Slow cooker shredded beef is perfect for tacos, sandwiches, and quesadilla filling. Save the liquid from the slow cooker, and you’ll have perfect dipping juice for beef sandwiches.
Set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker recipes are my favorite. There’s nothing like starting dinner before work, putting it out of your mind, then walking in the house at the end of the day to suddenly realize dinner has basically made itself!
Slow cooker shredded beef is fantastic in its simplicity and ease. It takes 5 minutes to prep this recipe before placing it in the slow cooker. Slice up the onions and garlic the night before you're going to make this and your morning prep will go even faster!
The versatility of the recipe means there's no problem with leftovers. Have tacos one night and dipped beef sandwiches the next. Or freeze the leftovers and have them next month. Even the beef stock freezes well!
What You Need
- Beef roast
- Beef broth
- Yellow or White Onions
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
How to Make Slow Cooker Shredded Beef
Peel and thinly slice the onions and garlic cloves.
Place onion and garlic slices into your slow cooker.
Cover with beef broth.
Place beef roast on top of onions and garlic.
Sprinkle beef roast with garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper.
Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3.5-4 hours.
Remove the lid.
Turn off the slow cooker and let beef rest for 20 minutes.
Carefully remove beef from the slow cooker and place in a 9x13” pan.
Place a colander over a large bowl.
Pour remaining contents of the slow cooker into the colander, allowing the liquid (the beef stock) to go into the bowl.
Pour the beef stock from the bowl into a quart mason jar (use 2 if needed), and place in the refrigerator.
Add the onions that are now in the colander to the pan with the beef roast.
Using 2 forks, shred the beef and combine it with the onions.
Enjoy in tacos or sandwiches. See instructions below!
Tips on Making Great Beef Stock
There will be fat in the beef stock. The amount of fat in your broth will vary depending on the amount in the cut off beef you use.
As the liquid cools in the refrigerator, the fat will separate and float to the surface.
Once the stock is completely cool, the fat will solidify. Remove it easily from the jar by cutting through it with a sharp paring knife, then remove the pieces with tongs or a fork.
Strain the cold stock through a fine mesh sieve to remove any small, remaining pieces of fat.
Beef stock will keep in the refrigerator for 7-10 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Make Shredded Beef Tacos
Heat ½ cup of the beef stock in a large, high sided skillet over medium low heat. Whisk in 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin powder.
Add 2-3 cups of shredded beef into the seasoned liquid, stir, and cook until liquid has reduced and beef is heated through.
Serve in warm tortillas with your favorite taco toppings. Enjoy!
How to Make Shredded Beef Sandwiches
Place 2 cups of shredded beef along with ¼ cup of the beef stock in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook until the beef is heated through and the liquid has reduced.
Heat 2 cups of beef stock. Place into 4 small bowls.
Warm up 4 hamburger buns. Divide the hot, shredded beef between the buns. Top with a slice of your favorite cheese. (I love provolone or cheddar for these.) Dip the sandwiches in the hot stock. Enjoy!
Tips on Slow Cooker Shredded Beef
I often add a can or two of black beans (drained and rinsed) to the shredded beef, especially if I’m using it in tacos. It tastes delicious and stretches that expensive cut of meat a little further.
Yes! Enjoy more veggies in this dish by adding a couple bell peppers - seeded and sliced - to the sliced onions when you place the onions in the slow cooker.
How to Meal Prep with Slow Cooker Shredded Beef
This dish is great to make for your weekend meal prep time. Start it the morning of your meal prep day, set it on high, and the meat will be ready for afternoon prep.
After you’ve shredded the meat, allow it to cool and place 2-3 cups into several zip top bags. Press all of the air out of the bag, flattening the bag of beef, and freeze the meat for up to 3 months.
Thaw frozen shredded beef overnight in the refrigerator or place the bag straight from the freezer into a sink of cold water for 20-30 minutes if you need it to thaw quickly.