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shredded beef tacos (gf, df, Paleo, Whole30)

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Shredded Beef Tacos I One Lovely Life

Almost every family loves taco night. For Michael’s birthday this year, he requested beef tacos. “Real beef tacos.”

After a lot of research, I ended up putting together a spice mixture that was the perfect blend of spicy, tangy, and even a tiny sweet undertone. The smell and taste were close-your-eyes amazing. One of the keys here is to brown the meat very well. This helps give you those crispy edges that taste so delicious. When you brown the meat, look for a very deep brown. Something like this:

Shredded Beef Tacos I One Lovely Life

For this recipe, I used my enameled Dutch oven (like the Les Creuset brand). It goes from stovetop to oven. If you don’t own something like this, you can certainly use a slow-cooker. Be prepared for a lot of leftovers–it’s a lot of beef. It freezes beautifully. Or, you can use it for tamales.

If you’re Paleo or on Whole30, you can make and eat this beef alone or paired with some roasted sweet potatoes.

Shredded Beef Tacos I One Lovely Life

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Shredded Beef Tacos

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5 from 1 review


  • 4lbs beef roast (I usually use chuck), sliced into 4-5 pieces
  • 24 Tbsp canola oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil
  • 1/3c cider vinegar
  • 2 chipotle chiles, adobo sauce rinsed off
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 3/4c beef or chicken broth
  • To serve: lettuce, cheese, tomato, corn tortillas, etc.*


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Brown beef on all sides (do it in batches if necessary–don’t crowd the pot). In a blender or food processor, puree vinegar, chiles, garlic, lime juice, cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, and cloves.
  2. Pour spice mixture over beef and stir to coat. Pour broth over all. Bring to a simmer and cover with lid.
  3. Bake at 275 for 5-6 hours. If using a slow cooker, cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.
  4. Shred beef. Skim fat off top of broth and drippings and discard. Pour remaining liquid over beef and toss to coat. Serve with corn tortillas, lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes.


*For gluten free version: be sure your corn tortillas are gluten free. For dairy free, skip the cheese.


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  1. Have you thought about tossing the beef in the spice mixture before searing it? I’m just wondering how it would taste if you marinaded it before searing the edges.

    This looks so yummy.

  2. This sounds awesome! Shredded beef tacos are one of my hubby’s top 3 foods.

    Save your adobo sauce for me! I have a recipe for “Cafe Rio Pork” using the adobo sauce that you “wash off.” It’s one of our favorites! I’ve been trying to find adobo sauce without the chiles or a recipe for it, but haven’t had any luck.

    BTW – your pie crust demonstration was great! I’m now wishing it were Thanksgiving because you’ve motivated me to TRY making pie crust again… but not until there’s an occasion to share the pies with others, since I’d eat it all myself if there weren’t.

  3. My husband and I really like these! We’ve made them at least 2 times already. The leftovers hold up great. We actually love to use some of the meat to make philly cheese steak sandwiches. We put some of the meat in hoagies and top with sliced onion and some shredded cheese. We wrap them in foil and put them in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. These are soooo good and super easy. I know hoagies aren’t easily gluten free unless you search for them special or something. As for dairy free- the meat is moist enough that the cheese would not be missed much. So good. Thanks for another great recipe Emily!
    P.S. We also used some of the leftover meat (with just 2 of us there were plenty of leftovers) to make the chile colorado sweet potatoes. I just added the sauce you listed to the already seasoned meat. It was easy and we loved them! Thank you!

  4. We LOVED this! The leftovers may have even been better than the first night (which we made in the crock pot), since it marinated overnight. I’m looking forward to trying that Philly cheesesteak recipe, too!

    1. I don’t yet have it calculated for this recipe (I’m still working my way through my old recipes), but you can use this recipe as an estimate (they’re very similar), or plug the ingredients into any free online calculator in the meantime! 🙂

  5. My family loves this recipe! I have made it countless times and thought I should finally comment! I use only one pepper and no ground pepper, and it’s the perfect spice level for my kids.

    1. Catherine – Oh WOW! You completely made my day! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and leave a star review–I appreciate it so much!

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