatty and oily.
Next, to flavor the beef really well, you’re going to make a spice rub. It sounds fancy, but I promise it’s easy. Just combine the salt, cumin, oregano, chili lime seasoning, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Congratulations, you’ve made a spice rub! Next, rub the spice rub on the top and bottom of the flank steak. Work it into the meat with your fingers so that it really gets in there. Once your meat has the spice rub on it, it’s ready to get put into the slow cooker.
Cooking slow cooker shredded beef in the crock pot
Here’s the really easy part. First, chop your onion and mince your garlic and add them to the bottom of your slow cooker. Next, add in the tomato paste, lime juice, beef broth, and the diced green chilis. Use a whisk to break down the tomato paste and make sure everything is distributed evenly. Next, submerge your meat into the slow cooker and toss it to coat. Nestle it in real good! Then set your slow cooker on low for 6 hours.
Remove the beef from the slow cooker and place it onto a cutting board. Slice it up and shred it with two forks, and then return it into the crockpot. Now, this will cook for another one hour on low. This will allow all of the juices to soak into the meat and become flavorful and tender.
At this point, the beef is done. This is the point where I like to add the fresh cilantro for some extra brightness and flavor. I found dried cilantro at the supermarket the last time I went, and I picked up a bottle. I like to keep it on hand, especially during the winter months when maybe my fresh produce isn’t as plentiful, and I rely more on my pantry. Remember, if you use dried herbs instead of fresh, always use a fraction of what the recipe calls for. In this case, a sprinkle of dried cilantro will do.
How to serve slow cooker shredded beef
My favorite way to serve this beef is on toasted corn tortillas with all the fixin’s. I use these corn tortillas from Mission. They are the extra thin variety. To make them more interesting, I crisp them up in a frying pan with cooking spray and some kosher salt. They come out absolutely delicious like this. Keep your heat on medium high so you don’t burn them.
I also like to serve the beef with a delicious avocado salsa. Avocado, tomato, onion, lime juice, salt, and cilantro. It couldn’t be easier, and the best part is, I don’t measure the ingredients! Just season to taste. You can’t mess this up.
Next, take your crisped tortilla and pile on some shredded iceberg, followed by the cooked beef. Then, top with the avocado salsa. Add sour cream, cheese, and any other toppings you enjoy on your tacos.
The end result are the most delicious tacos you’ll ever have; you won’t believe that you made them at home, and in the slow cooker nonetheless! Serve this shredded beef in a bowl format with rice, corn, avocado, salsa, and all the toppings you enjoy in a burrito bowl.
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef
- slow cooker, crockpot
- 1.5 lb flank steak trimmed, lean, raw
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp chili lime seasoning can substitute paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 oz diced green chilis
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- In the bottom of the slow cooker add the tomato paste, diced green chilis, broth, lime juice, onion, and garlic and whisk together.
- In a separate bowl, combine the spice rub ingredients (salt, cumin, oregano, chili lime seasoning, pepper, cayenne) and massage into the meat on all sides.
- Place the meat in the slow cooker and toss so the liquid covers the meat on all sides.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- After 6 hours, shred and chop the beef and return it to the slow cooker for another hour on low.
- Once done, add the fresh cilantro.
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