Slow Cooked Mexican Shredded Beef Cheeks

If there was one recipe that is a total crowd-pleaser in our family it’s this one. Slow cooked Mexican beef cheeks in a tomato and chipotle chili bean sauce. We do Mexican Tuesday every week and the good thing about cooking this big batch of Mexican shredded beef, is that we always have leftovers for Wednesday night as well as the odd lunch or two! One pot can easily be transformed into tacos one night, enchiladas the next.

If mid-week Mexican madness isn’t your thing, this recipe also lends itself to the ultimate game day, or weekend get together. Pop the pot of chili beef in the middle of the table and let everyone create their own dish. I’m more of a burrito girl, however tacos are a favourite in our house. This way, everyone gets to create their own meal!

a bowl of slow-cooked Mexican shredded beef cheeks on a bed on rice

Why you are going to love this shredded Mexican beef recipe…

It’s slow cooked in the oven. No standing by the stove stirring every five minutes. Start in on top of the stove then forget about it for a few hours.

This is a big batch. We’re talking 1.5kg of beef cheeks plus beans. In our house this equates to at least 3 dinners. Batch cooks… this ones for you!

It’s ridiculously versatile. There are SO many ways you can serve up Mexican shredded beef. I’ve listed a few of them below, but go nuts and experiment!

What you need to get started

  • Beef cheeks. You can also substitute with chuck steak, a beef chuck roast or any other slow cook cuts of beef.

  • Pantry staples- extra virgin olive oil, beef stock, canned tomatoes

  • Vegetables – brown onions, garlic

  • Black garlic. One of my no-so-secret favourite ingredients. A peeled clove or two added to soups and stews adds a huge amount of depth of a dish.

  • Chipotle chilis in adobo sauce. For lovers of Mexican food, this is a pantry staple. Great for soups, stews, one-pot meals. Anywhere you would use chipotle. They have a decent amount of heat but not too spicy. Just perfect if you ask me!

  • Herbs and spices Sweet smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander

  • Sea salt flakes & freshly ground black pepper to season

How to Make Shredded Beef Cheeks

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius

  2. In a cast iron casserole, pop in the olive oil and heat up the pan on a low heat.

  3. In a cast iron casserole, pop in the olive oil and heat up the pan on a low heat and Brown the beef cheeks. Give them a thorough sealing to render any fat on the meat. Once sealed, pop the beef cheeks aside.

  4. If needed, add a little more oil to the pan and add the sliced onions. Saute on a low heat until translucent.

  5. Add garlic and gently saute for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add all the dry spices and stir through.

  6. Add the canned tomatoes, chipotles, adobo sauce and black garlic to the pot and stir to combine.

  7. Pop the beef cheeks back into the pot and bring to a simmer. Put the lid on and pop into the preheated oven for 3 hours.

  8. Remove from the oven and take each beef cheek out of the casserole and pop into a dish suitable for shredding the meat in.

  9. Using two forks, shred the beef then return it all to the pot.

  10. Add the drained black beans and pop back into the oven for a further 30 minutes.

  11. Season with salt & pepper

Cook’s tips

If you are using a French oven, always add the oil prior to heating on top of the stove. And always let the pot heat up on a low heat as opposed to blasting it on a high heat and cause thermal shock to your cookware.

Mexican shredded beef tacos, nachos or burritos?

I love a recipe that lends itself to being served up countless ways and this shredded beef recipe is the KING of rehashing. Here’s a few of my favourite ways to eat Mexican shredded beef…

A Mexican beef rice bowl. Pop 1/3 cup steamed rice in a bowl and top with a scoop of mexican beef. Top sour cream, grated cheddar cheese and a chopped salad of tomato, cucumber, spring onions, avocado, a squeeze of lime and a smattering of finely chopped coriander.

Mexican bao buns anyone?

All the Mexican favourites. Burritos, nachos, enchiladas, tacos… the list goes on

It make the ultimate Mexican beef burger. On a bun add a scoop of shredded beef and top cheddar and homemade coldslaw. Yarmmmm

How does a homemade Mexican beef meat pie sound?

As a baked potato filling (or loaded potato skins). Or spaghetti squash filling. or sandwich filling. The list goes on.

Can Mexican pulled beef be frozen?

Definitely! This recipe for shredded beef freezes REALLY well. Which as this is a big batch, eat half and freeze the rest for another day. I use reusable, microwaveable, containers for my batch cooking. They are great for batch cooks like me, that cook for shift workers. Portion everything out, and then just pull one out of the freezer when needed. Night shift dinners sorted – and wife of the year award imminent!

A few more slow-cooked recipes…

What’s you favourite Mexican food dish? Let me know in the comments!

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a bowl of slow-cooked Mexican beef cheeks on a bed of rice in a bowl

Slow Cooked Mexican Shredded Beef Cheeks

  • Author: Emma Lee
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 12 serves 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: slow cook
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

We do Mexican Tuesdays every week and the good thing about cooking this big batch of Mexican shredded beef, is that we always have leftovers for Wednesday night as well as the odd lunch or two! One pot can easily be transformed into tacos one night, enchiladas the next.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more if needed
  • 1.5 kg beef cheeks
  • 2 brown onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 800g canned tomatoes
  • 4 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves black garlic
  • 400g can of black beans, drained

 


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius
  2. In a cast iron casserole, pop in the olive oil and heat up the pan on a low heat and Brown the beef cheeks. Give them a thorough sealing to render any fat on the meat. Once sealed, pop the beef cheeks aside.
  3. If needed, add a little more oil to the pan and add the sliced onions. Saute on a low heat until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and gently saute for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add all the dry spices and stir through.
  5. Add the canned tomatoes, chipotles, adobo sauce and black garlic to the pot and stir to combine.
  6. Pop the beef cheeks back into the pot and bring to a simmer. Put the lid on and pop into the preheated oven for 3 hours.
  7. Remove from the oven and take each beef cheek out of the casserole and pop into a dish suitable for shredding the meat in.
  8. Using two forks, shred the beef then return it all to the pot.
  9. Add the drained black beans and pop back into the oven for a further 30 minutes.
  10. Season with salt & pepper


Keywords: slow cook, weekend, for a crowd

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