Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

Spicy shredded beef, a versatile dish that can be used in burritos, tacos, or on rice, combines the rich flavors of beef chuck, garlic, and tomatoes. The heat of the spice is balanced with the sweetness of the tomatoes, creating a dish that is both savory and satisfying. The slow cooking process tenderizes the meat, allowing it to absorb the flavors of the spices and tomatoes, resulting in a deliciously tender and flavorful dish.

Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

Photos of Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

The key ingredients in this recipe are beef chuck, garlic, tomatoes, and spices. Beef chuck is a cut of meat that is often used in slow cooking recipes because of its rich flavor and tenderness. It can be found in the meat section of most supermarkets. Similarly, the spices used, such as cumin, are readily available in the spice aisle. Fresh tomatoes are ideal for this recipe, but canned tomatoes can also be used if fresh ones are not available.

Ingredients for the Spicy Shredded Beef

Beef chuck: This cut of meat is perfect for slow cooking, allowing the flavors to seep in over time, resulting in a tender and tasty dish.

Garlic: Adds a touch of aromatic flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

Salt: Balances the flavors and enhances the natural taste of the beef.

Cumin: Gives a warm, earthy flavor contributing to the spiciness of the dish.

Tomatoes: Adds a tangy sweetness, complimenting the spiciness and balancing the flavors.

One reader, Harli Odom says:

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This spicy shredded beef recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and the meat is incredibly tender. It's perfect for tacos, burritos, or even on its own. The combination of spices and tomatoes creates a mouthwatering dish that's sure to impress. I highly recommend giving it a try!

Harli Odom

Techniques Required for Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

How to brown the beef: Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the beef cubes for 10 to 12 minutes, ensuring they are evenly browned on all sides.

How to shred the beef: Once the beef is cooked very tender, cool it, then shred the meat using 2 forks.

How to freeze the shredded beef: If planning to freeze, cool the shredded beef before packing it in freezer bags and placing them in the freezer.

How To Make Spicy Shredded Beef

This shredded beef recipe is a great recipe for Tex-Mex foods, burritos, and enchiladas. It is best served when not but can freeze well in freezer bags.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes



  • 2tbspvegetable oil
  • 1lblean beef chuck,trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1garlic clove,minced
  • ½tspsalt
  • ½tspcumin,ground
  • 16oztomatoes,diced, 1 can


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Brown beef cubes for 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce the heat, add the garlic, salt, and cumin. Cook for another 15 minutes.

  2. Add the can of tomatoes and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 1½ to 2 hours. Add water to the skillet as needed to keep the mixture from boiling dry.

  3. When cooked very tender, cool, then shred the meat using 2 forks. Place back on the heat and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.

  4. If planning to freeze, cool before packing in freezer bags and placing them in the freezer.

  5. For soft burritos, top a warm flour tortilla with the meat mixture, salsa, and grated cheese.


  • Calories: 154.54kcal
  • Fat: 8.50g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.83g
  • Trans Fat: 0.22g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.31g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.10g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.27g
  • Fiber: 0.94g
  • Sugar: 2.00g
  • Protein: 17.09g
  • Cholesterol: 47.63mg
  • Sodium: 257.67mg
  • Calcium: 20.04mg
  • Potassium: 466.33mg
  • Iron: 1.91mg
  • Vitamin A: 33.38µg
  • Vitamin C: 10.53mg

Essential Technique Tip for Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

When shredding the beef, it's important to let it cool down first. This not only makes it easier to handle, but also allows the meat to reabsorb some of the juices, making your shredded beef more flavorful and moist. Additionally, using two forks to shred the meat can help you achieve a more even and consistent texture. Remember, the goal is to pull the beef apart, not to chop or cut it. This will give your spicy shredded beef the perfect texture for your burritos.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Spicy Shredded Beef

Prep ahead: Prepare the beef and seasonings the night before and store in the refrigerator. This will save time on the day of cooking.

Use a slow cooker: Consider using a slow cooker to cook the beef. This will allow you to set it and forget it, saving you time and effort in the kitchen.

Invest in a pressure cooker: Using a pressure cooker can significantly reduce the cooking time for the shredded beef, making it a time-saving kitchen tool.

Batch cooking: Make a larger quantity of the shredded beef and freeze the extra portions for future use. This way, you'll have ready-made meals without the extra effort.

Pre-shredded beef: Consider using pre-shredded beef if you're short on time. While it may not be as flavorful as homemade, it can be a convenient time-saving option.

Substitute Ingredients For Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

  • vegetable oil - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can add a rich flavor and works well for sautéing and frying.

  • lean beef chuck - Substitute with pork shoulder: Pork shoulder has a similar texture and when slow-cooked, it becomes tender and flavorful.

  • garlic clove - Substitute with 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute when fresh garlic is not available, providing a similar flavor.

  • salt - Substitute with soy sauce: Soy sauce can add a savory umami flavor and a touch of saltiness to the dish.

  • cumin - Substitute with chili powder: Chili powder can provide a similar earthy and slightly spicy flavor to the dish.

  • tomatoes - Substitute with canned diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes can be used as a substitute for fresh tomatoes, providing a similar texture and flavor to the dish.

Best Ways to Present Spicy Shredded Beef

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the shredded beef in a neat and visually appealing manner on the plate, ensuring it is the focal point of the dish.
  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle the shredded beef with finely chopped cilantro or parsley to add a pop of color and freshness.
  3. Create a flavorful salsa: Serve the shredded beef with a side of homemade salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and a squeeze of lime juice for a burst of flavor.
  4. Incorporate texture: Add a crunchy element to the dish by sprinkling a handful of crispy tortilla strips over the shredded beef for a delightful contrast.
  5. Present with a side of guacamole: Accompany the spicy shredded beef with a dollop of creamy guacamole to balance the heat and add a luxurious touch to the dish.
  6. Utilize edible flowers: For an elegant touch, consider garnishing the plate with a few edible flowers such as nasturtiums or pansies for a visually stunning presentation.
  7. Serve with a drizzle of crema: Finish the dish with a delicate drizzle of crema or sour cream to add a touch of richness and creaminess to the spicy shredded beef.

Essential Tools for Making Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

  • Skillet: A flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods.
  • Forks: Utensils with pronged ends used for picking up and eating food.
  • Freezer bags: Plastic bags designed for storing food in the freezer, helping to prevent freezer burn.
  • Tortilla: Thin, flatbread made from wheat or corn flour, used for wrapping and filling with various ingredients.
  • Vegetable oil: A cooking oil derived from vegetables, commonly used for frying and sautéing.
  • Can opener: A tool used to open metal cans by puncturing and cutting the lid.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for combining ingredients, mixing batters, and preparing salads.
  • Garlic press: A kitchen tool used to crush and mince garlic cloves.
  • Cutting board: A durable board used for cutting and preparing food.
  • Measuring spoons: Utensils used to measure small amounts of ingredients accurately.
  • Saucepan: A deep cooking pan with a handle and a lid, used for heating and cooking sauces, soups, and other liquids.
  • Food processor: A kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients.
  • Cheese grater: A tool used to grate cheese into fine pieces.
  • Can opener: A tool used to open metal cans by puncturing and cutting the lid.

How To Store and Freeze Spicy Shredded Beef

  • Allow the spicy shredded beef to cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming inside the storage container or freezer bag, which can lead to freezer burn and affect the quality of the meat.

  • For short-term storage, place the cooled shredded beef in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. This is a great option if you plan to use the meat for meals throughout the week, such as in tacos, burritos, or salads.

  • If freezing, divide the cooled shredded beef into portion-sized amounts that suit your needs. This will allow you to thaw only what you need for future meals, minimizing waste and ensuring optimal freshness.

  • Place the portioned shredded beef into freezer-safe bags or airtight containers. If using bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn. Label the bags or containers with the date and amount of meat for easy reference.

  • Lay the freezer bags flat in the freezer to allow for even freezing and to save space. Once frozen solid, you can stack the bags or store them vertically to maximize freezer space.

  • Shredded beef can be frozen for up to 3 months without significant loss of quality. To extend its shelf life even further, consider using a vacuum sealer to remove all the air from the packaging before freezing.

  • To thaw frozen shredded beef, transfer the desired portion from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Alternatively, for a quicker method, you can place the sealed bag or container in a bowl of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until the meat is thawed.

  • Once thawed, reheat the shredded beef in a skillet or microwave until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Add a splash of water or broth if needed to help maintain moisture during reheating. Use the reheated meat in your favorite recipes or serve it as a main dish with sides like rice, beans, or roasted vegetables.

How To Reheat Leftover Spicy Shredded Beef

  • Reheat the shredded beef in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Add a splash of beef broth or water to help moisten the meat and prevent it from drying out.

  • For a quick and easy method, place the leftover spicy shredded beef in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the meat is heated through.

  • To reheat larger portions, transfer the shredded beef to a baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the meat is heated through.

  • For a crispy texture, spread the leftover shredded beef on a baking sheet and place it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the edges start to crisp up. Keep a close eye on the meat to prevent burning.

  • If you have leftover sauce or cooking liquid from the original recipe, add a few tablespoons to the meat while reheating to help keep it moist and flavorful.

  • To add extra flavor and moisture, mix in some fresh salsa, diced tomatoes, or chopped onions while reheating the shredded beef.

  • For a quick and tasty meal, use the reheated spicy shredded beef as a filling for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. Simply warm up some tortillas and add your favorite toppings, such as shredded cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.

Random Fact About Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

Shredded beef is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes such as tacos, burritos, and sandwiches. It's a great way to add a spicy kick to your meals and can be easily frozen for future use.

Is Making Spicy Shredded Beef at Home Economical?

This spicy shredded beef recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are simple and affordable, making it a budget-friendly option. The versatility of the dish allows for various meal options, adding value to its cost-effectiveness. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $15-$20, depending on the prices of beef, tomatoes, and other pantry staples. Overall Verdict: 9. The dish offers great flavor, versatility, and affordability, making it a fantastic choice for budget-conscious households.

Is Spicy Shredded Beef Healthy or Unhealthy?

The spicy shredded beef recipe is a relatively healthy dish, but there are a few aspects that could be improved to make it even more nutritious:

  • The recipe uses lean beef chuck, which is a good source of protein and relatively low in fat. However, the cut of meat is not specified, and some chuck cuts can be higher in fat than others.
  • The addition of garlic and cumin provides flavor and some potential health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties.
  • The use of canned tomatoes is convenient, but it's important to choose a low-sodium variety to keep the overall sodium content of the dish in check.
  • The recipe doesn't include any vegetables beyond the canned tomatoes, which means it may be lacking in fiber and other important nutrients.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Choose a leaner cut of beef, such as top round or sirloin, to reduce the overall fat content of the dish.
  • Add more vegetables to the recipe, such as diced bell peppers, onions, or carrots, to increase the fiber and nutrient content. These can be added to the skillet along with the canned tomatoes.
  • Use low-sodium canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes to reduce the sodium content of the dish.
  • Serve the shredded beef with whole grain tortillas or over a bed of brown rice to add more fiber and complex carbohydrates to the meal.
  • Top the finished dish with fresh cilantro, diced avocado, or a dollop of Greek yogurt for added flavor and nutrition.

Editor's Thoughts on This Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

This spicy shredded beef recipe is a flavorful and versatile dish. The combination of lean beef chuck, garlic, cumin, and tomatoes creates a rich and aromatic base for the shredded beef. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in tender and succulent meat. The addition of water as needed ensures the meat stays moist and juicy. Whether served in soft burritos with salsa and cheese or used in other dishes, this recipe offers a delicious and satisfying meal option. It's a great make-ahead dish that can be frozen for future use, making it a convenient choice for busy days.

Enhance Your Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, topped with melted butter
Grilled Vegetables: Colorful assortment of grilled vegetables drizzled with balsamic glaze and sprinkled with fresh herbs
Fruit Salad: Refreshing fruit salad with a mix of seasonal fruits, tossed in a light honey-lime dressing

Alternative Recipes Similar to Spicy Shredded Beef

Spicy Beef Tacos: For a twist on traditional tacos, try making spicy beef tacos with a homemade salsa and fresh toppings.
Mango Beef Stir-fry: Combine the sweetness of mango with the savory flavor of beef in a delicious stir-fry dish that's perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Beef and Vegetable Curry: Create a flavorful and aromatic curry dish by combining tender beef with a variety of colorful vegetables and fragrant spices.

Appetizers and Desserts to Serve with Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe

Spicy Stuffed Jalapenos: For a fiery start to your meal, try these spicy stuffed jalapenos. The combination of cream cheese, bacon, and jalapenos creates a perfect balance of heat and creaminess. Your guests will love the kick of flavor in every bite.
Savory Spinach and Artichoke Dip: This savory spinach and artichoke dip is a classic appetizer that never fails to impress. The creamy blend of spinach, artichokes, and cheese is perfect for dipping with bread or chips. It's a crowd-pleaser that will leave your guests coming back for more.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a velvety smooth and rich chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Apple Pie: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a classic apple pie, with a flaky golden crust and tender, cinnamon-spiced apple filling. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Why trust this Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe:

This recipe for spicy shredded beef is a delicious and flavorful dish that will surely satisfy your cravings for a hearty and savory meal. The use of lean beef chuck ensures a tender and juicy texture, while the addition of garlic, cumin, and tomatoes infuses the dish with rich and aromatic flavors. The slow cooking process allows the meat to absorb all the delicious seasonings, resulting in a mouthwatering and satisfying dish. Trust in the quality and authenticity of this recipe, as it promises to deliver a delightful and memorable dining experience.

Have you tried this Spicy Shredded Beef Recipe? Share your experience and discuss any tweaks or serving suggestions in the Recipe Sharing forum.
What type of beef should I use for this recipe?
I recommend using lean beef chuck for this recipe. It's a flavorful and tender cut that works well for shredding.
Can I use a different type of oil instead of vegetable oil?
Yes, you can use other oils like canola or sunflower oil as a substitute for vegetable oil.
How spicy is this shredded beef recipe?
The spiciness can be adjusted based on your preference. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of cumin or omit the spicy elements altogether.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Absolutely! This shredded beef recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. Simply cool the cooked meat, pack it in freezer bags, and freeze for future use.
What are some serving suggestions for this spicy shredded beef?
This spicy shredded beef is versatile and can be used in various dishes. You can serve it in soft burritos with salsa and grated cheese, or use it as a filling for tacos, enchiladas, or even as a topping for nachos.

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