Authentic Mexican Style Shredded Beef Tacos

Here is a great recipe for shredded beef tacos. If you like tacos this is for you! If you’ve ever been to San Diego you’ll probably remember this flavor. I used to eat these while looking out over the ocean. Ah, that’s the life..

Hi there,

David here. I want you to know that I’m moving One Stop Cook to a new location called Davids Free You’ll find this Shredded Beef Tacos recipe by clicking this link. Shredded Beef Tacos

I hope you’ll enjoy this Shredded Beef Tacos recipe as well as many more at Davids Free I look forward to seeing you there. Happy Cooking and I’ll see you on the other side!

Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest news and recipes emailed right to your inbox!



About David

Hi everyone! David here. Just to let you know, I'm moving this blog to a new location. One Stop Cook will now be located at Davids Free For all of you that like this blog I invite you to take a look at my new site. It still has everything you see here and I'll be adding all of my new recipes over there. Go check it out, I think you'll like it. Davids Free For those of you that have subscribed here, you'll have to use the easy subscription form to keep up to date via email, just like here. I've also set up an RSS feed for those who prefer it over emails. I hope you'll have just as much enjoyment with the new site as you do here. I look forward to seeing you over there. Happy Cooking!! Davids Free
This entry was posted in Mexican and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to Authentic Mexican Style Shredded Beef Tacos

  1. Austin's shark says:

    Hello David,, I made these tacos last night and i have to say i live in Austin Texas and mex-food is king here next to to our BBQ.
    The recipe for your shredded beef was out of this world,,,,, I have had more mex-food then your average person has in there live time,, so this plug comes from a person that is a food critic for Austin and Central Texas’s mexican food restaurants for 15 years,,,
    So when i say this shredded beef recipe you have here is the top 3 best i ever put in mouth you can bank on it ………
    My advice to anybody that is trying to open a new mexican food restaurant, you better grab this recipe and put it on your menu , it will help your sales go from $100’s to $1000’s …..

    Well done David…… I’m going to try a few more recipes from your mexican food list ..
    i’ll let you know with a honest opinion…..

    • David says:

      Hi Austin,

      Thank you so much for your opinion, that means a lot! I hope if anyone decides to use this recipe in their restaurant they give me a cut of the profits.. LOL 🙂 (just kidding)

      I look forward to hearing your honest opinions on the other recipes you try.

      Thanks again and Happy Cooking!

  2. Dan Punch says:

    Hello David,

    I am making this for the 11th or 12th time today. My family cannot stop asking for it. Thank you so much for posting this. I usually search out three or four recipes and then make them my own by compiling them…with yours, it was not necessary at all. I did do a couple of things differently:

    1. I reduced the amount of salt to 1/2 T, or about 1 1/2t. as it was too salty for me the first time I made it (plus I can always add more if needed)
    2. If I have the time, I buy cumin seeds and roast them in a skillet, then grind them with a morter and pestle.
    3. To avoid making the whole house smell of grease, I have started frying in my wok on the barbeque burner in the back yard. It makes cleanup a lot easier too.

    I have also successfully made this using a crock pot for the times when I get home from work and it’s too late to do this on the stove. Here’s what I do:

    Just put all ingredients into the crock pot the night before your taco dinner and cook on high. The next morning, set crock pot to low. Stir occasionally to shred meat. 1 hour before serving, add diced onion. After 45 minutes, transfer to regular pot and cook on stove (med-hi) and stirring often to reduce juice. And of course, DO NOT BURN IT!!!

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! It’s in regular rotation at my house and I have shared it with many people. I am also making the shredded chicken recipe today for the first time. I’m sure I will be just as pleased with it as I am with this recipe.

    Thanks again, David!

    • David says:

      Hi Dan,

      That’s so nice to hear! Thank you so much for all of the kind words, I really appreciate that!

      I like what you have done with the recipe and thank you for all of your tips! I’m sure there will be people reading this that will benefit from all of your advice.

      There are a few here that add their own spin on the recipes and take the time to write them down so “hats off” to you for taking the time, your comments and tips will definitely help numerous fellow chefs.

      And, for those who like these recipes, I want you to know that changing the recipes is ENCOURAGED! The whole point of cooking for yourself and others is to end up with a dish that YOU enjoy so by all means experiment and please let others know what you did by writing it here. You’ll be helping others and the credit is all yours!

      Thanks again Dan, you’re an inspiration to all!


  3. Andrew says:

    Thank you so much for posting this shredded beef recipe. I have tried numerous recipes and none of them come close to the flavor I have experienced in most authentic mexican restaurants.You have nailed this recipe. I can not stop eating these taco’s. Now if I can only figure out refried beans. I just can’t get the flavor right. I have’nt tried your recipe yet, but am hoping to get the same results as in your shredded beef recipe. Thank you again for an outstanding recipe.

    • David says:

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for all of your kind words. I get the same way sometimes with these tacos LOL. When I was first introduced to the “shredded beef taco” it was all I wanted to eat.. literally!

      It took me quite a few tries to get dried pinto beans to taste like refried beans and the recipe is very close to the style you get in the good Mexican restaurants so I think you’ll like them.

      The hardest part I find about making them is knowing when you have the right amount of water just before you mash them. Too much water and they come out runny, too little water and they come out like mashed potatoes. It may take once or twice before you get it just right, I know it took me a few tries 🙂

      Thanks again and Happy Cooking!

  4. Mark says:

    Hi David,
    I need to make taco meat for a crowd of like 75. I would like to know if I can make your recipe in slow cookers? If so any suggestions?
    Thanks !
    Mark in Phoenix

    • David says:

      Hi Mark,

      Wow… That’s a lot of people! So, this is going to be a long reply so bare with me.

      You can make it in a slow cooker although for that many people you’d need a few slow cookers maybe 3 or 4 depending on size. Also it’ll take a lot more time. Here’s a few suggestions for you.

      Figure the batch in this recipe makes around 20 tacos and each person will probably eat 2, that will feed 10. Although, most likely there will people who want more than 2 (maybe 4 or 5) so to be safe I would make enough for at least 3 each or figure 1 batch will feed 7. So let’s do some math here. (I used to do catering so here’s how to break it down for large groups of people)

      The Meat:

      First figure each taco has about 2 to 3 ounces of meat (We’ll use 3 to be safe)
      The calculation to feed 75 would be 3 X 75 = 225 ounces of meat.
      There are 16 ounces in a pound so 225/16 = 14.07 pounds.

      The Seasoning:

      Since the recipe here uses 2lbs. of meat you’ll need to multiply by 7 to get the right seasoning for 14lbs. of meat. (2lbs. of meat X 7 = 14lbs. of meat, so, 2 teas. of seasoning X 7 = the right amount of seasoning for 14lbs. of meat) This should be good for all of the seasonings except for the salt. I would cut back on the salt a little since big batches of food do not need as much. I would multiply the salt by 5 instead of 7 (2 teas. X 5 = 10 teas. salt, using the recipe as a guide) You can always add more salt later if needed 🙂

      Also, I would use 4 to 6 onions depending on size. Using the “onion X 7” calculation sounds like too much onion so I’d cut back a little on that as well.

      To Cook:

      I recommend 2 10qt. to 12qt. stock pots. Add 1/2 of the meat, 1/2 of the seasonings and 1/2 of the onions to each pot. Fill with water to cover by 2 to 3 inches. You’ll need a little more water because of the amount of meat you’re cooking. Cook according to the recipe. Your meat should be done in 4 to 5 hours. It may take a little longer because of the amount you’re cooking.

      Note: If you want to use slow cookers, divide the meat, seasoning and onions equally between them. You’ll probably have to cut back on the water as well. I’ve personally never made this recipe in a slow cooker but I’m pretty sure you’ll need just enough water to cover, and not 2 or 3 inches over the top like in the stock pots.

      For The Tortillas:

      You’ll need 225 or, 3/person X 75/people = 225. You’ll also need 450 toothpicks or 2/taco X 225/tacos = 450.
      Add about 3 cups of oil to a large skillet and “flash fry” 2 or 3 at a time just to get them pliable as in the recipe.

      Tip: Do these after the meat is ready, and have a few people on hand to help with the assembly. After you flash fry about 20-30 tortillas lay them out on a clean dry surface in a few rows. Have one person add the meat to the tortillas and 2 or 3 people to “sew them up” with the toothpicks. So you have 1 person frying the shells and laying them out on the counter, 1 person adding the meat to them and 2 or 3 people sewing them up. After 1 or 2 batches you’ll get into a rhythm and assembly will get easier. Transfer the tacos to a few cookie sheets or into a few casserole dishes for storage.

      To cook the tacos in large batches I recommend placing the tacos on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and baking them in the oven. This will allow you to cook a whole lot of tacos quickly. Do not overlap them though as they won’t fully crisp up. Bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes and flip them over to bake on the other side for about 10 minutes or until crispy. This way you can cook roughly 40 tacos at once. You can fry them if you wish but that will take a lot of oil, a few pans and, for that many tacos, will smell up your house with oil. Plus the oil will need to be changed once or twice as it will get dirty from frying so many tacos.

      For Final Assembly:

      Use the “times 7” calculation for the condiments and maybe a little more, just in case. (For the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and so on)

      Have your lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, hot sauce and whatever else you want to stuff them with in bowls (have about 3 bowls of each in the fridge and replace when necessary) on a table that people can access from both sides, with a few pairs of tongs and/or spoons for each. make sure there is room enough on the table so your people can set their plates down. This way you can have your guests make them themselves saving you time. With 2 lines of people, 1 on each side of the table assembly should be quick and run pretty smoothly keeping the tacos hot and fresh. Oh, and place a pile of napkins at the end of either side of the table.

      So when the tacos come out of the oven have your people, plate in hand form a line. Take the tacos out of the oven, remove the toothpicks, crack them open and place them on the plates as the people walk by. They can then go to the “condiment table” and stuff the tacos with whatever they want. Add a fresh piece of parchment paper to the cookie sheets every time you throw a new batch of tacos in the oven.

      Doing it this way you’ll be able to serve about 20 or so people at a time with minimal effort. It’s a lot of tacos and I’m sure you want to make it as easy as possible.

      I also recommend getting all 225 tacos ready to cook a day in advance and refrigerate. That way your kitchen won’t be cluttered up with a bunch of pots and pans. All you’ll have to do the day of the event is prep the condiments and bake the tacos making your life much easier.

      I hope this explains everything but if I forgot something or you have any more questions let me know, I’d be glad to help. And, if you decide to undergo this project I’d like to know how it turns out so please let me know.

      Thanks for asking and Happy Cooking!


      The Condiment Table

      Place your condiments in the order they will be added to the tacos. (i.e. lettuce first followed by cheese, then tomatoes then hot sauce) This way your people can just go down the line. I would also suggest 3 types of hot sauce, mild, hot and green. 2 bottles of each should be good, 1 each for each side of the table or pour them into bowls with spoons and label them for each side of the table.

      Also, there’s bound to be a few impatient people at the beginning and a few stragglers at the end so it may be wise to keep 1 or 2 skillets of oil on the stove for a few “quick” tacos. Add 3-4 cups of oil to the skillet(s) and keep the heat on the lowest possible setting. Turn the heat to high a few minutes before you fry any tacos, fry them and then turn the back to the lowest possible setting. So along with feeding the “big crowd” you can also feed a few at a time keeping everyone happy.

      P.S.S. Don’t forget to strategically place trashcans around the room 🙂

  5. yvonne says:

    These tacos were DIVINE!!!! The meat was incrediable! I made them for New Years Eve and they were a hit!!!! Thank You!!!!


    • David says:

      Hi Yvonne,

      Welcome to 2012!
      I’m so happy to hear you loved the tacos! I’ll bet they made for a wonderful New Years Eve party.
      Thanks for trying them and I hope to see you back here for more 🙂
      Enjoy the new year and Happy Cooking!

  6. tammy bigelow says:

    We are going to have the shredded beef and chix tacos for our christmas dinner. I was wondering if there is a trick to doing up the corn shells ahead of time, frying them and then keeping them fresh or do do they need to be done just before we eat? I am trying to prepare all the meat a day ahead of time so I dont have so much prepare the day of. Could I fry up the shells and then put them in a warm oven to keep them crispy or maybe I should just do flour shells instead. thank you Tammy

    • David says:

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for asking. I will often make a big batch of tacos to last a few days. Here’s what you can do:

      Make them according to the recipe except for the last step, frying. Check this picture.

      At this point, wrap them in foil and refrigerate until you’re ready to fry them the next day. This way all you’ll have to do is fry them up which only takes a few minutes per batch. Use a very big skillet to fry them as you’ll have less batches to fry. If you plan on making 20 to 30+ tacos and you use a 14 inch skillet you’ll be able to fit about 8 or so tacos per batch. Each batch will only take about 5 minutes so the total cook time will be about 30 minutes or so.

      Note: You might have to change the oil once since it may get dirty from frying so many tacos.

      Also, if you have 2 casserole dishes (1 for chicken and 1 for beef) you can place the cooked tacos (after removing the toothpicks) in them. Just line them up like you would for enchiladas. This will make it easy to stuff them with your lettuce, tomatoes, cheese etc. Check this enchilada picture to get an idea. It’s also a pretty nice presentation.

      Another thing you can do is to prep everything else the day before such as rice and beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and anything else you’ll be serving. This way all you’ll have to do to get your Christmas dinner put together is to reheat hot items, and fry and stuff the tacos. Total time will be about 30-45 minutes leaving you more time to spend with your friends and family.

      You could also serve a combination of both hard and soft tacos giving your people a choice of corn or flour tortillas… just a thought 🙂

      I hope this will help you and I’d like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
      Enjoy your Christmas “taco party”!


  7. Tacos4evR says:

    San Diegan here, and I was drooling for some old school, just-like-I-remembered-’em Albertos/Robertos/Alibertos (etc.!) tacos. Your recipe is faaaaaantastic — wonderful, wonderful. THANK YOU. Next time, I’ll reduce the salt to 2 tsp vs 1 TBS (aka 3 tsp) and dial back on the pepper just a teeny bit. It wasn’t “too salty” as a few have mentioned, but juuuuuust bordered on it (for me). Overall, though, it’s exactly what you’re looking for if you want Mexican shredded beef (and crunchy tacos). Many, many thanks! No, really. THANK YOU! I’m so happy to have found this simple and delicious shredded beef recipe as a base for so many future yuuuuuuuums. 🙂

    • David says:

      Hey there Tacos4evr,

      Nice name 🙂

      Thank you soooo much for your comment, I really appreciate it! I’m glad you like these babies as much as I do. I thought I had changed the amount of salt in the recipe already but I guess for what ever reason it didn’t stick. I have now gone back and changed it to 2 teas. and dialed back on the pepper too. Thanks for pointing that out to me.
      Since I have moved to the high desert I no longer have access to those awesome taco shops in San Diego so I had to start making my own. I’ve done that with some of my other taco shop favorites as well.
      And, a big heart felt “your welcome”!! I hope you have many more “future yuuuuuumms”.
      Take care and Happy Cooking!

  8. Steve B. says:

    Thank you so much for posting your recipes! Like many other San Diego natives that have posted their appreciation, your recipes have been a greatly appreciated endearment for us here in Seattle craving our late night burrito runs. Two I have been working on are the fish taco batter from the Brigantine and the hot red salsa commonly found at all the local SD taco shops (La Posta, Alberto’s, Roberto’s, etc…). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Oh, your Chile Verde and pork recipe is OMG delicious, and you Pico de Gallo recipe is spot on…PROPS!

    • David says:

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad to hear you’re liking the recipes and any S.D. native knows about those late night burrito runs.. LOL!

      As for the San Diego style hot sauce (the kind in the little cups) you can take the pico de gallo recipe and add a little bit more salt and some water (about a cup or so) and pulse it in a blender. That will give you pretty much the same thing.

      I have also just added a post for a great Mexican style salsa to the blog. The kind you get with the chips when you first sit down in a good Mexican restaurant. You can find that HERE.

      As for the fish tacos, I don’t have a recipe for that yet but I think I know what your looking for so I did a little checking and found 3 recipes all S.D. style. Here’s a link to the page. Just scroll down and you’ll find them. One is for batter fried, one oven baked and one shrimp, hope you like them 🙂

      Anyway, I hope that helps and by the way… no need for a burrito run now since you can make them at home!
      Happy Cooking and Enjoy!


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s