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May 13, 2011 11:08 AM

Shredded beef tacos...

What cut of meat should I buy for this? Thanks in advance !

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  1. When I make shredded beef tacos I use chuck roast. I buy one large enough to serve as a pot roast then reserve some to shred for tacos. The roast is cheap but chuck is extremely flavorful and can be braised in the slow cooker, oven or stovetop. It becomes very tender so put it to good use. If I make a large one and don't want to make tacos within a short time then I just vacuum seal the portions and freeze. MMMMM. Oh and don't forget to save some for pulled or chopped bbq beef sandwiches.

    2 Replies
    1. re: The Drama Queen

      Agreed. Chuck roast is easiest, has the right texture, stands up to long cooking. Short ribs work too, but more work to pull of the bone, get rid of gristle.

      1. re: sbp

        You can buy bonesless short ribs. Costco has them.

    2. Round's too lean, and so is sirloin - my vote is boneless chuck.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mamachef

        Does everyone sear the meat first before cooking it (long and on low in the oven was what I was planning)?

        1. re: Teraesa22

          When doing a braise I do like to brown the meat prior to adding liquid. Gives the meat a little more texture and adds to the flavor in the final dish by developing a nice flavorful fond.

          1. re: scubadoo97

            I also rub it with the appropriate. For Mexican, it's usually several chile powders, cumin,, etc.

          2. re: Teraesa22

            I always brown any meat or chicken before braising, roasting or slow cooking. The dark brown carmelization gives the meat a richer flavor and makes the gravy or sauce exceptionally good.

        2. I usually use the Momocho Restaurant (Cleveland, OH) recipe for coffee- ancho shreaded beef tacos found here:

          And in fact have a pint of leftovers in the freezer.

          I have used both brisket and, to some some $$$ , chuck roast. Both work magnificently.
          As for the recipe, I remove meat and boil the leftover liquid at the end of cooking down to thicken a bit and then add back to the shreaded meat.

          BTW, if you look around, this recipe was one featured on either Driver's Drive-In's and Dives or on the Man vs. Food Cleveland episode so there should be video of how to prepare.

          Good luck.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jjjrfoodie

            The Momocha recipe sounds wonderful! Could I substitute a pork butt roast? (Have one that size in the freezer.)

            Thanks for advice!

            1. re: laredo

              laredo, I don't see why not. Cook til pullable--I like 200 to 205 internal.

              For the coffee I just ground whatever I have to a Turkish blend/very fine consistancy.

              If using pork, I;d skim the remaining liquid of the pork fat before reducing (i reduce it a bit as you'll notice--- the orig. recipe does not call for it). If I'm in a sweet mood, I;ll add honey to balance the heat of anchos and the bitterness of the coffee.

              Both the brisket and well trimmed chuck roast don't put off much fat at all so it was not really an issue with those cuts.

              I'll try and find the you-tube for the recipe as the tv version has some cooking changes from the on-line version ----which included the final cooking of the covered pan or dutch oven (3 hrs they state) was done in the oven vs. on the cook-top. Same ingredients tho. And BTW, I;ve also had this at the restaurant thus my desire to recreate it.

              As an LOL, I first made this last summer, and did not have tomato juice. Instead I pulled a combo of cherry and roma tomatoes from my garden adn ran them thru my juicer. Was scared that might wreck the dish, but it;s such a straight forward prep and cook thing that it's hard to mess up and very east to tweek along the way and mod at the end to fit your tastes.

              1. re: jjjrfoodie

                Thanks so much, jjjr, for your detailed information!

                I will definitely be trying this tomorrow, and will make a sub myself....canned tomatoes instead of juice. Anything to save a trip to the supermarket!!

                Many thanks for your kind help!

                1. re: laredo

                  No problem.

                  I went thru my notes and "noted" that when finished cooking there was something missing, and to me, that was cumin. Notice that the orig. recipe has none. Zip. Nada. Zero. None.

                  It's up to you to add it if you want, but it is one of the things I add in most but not all mexican and central american dishes if called for.

                  You make the call and I added it to the finsihed cooking liquid before reducing.Just an FYI.

                  1. re: jjjrfoodie

                    That's a good idea, jjjrfoodie. Cumin is a favorite in my house too.

                    Wish I could come to dinner at your house some day!

                    THank you so much!

          2. I have made it with brisket, and with kosher meat, it is very expensive. I wanted to try it with chuck, but my butcher, a hispanic woman, said it would shred as well. How does the chuck shred? I really would like to try it. When I make my meat I put some chiles and onions and garlic with it and add water, then I let it go for hours. I ususally make machaca out of it. TIA

            1. I made barbacoa de trozo al estilo jarocho (Veracruz style barbacoa) the other day with chuck roast. In Texas where I live, and also in Northern MX, barbacoa is typically beef cheek meat (though traditionally made with the whole head, not so much anymore in TX) but I had a desire to make it this other way as an experiment-I recently discovered that barbacoa seems to be another thing altogether in Central and Southern Mexico and isn't always even made with beef! The guy at the carnicerĂ­a told me chuck is also used for barbacoa in his state in MX. The recipe was simple. It's basically just soaked, blended and strained ancho and guajillo chiles with some garlic, herbs, and sazon goya adobo as the marinade/cooking liquid. Then I stuck it in the crock pot with some avocado and banana leaf to simulate the way it would be wrapped traditionally and give the leaf flavor. Anyway, the chuck worked out well and shredded beautifully with no effort after a night in the crockpot. I was afraid the chuck would be dry but the cooking liquid is to be poured over the meat after shredding, so it reintroduces moisture and fat and makes the chuck very tender and not stringy. Made for great taco stuffing. I did not brown the meat, and after pouring over dozens of recipes for this type of barbacoa in an effort to create my own, I only recall one or two that suggested browning the meat for this type of recipe.

              2 Replies
              1. re: luckyfatima

                IMO, chuck is the go-to for any type of slow cooking. It's got more fat than most other cuts.