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shredded beef tacos

Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos

Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos // Karista's Kitchen

I’m not sure winter got the memo that spring has arrived.  As I look out my window this Saturday morning I spy rain, wind, more rain and much cooler temperatures than yesterday.  We reached 70 degrees yesterday and it was almost heavenly! In light of winter hanging on to the very last-minute, I think we need some tacos. And maybe a beer.

Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos with Cucumber Cilantro Slaw will definitely make the day warmer inside. The aroma of the slow cooked barbacoa is drifting through my house and it’s somehow comforting yet exciting. I’ve included smokey chipotle peppers and cinnamon in this recipe which adds an element of spice as well as fragrance.

The unique flavors of Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos feel festive which is why I love serving this at dinner parties or for special occasions.  However, this delicious beef recipe is so easy to prepare it makes a perfect weekend or Sunday meal. 

I like wrapping the barbacoa in warm stone ground corn tortillas and then topping them with a cucumber cilantro slaw – which by the way is delicious all by itself.  Garnish with avocado slices, cotija cheese and a squeeze of fresh lime and our Saturday just got sunnier.

If I have leftover Barbacoa, I like to make my Shredded Beef Machaca with eggs for breakfast the next morning.  Slow cooked barbacoa is the meal that keeps on giving. 🙂

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos

Serving Size: 4-6

Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos


  • 3-4 lbs. Brisket
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
    For the Slaw
  • 2 cups Napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, lightly chopped
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Dash of hot sauce
    For the Garnish
  • ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 8-12 Corn Tortillas, warmed
  • Lime Wedges


  • Pre-heat a slow cooker on high.
  • Season the brisket with salt and pepper. Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, brown the brisket on both sides and then transfer to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker on low.
  • Add the lime juice, chipotle peppers, smashed garlic, sliced onion, cinnamon stick, fresh cilantro, tomato sauce, beef broth, vinegar and bay leaf to slow cooker. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 6-7 hours or until the brisket is fork tender.
  • Once the brisket is done, shred the meat and place it back into the cooking liquid until ready to use.
  • To make the slaw, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, sugar and hot sauce. Toss together the shredded cabbage, cilantro leaves and diced cucumber and then toss the slaw with the lime dressing.
  • Place the slaw in warm corn tortillas and then top with the Barbacoa. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and a slice of avocado. Serve with lime wedges.
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    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Shredded Beef Machaca // Karista's Kitchen

    If I’m being totally honest, I’m not a huge fan of leftovers.  Unless its pot roast, roasted or fried chicken and maybe my Tuscan lasagna; which is always better the second day.  Often, a recipe can lose some of the fresh flavor and texture during the process of re-heating and then I promptly lose interest.  I sound like a food snob.  I promise I’m not a food snob, just a little picky about the flavor and texture of my food.

    The beauty of leftover pot roast are the many ways it can be re-invented into another recipe.  I adore pot roast sandwiches smothered with caramelized onions and Havarti cheese, a simple pot roast soup with pearled barley and porcini mushrooms and of course this gorgeous shredded beef machaca.

    You can certainly prepare a pot roast specifically for this recipe, but it tastes just as delicious with leftovers.

    As a child, this dish was a staple in our home.  Although we call it machaca, it’s not a traditional Mexican machaca. Mexican machaca is actually a dried, marinated beef (much like our beef jerky).  However, because we include scrambled eggs in the shredded beef, it was dubbed “machaca” in my house. Sort of a riff on the very popular machaca con huevos, a Mexican beef and egg scramble.

    Shredded beef machaca was served as a celebration meal, a meal for dinner guests and on occasion a Sunday supper.  My parents used to make it into burritos with the usual assortment of delicious Mexican condiments.  I serve this machaca with warm corn tortillas, lime wedges, cotija cheese, avocado slices, red chili sauce or my brothers delicious salsa recipe.

    When I prepare this for my family I like to make dinner a casual event and place the shredded beef machaca and layering ingredients in the center of the table. Then everyone can assemble their own taco or burrito with their favorite condiments.

    The result is loads of easy conversation, laughter, smiling faces and very happy bellies. Which always makes me happy.

    Shredded beef machaca makes a delightful meal and can be served a la carte or with salad greens, black beans and a little cerveza to top it off!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Serving Size: 6

    Shredded Beef Machaca


      For the pot roast (or use your favorite basic pot roast recipe)
    • 3-4lbs beef chuck roast, halved
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1 bay leaf
      For the Machaca
    • 2 tablespoons ghee or high heat oil
    • 1 cup diced white onion
    • 2-3 cloves garlic
    • 1-2 poblano peppers, roasted, skinned and diced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 cup red chile sauce or your favorite salsa
    • 2-3 large eggs, whisked
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Squeeze of lime juice
    • Dash of hot sauce, optional
    • Crumbled cotija cheese
    • Avocado slices
    • Warm corn tortillas
    • Mexican crema or sour cream
    • Fresh chopped cilantro
    • Salsa


    To make the pot roast
  • Pre-heat the slow cooker on low. Season both halves of the beef chuck with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the ghee over medium high heat and brown all sides of the chuck roast. Transfer the chuck roast pieces to the slow cooker and add the beef broth, bay leaf, onions and garlic. I don't add too much liquid when preparing a pot roast in my slow cooker as I want the pot roast to slowly cook in as much of it's own juices as possible. This will make for a very tasty pot roast. Adding too much liquid will cause the roast to boil which will give it a bland and chewy texture.
  • Let the pot roast cook on low for about 6-8 hours.
  • When the pot roast is done, shred the beef and set aside.
  • To prepare the Machaca
  • Heat a large skillet and add another two tablespoons of ghee or high heat oil. Sauté the diced onions until soft and slightly caramelized and then add the garlic. Sauté for one minute longer. Stir in the diced poblano peppers, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika.
  • Add the shredded beef and chile sauce and toss to combine.
  • In another small pan, add a little butter to the pan and cook the eggs, scrambled style. When the eggs are done, fold them into the machaca.
  • Add a squeeze of lime and season to taste with salt, pepper and a dash of hot sauce.
  • Serve with crumbled cotija, avocado slices, warm tortillas, sour cream, fresh cilantro and additional salsa.
  • Notes

    I like to cook the eggs in a separate pan rather than in the machaca directly, to keep the texture from being soggy.

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    Beef Kid Friendly

    Tacos Ropa Vieja

    Tacos Ropa Vieja

    I’d like to believe I’m Superwoman.  But I’m not.

    I often wish I were type A.  Sadly, I’m not that either.

    I can multi-task.  I think all women can multi-task.  It’s in our blood. Right?

    Organic Poblano Peppers

    But again, I’m not really the best at multi-tasking either.

    Just ask the Bennett Crew.

    Tacos Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef Tacos)

    I’m sitting in my office (the dining room) writing client menu’s, researching nutrition information, responding to an email or maybe writing a blog post.  I see someone in front of my computer.

    I see their lips moving.  But I hear nothing.  I’m totally focused.  Or maybe it’s selective hearing?  Hmmm… There are moments my daughters have this affliction. 🙂

    Then Ranger Craig does the subtle “walk by the dining room several times” trick.  Must be time for dinner.

    The girls and Ranger Craig haven’t had much luck getting my attention so they send in Mr. Brown Eyes.

    Tank aka "Mr. Brown Eyes"

    Tank sits patiently beside my chair, staring me down. Just waiting for me to make eye contact.

    Because he wants a snack.

    Tank always wants a snack. And the Bennett Crew knows I’ll cave in and get Mr. Brown Eyes a snack.  How could anyone resist that face?

    Tank gets his snack, and despite how it might look, the Bennett Crew gets dinner.  Ahhh… all is good in my world.

    Tacos Ropa Vieja

    A lovely way to celebrate the warmth of Latin food in the middle of Winter. 


    For the Roast:

    2-3 lb chuck roast

    1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon black pepper

    For the Tacos

    1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced

    1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    Salt and pepper to taste

    12-18 corn tortillas (I like the small white corn tortillas)

    Corn oil

    1/2 cup chopped white onion

    ½ cup chopped cilantro

    1 cup Ranchero or Mexican Shredded cheese

    Avocado slices


    To prepare the roast

    Preheat the oven to 300F.  Place the roast in a roasting pan or baking dish. Mix together the chili powder, salt and pepper and then rub over the roast.

    Place the roast in the oven and let it slowly cook for about 2 ½ – 3 hours until done.

    For the Tacos

    If you haven’t completed this step… prep the peppers and mince the garlic and place in a bowl. For more information about how to roast, peel and seed a pepper check out this website.

    Once the roast is done and slightly cooled, shred the beef into strips or into small diced pieces, removing any extra fat.  This recipe is traditionally cut into strips or shredded but I really love the beef small diced.

    Add the beef, peppers and garlic to a skillet over medium high heat.  Let the beef brown a bit and blend with the flavors of the peppers and garlic.  This should only take about 5-8 minutes.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Take it off the heat and set aside.

    Combine the ½ cup chopped white onion and ½ cup chopped cilantro. Reserve.

    Place the tortillas on a lined baking sheet and brush with corn oil.  Put them under the broiler and toast each side lightly.  Be careful not to walk away as these will burn quickly.

    Once the tortillas are slightly toasted, fold them in half to form a taco shell.

    You’re now ready to eat!

    Fill the tortillas with Ropa Vieja and top with a tablespoon or so of the white onion cilantro mixture.

    Next top with crumbled or shredded Mexican cheese and Avocado slices.  Serve with salsa if desired.

    Bonita Delicioso!