Carne Deshebrada

This Carne Deshebrada (Mexican Shredded Beef) recipe is perfect for making tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, and more! I’m also sharing a recipe on how to elevate the carne deshebrada to an incredible juicy and flavorful ranchero style dish! 

A bowl with carne deshebrada.
This Carne Deshebrada is perfect for making tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, burritos and more!

About Carne Deshebrada

Carne deshebrada translates to shredded beef in English. Learning to cook it will give you the option to make so many other Mexican dishes! If you’re a meat lover (specially with Mexican food), you’ll want to make the additional recipe I’m sharing with you. It’s finger licking good!

The Carne Deshebrada “stew” is one of those dishes that goes great with Frijoles Puercos, Sopa Fria, and either Corn or Flour Tortillas. This recipe makes a large batch and the amount can easily be doubled or even tripled.

It’s perfect for gatherings and large fiestas!

A bowl with carne deshebrada stew and beans.

I broke this recipe into 3 sections to make it easier for you to follow: 1) Make the shredded beef, 2) Make the chile sauce 3) Lastly, make the Mexican shredded beef stew.

The time it takes to make all this, it’s so worth it. I promise!

Ingredients

The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Lean Beef (most fat removed) – Use chuck roast or beef tenderloin
  • Onion (white or yellow)
  • A Celery stick
  • Garlic cloves 
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried oregano
  • Bay leaves
  • Kosher salt & ground pepper

*See the recipe card below with complete measurements.**

A bowl with raw chunks of beef.
Carne para deshebrar. Beef to make shredded beef

How To Make Carne Deshebrada (Shredded Beef)

Make this plain shredded beef that you can use to make Tacos Dorados, Taquitos, Enchiladas, Tostadas, Gorditas, and of course, the dish on this post.

  1. Place the beef, onion, jalapeño or anaheim chile, celery, garlic and spices in a large pot with 10 to 12 cups of water and cover.
  2. Turn on high heat. When it starts to boil lower heat to medium and cook for 2 hours or until tender enough to shred easily.
Ingredients Icon Graphic.

IMPORTANT TIPS: As soon as the water & beef starts to boil, it will develop a foam that may be removed by skimming it with a spoon if you like. This renders a clearer broth.

Also, keep an eye on the heat to make sure the water doesn’t boil over.

A bowl with shredded beef.

3. Transfer the beef into a bowl to cool. Shred with fingers or using two forks.


Note: Reserve 4 cups of stock to cook the chiles and stew below. The rest of the broth may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days to make soups or other recipes.

A branch graphic for posts.

Make the Chile Sauce

  • Guajillo peppers seeded and stemmed.
  • Pasilla pepper seeded and stemmed.
  • Chile De Arbol
  • Garlic cloves
  1. Remove the seeds and stems from chiles. Rinse under cool water to remove dust.
An oval plate with dried chiles and garlic cloves.

2. In a large pot with about 3 to 4 cups of water (enough to cover the chiles) add the guajillo, pasilla peppers and garlic.

3. Bring to a soft boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove pot from the stove and let the chiles sit in the hot water for about 10 minutes.

4. Add the chiles to a blender along with the garlic, 2 cups of reserved beef stock. Depending on your blender size, you may have to do this in two different batches.

5. Puree for a couple of minutes. Pass the pureed sauce through a colander.

6. Reserve the sauce for the stew.

Make the Carne Deshebrada Stew

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or avocado oil
  • 1 small onion (white or yellow)
  • 6 large carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 large tomato or 2 medium roma tomatoes ( about 350 grams)
  • 2 cups chile sauce
  • 2 cup beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 pound potatoes cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
  • The cooked shredded beef
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
All ingredients for this recipe on a white board.
  1. In a large pot, add the oil and heat over medium high heat.
  2. Saute the onions, carrots and celery for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes.

4. Add the potatoes, the chile sauce, 2 cups broth and spices. When it starts to boil, lower to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.

5. Add the shredded beef and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.

6. Cook for 10 more minutes or until potatoes are soft in the middle. Keep an eye to not overcook the potatoes otherwise everything will turn into a mush 🙂

A white pot with carne deshebrada, potatoes and carrots.

Storage Icon Graphic.

How to Store

  • Fridge: The shredded beef will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days
  • Freezer: Let the beef cool completely before placing it in an air tight and freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat on the stovetop, place your leftover stew in a heated pan, and sauté on medium heat until warm.

Serving Suggestions

This dish is perfect served with a side of refried beans, frijoles puercos, sopa fria, arroz rojo, and tortillas.

For drinks I suggest a tall glass of horchata , refreshing agua de piña, or the classic jamaica.

This Carne Deshebrada has so much flavor! I guarantee it will be devoured by everyone you serve it to…..or your money back (hehe).

A bowl with carne deshebrada stew and beans.

Can you make it with other meats?

I like to use lean beef for this recipe, but you can easily make it with lean pork or chicken breast.

If you make it with chicken, the cooking time to make the shredded chicken can be cut almost in half. Just keep checking it until the chicken is soft enough to shred easily.

All options are equally as delicious!

A fork holding carne deshebrada with a piece of potato and carrot.

💫 If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and rating in the comment section below. Buen Provecho!! 🙏

Print Recipe:

A white pot with carne deshebrada, potatoes and carrots.

Carne Deshebrada for tacos, enchiladas + a Mexican stew!

Servings 10 people
Ana Frias
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
This Carne Deshebrada (shredded beef) can be used to make tacos, enchiladas, tostadas plus it has a bonus recipe to make it into a stew. Tender beef, onion, carrots, potatoes and spices come together in delicious harmony. If you are feeding a crowd, good news: It doubles (or triples) beautifully.

Equipment

  • A large stock pot
  • Blender or food processor
10 people

Ingredients
  

Cook the beef to shred
  • 2 ½ pounds chuck roast or beef tenderloin (most fat removed) Cut into 2 inch pieces.
  • ½ large onion (white or yellow)
  • 1 jalapeño or anaheim chile stemmed (seeds are okay)
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 10 cups water
To Make The Chile Sauce
  • 5 guajillo peppers seeded and stemmed.
  • 1 pasilla pepper seeded and stemmed.
  • 3 chile de arbol peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
To make the shredded beef ranchero style
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or avocado oil
  • 1 small onion (white or yellow)
  • 6 large carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 large tomato or 2 medium roma tomatoes ( about 350 grams)
  • 2 cups chile sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound potatoes cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
  • the cooked shredded beef
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Instructions
 

Cook the beef to shred

  • Place the beef, onion, jalapeño or anaheim chile, celery, garlic and spices in a large pot with 10 to 12 cups of water and cover.
  • Turn on high heat, when it starts to boil lower heat to medium and cook for 2 hours or until tender enough to shred easily.
  • IMPORTANT TIP: As soon as the water & beef starts to boil, it will develop a foam that may be removed by skimming it with a spoon. This will render a clearer broth. Keep an eye on the heat to make sure the water does not boil over.
  • Transfer the beef into a bowl to cool. Then shred with fingers or using two forks.
  • Reserve 4 cups of the stock to cook the chiles and stew below. The rest of the broth may be stored in refrigerator for up to 10 days to make soups or other recipes.

Make the Chile Sauce

  • Remove the seeds and stem from chiles. Rinse under cool water to remove dust.
  • In a large pot with about 3 to 4 cups of water (enough to cover the chiles) add the guajillo, pasilla peppers and garlic.
  • Bring to a soft boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove pot from the stove and let the chiles sit in the hot water for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the chiles to a blender along with the garlic, 2 cups of reserved beef stock. You may have to do this in two different batches to fit everything well.
  • Puree for a couple of minutes. Pass the pureed sauce through a colander.

Make the braised shredded beef Mexican style

  • In a large pot, add the oil and heat over medium high heat.
  • Saute the onions, carrots and celery for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, the chile sauce, 2 cups broth and spices. When it starts to boil, lower to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the shredded beef and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Cook for 10 more minutes or until potatoes are soft in the middle.
  • Serve hot with beans and tortillas.

*Ana’s Notes:

IMPORTANT TIP: As soon as the water & beef starts to boil, it will develop a foam that may be removed by skimming it with a spoon. This will render a clearer broth. Keep an eye on the heat to make sure the water does not boil over.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 187mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Ana, hands down to this recipe!!!
    So much flavor and perfect for family dinners and any gathering occasions!
    Thank You <3

  2. 5 stars
    This carne deshebrada recipe is delicious! Thanks so much for serving on nochebuena….everyone loved it! Can’t wait to make it myself now. Thank you!