Recipe: Slow Cooker Shredded Beef for Tacos

Shredded beef tacos
Shredded beef is a nice change of pace from ground beef for your taco nights. (Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

I put out a call on Twitter and Facebook the other week for recipe ideas for beef cubes. I didn’t realize I had a couple of pounds left in the freezer when I placed my meat order with Hillacres Pride last month, and I ended up with 4 pounds of beef cubes. I make a good beef stew, but I wanted to try to use beef cubes in another way.

The two suggestions I received the most were to make them into beef stroganoff or to cook them and shred them for taco meat. I thought that would be a nice change of pace from my regular ground beef tacos, so I cooked them up in the slow cooker with some dried spices, tomato paste and beef broth.

My husband, who gets a little tired of our regular taco night, said this shredded beef was a big improvement. The kids liked it, too, but my older son said he’d like a little more heat. He ended up pouring Tabasco sauce on his. I liked the flavor of the shredded beef, and I liked how easy it was.


  • 2 pounds of beef cubes, organic or sustainably raised preferred
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup beef broth, organic preferred
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of jarred minced garlic, or fresh if preferred
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot.
  2. Mix dried spices and salt in a large bowl. Add the beef cubes and mix all together.
  3. When skillet is hot, add olive oil and swirl the pan until the bottom of the skillet is coated.
  4. Immediately add coated beef cubes to brown them on all sides. (If they all don’t fit, do them in two batches, adding a little more olive oil if necessary.)
  5. Remove beef cubes from heat and set aside.
  6. Add beef broth, garlic and tomato paste to a slow cooker. Mix together well.
  7. Add browned beef cubes to the slow cooker and mix with the broth.
  8. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours, or until beef is cooked through and shreds easily when removed.
  9. Remove beef cubes with a slotted spoon and shred between two forks.
  10. Place shredded beef back into the broth and keep warm until time to serve.

My Notes

  • This made a mildly spiced shredded beef. If you like a little more heat, add some more of each of the spices (except for the salt) or some Tabasco sauce.
  • Like many dishes done in the slow cooker, flavors will continue to meld together over a day or so. This could be made a day ahead of time, and probably be even more flavorful when reheated the next day.