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The beer-braised Mexican shredded beef on a tostada with a stout in the background.

Beer-Braised Mexican Shredded Beef

Slowly cooked in a rich four-chile sauce with an array of spices and herbs, this versatile beer-braised Mexican shredded beef is fork tender with smoky, roasted notes for an unbelievably flavorful cut of meat. Plus, it's easier to make than you might think.
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 313kcal


  • Large Dutch oven


  • 1 dried New Mexican chile destemmed and seeded (see note)
  • 1 dried guajillo chile destemmed and seeded
  • 1 dried arbol chile destemmed and seeded
  • 2 cups beef stock or water with 2 heaping teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce seeds left in tact
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 3-4 pounds chuck roast (see note)
  • Salt and pepper
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 5 garlic cloves grated or minced
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle or can of stout beer
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina optional (see note)
  • Water optional


  • Heat oven to 275 degrees. Over medium-high heat, toast the dried chiles until fragrant, about two to five minutes. Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes until the chiles soften.
  • Pour the chiles and stock into a blender and add chipotles and adobo sauce. Blend until smooth.
  • Heat canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Generously season the chuck roast with salt and pepper and dust with flour. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the chuck and sear until browned, about five minutes. Carefully flip the beef to the other side and brown.
  • Remove the beef from the Dutch oven and lower heat to medium. Cook onions until softened, about four or five minutes. Add garlic, cocoa powder, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, cloves and coriander. Continuously stir for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the beer and apple cider vinegar. Use a wooden spoon to scrap up the brown bits from the beef. Simmer for about five minutes to allow the beer to slightly reduce.
  • Stir in the blended chile mixture to make one cohesive sauce. At this point, if you'd prefer to use a slow cooker, pour the chile sauce into the slow cooker with the bay leaves and cinnamon stick and add the browned beef. Cook on low for eight hours. But if you're braising in the oven, return the beef to the Dutch oven along with the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, cover the Dutch oven and place in the 275-degree oven. Cook until the beef easily shreds with a fork. For a 3-pound roast, this should take about three hours while a 4-pound roast should take about four hours. That said, don't judge the beef's doneness on cooking time. Judge it on whether it's easily shreddable. Chuck roast takes a long time to break down, and not ever roast is identical.
  • When the beef is ready, move to a cutting board and shred with two forks once cool enough to handle.
  • This step is optional, but if you'd like to thicken the chile sauce to use with the beef, mix the masa harina with just enough water to make a thick but stirrable paste. Add the masa paste to the chile sauce and bring to a simmer on the stove, constantly whisking. Keep whisking until it thickens to your likening. Start with 2 tablespoons but know you can always add more if you'd still like it a little thicker.
  • Use the beer-braised Mexican beef for tacos, tostadas, burritos, nachos or any other dish you'd like. Enjoy!


  • The heat level on this beef is mild. You can always add more heat with salsa, fresh peppers or the optional chile gravy; however, if you want it fiery, you can experiment with leaving the seeds.
  • Let the chuck roast sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Make sure you get a chuck roast. Top roast does not work for this recipe.
  • Masa harina has a nice corn flavor, but if you don't have any, you can substitute cornstarch.
  • You can make this beer-braised Mexican beef up to five days ahead of time. When ready to reheat, remove from refrigerator, scoop off any fat that hardens on the surface and let come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Reheat on the stove.
  • Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Serving: 6ounces | Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 803mg | Sugar: 3g