Mexican Braised Beef Tacos

Mexican Braised Beef TacosEarlier in the month, I showed you how to make some delicious Mexican dishes including homemade salsa, chips and slow cooker mole.  Today, I am going to tackle Mexican Braised Beef Tacos.  Seared beef is braised for hours with fire roasted peppers, red wine, tomatoes and caramelized onions.  The finished beef has a deep savory, spicy flavor with melt in your mouth texture.  Topped with Mexican crema, tomatoes and greens, this taco could easily be mistaken for its authentic street style counterpart.   FYI, this is a slow cooker recipe (I just didn’t feel like putting slow cooker in the title).  Continue reading for the recipe.

Beef and Chiles

Mexican Braised Beef Tacos
Adapted from The Kitchn.

2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
4 poblano peppers (sometimes labeled pasilla in the grocery store)
1 serrano chile
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, sliced (not thinly, but not too thick)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup red wine
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

Corn or flour tortillas
Tomatoes, chopped (I used cherry tomatoes)
Mexican crema (you can also use sour cream thinned out with fresh lime juice)
Greens (I used microgreens for aesthetics.  Any type of lettuce would work here)

Mexican Braised Beef

If your beef is refrigerated, take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you plan on making this dish.

Turn your burner on full flame.  Using a long fork, hold one of the poblano peppers directly over the flame until the skin starts to bubble and blacken.  Flip the poblano and blacken the other side.  Once completely roasted, place the chile in a bowl and repeat the same process with the remaining poblanos and serrano chile.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let the chiles steam and cool for several minutes.  If you don’t have a gas stove, you can also roast the chiles under a broiler.

Transfer roasted peppers to a cutting board.  Scrape off the blackened skin using the tip of a knife.  Discard the skin.  Cut off the stem end of each peppper and slice in half.  Remove the ribs and seeds.  Chop peppers into ½ inch pieces and set aside (a rough chop is fine here).

Season the beef with a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Once smoking hot, add the vegetable oil and then quickly and carefully add the beef.  Sear for 2 minutes on each side and set aside.  Leave the drippings in the pan.

Reduce heat to medium-high, then add the onions.  Cook until softened and slightly caramelized (brown, but not black), stirring often (4 – 5 minutes).

Add chopped chile peppers and garlic.  Cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes.  You want the garlic to be fragrant and lightly brown, but not blackened.

Add red wine and stir, scraping up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Cook until the wine has reduced by half.  Add diced tomato and bring mixture to a boil.

Pour the mixture into a large slow cooker.   Set the seared beef down in the middle of the vegetables.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  You will know the meat is done when it easily shreds apart when pulled between two forks.

Turn your slow cooker to the warm setting (or off if you don’t have a warm setting) and scoop out the beef with a slotted spoon.  Shred the beef using two forks, then return the shredded beef to the slow cooker.  Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Finish with a sprinkling of fresh, chopped oregano.

To warm your tortillas, wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 1 minute.

To serve, place some of the shredded beef in the middle of a tortilla.  Drizzle with crema and top with tomatoes and greens.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


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  2. Shari Wakefield says

    This looks amazing – It makes me so sad that I work and am always trying to think of recipes that I can throw together quickly when I get home from work: 30-45 minutes MAX! But this slow cooked beef looks amazing and I think that I might have to try this out one weekend when I am at home.

    Shari from

  3. Becky says

    Don’t you just love your slow cooker. It makes complicated dishes, much simpler, and they taste so good.
    These would be good for party! Ole!

    • Anonymous says

      Yes! I am always on the look out for new slow cooker recipes. This recipe does require a little pre work, but it is well worth the effort.

    • Anonymous says

      I turned my burner on full blast and really got a good sear on all sides of the meat. It makes a big difference!

  4. Kita says

    These look like great tacos. I deviated from our normal taco menu the other night and am now on the quest for a great beef taco recipe.

    • Anonymous says

      Thanks Kim. Let me know if you give this a try! Since living in San Diego, I’ve realized I could also eat Mexican every single day. It would never get old! I just had dinner at Lucha Libre last night. It is now my new favorite Mexican spot. You’ll have to make the trip!! The salsas are amazing.

  5. Kristin Worthington says

    Amazing! I made this recipe this past week and was blown away with the flavor. I would definitely say these are some of the best tacos I’ve ever made/had.

  6. katie says

    Loved this! Found you on the Pioneer Woman website and thought I’d give this recipe a try. Very, very tasty. I am really into the slow cooker lately and saw your comment below about trying more slow-cooker meals. You should check out Brazilian Feijoada. It was definitely a hit with my flavor, loving family. I tried the Cooking Light recipe and loved it.

  7. Jessica says

    Delicious!!! Highly recommend heating/browning the tortillas for a bit on a good skillet instead of microwaving though.


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