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Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos

This Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos recipe is the only beef recipe you will ever need! It’s unbelievably tender and rich in flavor, and made with simple ingredients! It is so easy to prepare, so versatile, and freezer-friendly! Cook it once and use it for a variety of meals throughout the week! This flavorful recipe is sure to become a family favorite!

This Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos recipe can be cooked in a slow cooker, crockpot, oven, or on the stovetop! It can be used in salads, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, casseroles, sandwiches, soups, and even eggs! Tips and tricks are provided on how to prepare the perfect beef taco, too!

What is Mexican shredded beef?

In Mexico, shredded beef is known as Machaca. It’s made from marinated, dried, and shredded beef. Essentially, it’s like a Mexican version of beef jerky. The dehydration process preserved the meat, allowing ranchers and cowboys to transport it easily. The meat was enjoyed as a snack or rehydrated and used as a meal. Nowadays, most modern Machaca recipes bypass the dehydration process and simply saute and shred the beef.

This Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos recipe uses the same savory, slightly spicy seasonings, and slow cooks the beef for a fall-apart tender texture and delicious flavor. It’s the same as traditional Machaca, but without all the hassle or fuss.

Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos

Ingredients That You’ll Need:

  • Beef: This recipe can be made with a variety of cuts of beef (see below). Trim away any excess fat from the beef and cut it into large pieces.
  • Seasoning Blend: Combining dried Mexican herbs and spices with kosher salt and ground black pepper results in a deeply savory and slightly spicy flavor. (See below for more details on the Mexican seasoning blend.)
  • Oil: Sear and brown the beef with two tablespoons of neutral oil. You can use vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Onion: Yellow onions add a touch of delicate, astringent flavor.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves have the best distinctive, punchy taste!
  • Tomato Paste: The meaty flavor is enhanced by the addition of two tablespoons of tomato paste.
  • Chipotle Peppers: A can of chipotle chili peppers in adobo add a spicy, smoky kick to any meal. The number of chilis you use will depend on your taste. You can freeze any remaining chilies for use at a later date.
  • Lime Juice: Lime juice, with its tart acidity, provides the perfect balance to everything.
  • Stock: This recipe calls for beef stock, which adds a lot of flavor and prevents the beef from drying out. You can substitute beef broth or chicken stock if you have them on hand.
  • Picante: Picante sauce adds a mildly spicy, savory tomato flavor to cooking liquids. It’s a thinner consistency than traditional salsa; you can find it in the Mexican or international aisle of most major grocery stores.

What spices are used in Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos?

Herbs and spices are the secret ingredients to Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos! In this recipe, dried herbs and spices are combined to season the beef and provide incredible flavor.

You can use store-bought or homemade taco seasoning if you don’t have any spices on hand. You can easily omit any spices you don’t have or add any specific seasonings you love!

  • Cumin: Cumin is more commonly used in Tex-Mex than traditional Mexican cuisine, but it delivers a distinctive earthy flavor.
  • Oregano: It offers a pungent taste with a hint of citrus and licorice. If you can’t find Mexican oregano, you can substitute regular oregano, but don’t use Mediterranean oregano!
  • Smoked Paprika: Smoked paprika isn’t a traditional Mexican spice, but it boasts a delicious smoky flavor. You can substitute chipotle powder for a similar smoky flavor, or you can use regular or sweet paprika for a more traditional blend.
  • Chile Powder: Chipotle chili powder (spicy) or ancho chile powder (moderately spicy) are the best choices for this blend.
  • Onion Powder: The onion powder adds a subtle onion flavor.
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic powder plays well with this blend due to its pungent taste.
  • Coriander: Coriander ground is made from dried seeds of the cilantro plant. It has a citrusy, floral and sweet taste.
  • Bay Leaf: It adds a slightly floral and herbal flavor. Be sure to use a Mexican Bay Leaf if you want an authentic flavor!
  • Salt and Pepper: The flavors in this blend are enhanced by freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, allowing the other ingredients to shine through.

What can I add to my Mexican seasoning blend?

  • Achiote powder: The sweet, earthy flavor of achiote comes from the ground seeds of the annatto tree. It is an important ingredient in Mexican cuisine.
  • Allspice: A common misconception is that allspice is actually the dried unripe berry of the Pimenta dioica tree. It’s an aromatic spice that adds a wonderful taste to savory dishes.
  • Anise: Anise has a sweet, licorice-like aroma and taste. Be sure to use it sparingly.
  • Cayenne: When it comes to heat, cayenne pepper is a great choice! It provides a pungent aroma as well as a spicy, slightly earthy, and neutral peppery flavor.
  • Cinnamon: With a woodsy, sweet spice taste, cinnamon adds depth to dishes.
  • Cocoa powder: It may seem odd to use unsweetened cocoa powder with a blend such as this, but the smoky flavors are accentuated by the powder.

Is Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos spicy?

It’s common for Mexican food to be moderately spicy, depending on the region, but this Pioneer Woman recipe for Shredded Beef Tacos relies on a variety of seasonings for their subtle flavors, instead of just heat. Additionally, you can easily adjust the spicy level to suit your taste – which makes it ideal for feeding a large crowd!

To adjust the heat level:

  • Chipotle Peppers: If you prefer a mild dish, do not use chipotle peppers in the dish, but do not omit the chipotle sauce! For moderately hot shredded beef, use 3-5 peppers. If you prefer more heat, use seven or more chipotle peppers!
  • Cayenne: Spice your rub with cayenne pepper if you like it hot!
  • Fresh Lime Juice: If you have prepared the shredded beef and it is too spicy, add a liberal amount of fresh lime juice. The acid in lime juice helps to balance out the spice.
  • Dairy: In case you have already tried everything and still feel the dish is too hot, add a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt to the top. Dairy has a wonderful cooling effect and is fantastic for counteracting spicy foods!

What cut of beef is best for shredding?

This recipe for Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos is extremely easy and forgiving to prepare, but you want to make sure you choose the right cut of beef. It may seem counterintuitive, but the best cuts of beef for shredding are tough cuts of meat. The tougher cuts contain lots of marbling and connective tissue, which becomes succulent and melt-in-your-mouth after hours of simmering.

  • Chuck Roast: CA chuck roast is also known as a chuck pot roast, chuck eye roast, or arm chuck roast. It comes from the shoulder area of the cow and is very tender and shreds well. Tip: To make this Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos recipe, you need approximately 4 pounds of boneless beef. If you can’t find a single roast that large at the store, select two smaller roasts instead!
  • Brisket: While I prefer chuck roast, beef brisket can also be used. It comes from the foreshank/brisket part of the cow.
  • Bottom Round: Round roast is from the rear leg of the cow, which is leaner than both the chuck and brisket. Look for a roast that has a fair amount of marbling.

Pro-tip: There is a difference between USDA Prime and USDA Choice beef in their marbling. USDA Select is of the lowest quality with the least amount of marbling, while USDA Prime has the most marbling. Remember that marbling transforms tough meat into tender beef after cooking. Use the best quality meat for the best-shredded beef.

Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos
Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos

Can I use chicken or pork instead of beef?

Yes! If you don’t like beef or simply prefer a different type of meat, chicken and pork can also be substituted!

  • Pulled or Shredded Chicken: The chicken thighs are extremely moist and flavorful, making them a great alternative to beef!
  • Shredded Pork: Shredded pork shoulder roasts have a very similar texture to shredded chuck roasts.

How do you shred beef quickly?

As soon as you have chosen your cut of beef and cooked it slowly to juicy perfection, you can transform it into tasty shredded beef! The whole process is fast, easy, and requires no fancy tools.

  • Two Forks: Put two large forks next to each other, with their backs facing each other. Pull the forks in opposite directions to shred the beef. Discard all large pieces of fat or gristle. Continue pulling the forks apart until all the beef has been shredded.
  • Meat Claws: You may want to consider purchasing meat-shredder claws if you often prepare shredded beef or pulled pork. These tools make shredding beef a breeze. You simply pull as if you were using forks (as above).

Pro-tip: You don’t want your beef to dry out if you shred it too finely. You want thick, succulent shreds.

How to know when Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef is done cooking?

With this method, you can’t overcook chuck roast as long as the moisture (cooking liquid) stays moist. Once the beef starts to become tender, however, make sure to watch it, as it will become mushy and unappetizing if overcooked.

A piece of beef is perfectly cooked when it is fork-tender and easily falls apart when pressed.

Check for doneness every 30 minutes, until the meat easily pulls apart with two forks. If your meat isn’t fall-apart-tender, then it needs a little bit longer to cook. Continue cooking the beef until it falls apart easily when pulled apart with two forks.

Can you freeze Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos?

Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef freezes beautifully! I make a double or triple batch to keep on hand for easy and fast meals. Keeping shredded beef on hand for meal prep makes making Tacos so much easier.

If you want to freeze Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef, follow the recipe instructions and cook and shred the beef following the directions. Remove the beef from the cooking liquid and allow the beef and liquid to cool completely. Once the beef and liquid have cooled, combine the beef with just enough of the cooking liquid to moisten it. Store the beef and liquid in separate heavy-duty freezer bags in the freezer for up to three months.

To use, place your Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef and cooking liquid in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.

For reheating Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef, preheat an oven to 250 degrees F. Transfer the beef to a baking dish and toss it with some of the cooking liquid. Cover with aluminum foil. Reheat the beef in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

How To Make Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos?

  1. Combine seasoning blend: Put all the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl – paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and coriander. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir well to combine.
  2. Season beef: Put the beef on a clean surface. Sprinkle two tablespoons of the seasoning blend over the beef. Work the spices into the meat with your hands.
  3. Sear beef: In a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add meat (in batches if necessary) and brown on all sides, for about 8 minutes. Add more oil if necessary if browning meat in batches. Remove to a plate.
  4. Sauté vegetables: As soon as the pot is now empty, reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, followed by the onions. Season the onions with a pinch of pepper and a pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and the remaining seasoning blend. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds before it becomes fragrant. Then add the tomato paste and chopped chipotles. Stir constantly until the paste is caramelized, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Deglaze + add beef: Deglaze the pan with lime juice. Cook, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom, then add the adobo sauce, the stock, the Picante sauce, and the bay leaf. Mix well, and then add the seared beef, along with any accumulated juices, to the pot.
  6. Cover + cook: Bring the contents to a simmer. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer covered for 3 – 3 1/2 hours, or until the meat becomes tender and falls apart. You should stir the beef every hour to achieve the best results.
  7. Shred beef: Turn off the heat in the pot. Remove the bay leaf with tongs and discard it. Shred the beef with two forks (you can also remove the beef to a cutting board, shred it, and return it to the pot.)
  8. Gently simmer to warm: Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer the meat for about 10-15 minutes.
  9. Serve: To serve, place beef in a serving dish and top with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
  10. For tacos: Add shredded cheese to warmed corn tortillas and top with shredded beef; garnish with chopped veggies, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, guacamole, or sour cream.
Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos
Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos

What to serve with Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos?

Looking for delicious sides to pair with your tender, succulent Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos? Here are some Mexican-inspired sides to complete your meal!

How to make Shredded Beef Tacos?

You can easily make flavorful, restaurant-quality Mexican tacos with this Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef recipe! If you want easy family dinners, set up a taco bar and serve them with onion, fresh cilantro, and plenty of lime juice.

It’s easy to make Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos as long as you start with the right shredded beef and use your favorite toppings layered in the right order – The following tips can help you make perfect tacos in no time!

How to build the perfect Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos :

  • Tortillas: Tacos start with a warm tortilla. Flour tortillas are great for larger, but messier tacos. The smaller corn tortillas are not as sturdy as flour tortillas, but they have a better flavor. No matter what tortilla you choose, be sure to select a quality brand. Also, warm them up before filling them!
  • Grated cheese: Use freshly grated or shredded cheese if you prefer melty cheese in your taco.
  • Beef: Then comes the melt-in-your-mouth beef! Don’t be stingy with the beef!
  • Beans or Rice: Add beans and rice after the beef if you like them.
  • Veggies: Next, add chopped fresh vegetables!
  • Crumbled Cheese: It’s hard to go wrong with crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese on tacos! A little goes a long way.
  • Lettuce: Salad, sour cream, and hot sauce can be added last, and lettuce should be close to the top of the taco so it does not wilt.
  • Salsa and sauces: To prevent your taco from becoming soggy, place any salsa, sour cream, or guacamole on top of the lettuce last.
  • Hot sauce: A final drizzle of Mexican hot sauce adds the perfect heat!

How to serve Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos?

This Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos recipe is incredibly versatile! You can use it for many other dishes, making it the ideal foundation for quick and easy meals! The perfect meal prep recipe! Once you cook this beef, you can prepare it in a variety of ways throughout the week!

Traditional ways to use Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef:

  • Tacos: Tacos with succulent shredded beef! (See below!)
  • Soup: For a hearty upgrade, stir beef into taco soup!
  • Salad: Top your Mexican salad with your favorite vegetables, cheese, salsa, and sour cream!
  • Eggs: If you want beefy Huevos Rancheros, use shredded beef in place of ground beef.
  • Nachos: Make your favorite cheesy nachos even better with a generous serving of Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef!
  • Torta: Make a tasty Mexican Torta with beef, beans, avocado, pepper, and your favorite cheese!
  • Burritos: Roll up a large flour tortilla with beef, beans, rice, veggies, and cheese.
  • Bowls: Add Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef and your favorite burrito fillings to rice or shredded lettuce.
  • Quesadillas: Make beef quesadillas with plenty of melty cheese!
  • Enchiladas: Take the easy route and make a beef enchilada casserole instead of the traditional rolled enchiladas!

Less traditional ways to serve beef:

  • Eggs: Make Mexican-style scrambled eggs with beef or use it as a filling for omelets!
  • Chili: If you’d like to make homemade beef chili, but don’t have time to brown the ground beef, you can add the beef when you stir in the canned beans!
  • Sandwich: Put beef, avocado, tomato, and pepper jack cheese between your favorite toasted bun or roll!
  • Loaded fries: You can make Mexican poutine!
  • Baked potatoes: Add extra sour cream to a loaded baked potato and pile on the beef.
  • Pasta: Make your favorite taco pasta with Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef instead of ground beef!
  • Lasagna: If you enjoy classic Italian lasagna, try making a beefy Mexican lasagna! You can use ravioli instead of lasagna noodles for a heartier version!
Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos
Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos

What are the best toppings for Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos?

  • Chopped lettuce or shredded cabbage
  • Crumbled or shredded cheese
  • Pickled Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Roasted butternut squash (cubes)
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Beans or refried beans
  • Rice
  • Sliced avocado or Guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo or salsa
  • Queso cheese sauce
  • Sour cream
  • Hot sauce
  • Lime wedges

How to store Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef?

Once your Pioneer Woman shredded beef has cooled completely, add a small amount of the cooking juices to the leftover shredded beef – use just enough to moisten the beef. Toss the shredded beef to coat it with the juices. For up to four days, store the leftover beef in an airtight container and the remaining cooking liquid in another. Freeze the cooked beef for longer shelf life (see below).

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t overstuff: Be careful not to overload your Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos with too many fillings! It can be tempting to fill each tortilla with all your favorites, but don’t do it! You need to fold the tortilla over the fillings. Tacos aren’t a knife and fork meal.
  • Consider your fillings: You can balance flavors by pairing spicy salsas with cooling vegetables or sour cream. The same applies to texture – pair tender beef with crunchy, fresh toppings.
  • Eat them fresh: Tacos become soggy if they aren’t eaten right away.

Try More Recipes:

Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 184
  • Total Fat 9g
  • Sodium 275mg
  • Potassium 434mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 15g
  • Protein 11g
  • Iron 6%

Nutrition Facts Source: Source

Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 15 minutesCook time:3 hours 30 minutesRest time: minutesTotal time:3 hours 45 minutesServings:10 servingsCalories:184 kcal Best Season:Available

Description

This Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos recipe is the only beef recipe you will ever need! It’s unbelievably tender and rich in flavor, and made with simple ingredients! It is so easy to prepare, so versatile, and freezer-friendly! Cook it once and use it for a variety of meals throughout the week! This flavorful recipe is sure to become a family favorite!

Ingredients

  • Seasoning Blend:

  • Shredded Beef:

  • Optional for Serving:

Instructions

  1. Combine seasoning blend: Put all the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl – paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and coriander. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir well to combine.
  2. Season beef: Put the beef on a clean surface. Sprinkle two tablespoons of the seasoning blend over the beef. Work the spices into the meat with your hands.
  3. Sear beef: In a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add meat (in batches if necessary) and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add more oil if necessary if browning meat in batches. Remove to a plate.
  4. Sauté vegetables: As soon as the pot is now empty, reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, followed by the onions. Season the onions with a pinch of pepper and a pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and the remaining seasoning blend. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds before it becomes fragrant. Then add the tomato paste and chopped chipotles. Stir constantly until the paste is caramelized, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Deglaze + add beef: Deglaze the pan with lime juice. Cook, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom, then add the adobo sauce, the stock, the Picante sauce, and the bay leaf. Mix well, and then add the seared beef, along with any accumulated juices, to the pot.
  6. Cover + cook: Bring the contents to a simmer. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer covered for 3 – 3 1/2 hours, or until the meat becomes tender and falls apart. You should stir the beef every hour to achieve the best results.
  7. Shred beef: Turn off the heat in the pot. Remove the bay leaf with tongs and discard it. Shred the beef with two forks (you can also remove the beef to a cutting board, shred it, and return it to the pot.)
  8. Gently simmer to warm: Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer the meat for about 10-15 minutes.
  9. Serve: To serve, place beef in a serving dish and top with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
  10. For tacos: Add shredded cheese to warmed corn tortillas and top with shredded beef; garnish with chopped veggies, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, guacamole, or sour cream.

Notes

  • Don’t overstuff: Be careful not to overload your Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos with too many fillings! It can be tempting to fill each tortilla with all your favorites, but don’t do it! You need to fold the tortilla over the fillings. Tacos aren’t a knife and fork meal.
  • Consider your fillings: You can balance flavors by pairing spicy salsas with cooling vegetables or sour cream. The same applies to texture – pair tender beef with crunchy, fresh toppings.
  • Eat them fresh: Tacos become soggy if they aren’t eaten right away.
Keywords:Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef Tacos, Pioneer Woman Shredded Beef, Shredded Beef Tacos
Nutrition Facts

Servings 10


Amount Per Serving
Calories 184
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g14%
Sodium 275mg12%
Potassium 434mg13%
Total Carbohydrate 15g5%
Protein 11g22%

Iron 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.