Mexican Braised Beef

I’ve tried a few times to make a beef variation of Mexican carnitas, which are typically made with pork shoulder. I’ve had some success, but the dish always lacked the depth and richness I had in mind. I found a recipe for Mexican Braised Beef that seemed like a decent starting point. This recipe came out pretty bland as written, so I changed it up a bit to get the kind of Jalisco flavor I was going for.


  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into two inch cubes
  • 2 large poblano peppers, roasted and skins removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 ancho chiles with adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • juice from one lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

Roast the poblanos on a flame or under the broiler until they’re charred and blistering. Cool them in a ziplock bag so they steam. Finally, remove the stems and seeds, peel off the skin, and chop the peppers.

While the peppers are cooking, chop the roast into two inch cubes, removing any large pieces of fat as you go. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and black pepper and toss it into a pan over high heat with a little canola oil. Cook the meat on all sides until it’s well-seared. This is a smoky process, so open some windows.

While the meat is cooking, chop the onion and garlic. When the meat is browned on all sides, remove it to a plate. Immediately toss the onions (and a little more oil if necessary) into the hot pan and saute until they begin to brown, around ten minutes over medium-high heat. Finally, toss in the garlic, chopped poblanos, and ancho chiles. When everything starts to stick to the bottom, deglaze the pan with the red wine. Once the wine has pretty much evaporated, toss in the can of tomatoes and cook off most of the liquid.

Once everything starts to stick to the bottom of the pan again, pour the vegetable medley into the slow cooker. Add the meat and any juices from the plate. Sprinkle the oregano on top of the beef and cook on low for about five hours.

Once the beef is fork tender, move it back to the plate and crush with the back of a fork. Shred the beef and look for any bits of gristle. If you trimmed the roast well, there shouldn’t be any. Add the meat back to the pot and squeeze the juice from one lime into the pot and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer until you’re ready to eat. If there’s too much liquid in the pot, turn the heat to high and let some steam escape until it the beef medley thickens.

Serve on fried corn tortillas or burritos with chopped cilantro, avocado, cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce.

Mexican Braised Beef
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