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Shredded Beef Tacos (Carne Deshebrada) and Cabbage Carrot Slaw


America's Test Kitchen Recipe

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Rate this recipe 4.2/5 (17 Votes)


  • Beef Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups beer
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 ounces (4 to 6) dried ancho chiles
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-lbs boneless beef short ribs
  • 18 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • 4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (1 cup)
  • Lime wedges
  • Cabbage/Carrot Slaw Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 head thinly slice green cabbage (6 cups)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 jalapeño chile
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro



Step 1

For the Short Ribs:
Lightly crush your 6 garlic cloves and peel. Remove and discard the stem and seeds from your dried ancho chiles and tear into 1″ pieces. Slice your onion into 1/2″-thick rounds. Trim away any excess fat from your beef and cut into 2″ cubes.
Set a rack to the lower-middle of your oven and pre-heat to 325-degrees. In a Dutch oven, add bottle of beer, 1/2-cup vinegar, ancho peppers, tomato paste, crushed garlic, 3 bay leaves, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. Set out onion rounds into a single layer on bottom of pot, which will keep the meat elevated. Arrange the beef on top of onion in single layer.
Cover your Dutch Oven and bake at 325-degrees for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
While the meat is cooking, prepare the cabbage-carrot slaw; see recipe below.
When the meat is browned and tender, remove the beef using a slotted spoon and set in a large bowl. Loosely tend with aluminum foil.
Empty pot through a fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator. Do not wash pot. Fish out and discard the bay leaves and onions. Put the remaining solids into a blender. Allow liquid to settle for 5-minutes so that the far rises to the surface. Add de-fatted liquid to blender, supplementing with water so that you are adding a full 1 cup. Blend for 2 minutes until smooth. Add sauce back to the empty pot.
Use two forks to shred the beef into bite-sized pieces. Once the beef is cool enough to handle you can shred with your hands.
Bring the sauce up to a simmer over a medium burner, add shredded beef and mix to ensure evenly coated. Adjust salt according to your taste.
Finish making the cabbage/carrot cole slaw, see step 3 below. Warm your tortillas in the microwave. Crumble the queso fresco onto a serving small platter, and slice a lime into wedges.
Spoon beef mixture onto tortillas, topping as desired with cabbage slaw, queso fresco and lime juice.

Cabbage/Carrot Slaw:
While the beef cooks, prepare the cole slaw. In a large bowl, add 1 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Whisk until dissolved.
Prepare your vegetables adding to the vinegar mixture as you go. Slice the cabbage in half, remove the core, and slice thinly. Peel the onion and slice thinly. Peel the carrot and shred. Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeno, and mince. Toss to cover everything in vinegar, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour (but up to 24 hours).
Drain cole slaw and mix in chopped cilantro just before serving.

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