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Beef Machaca

Beef Machaca

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In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground coffee, 3 tablespoons of the salt, and chili powder. Pat ½ of the mixture onto one side of the brisket. Lay the brisket (coated side down) in a 9-by-13-inch pan and pat the remainder of the mixture onto the other side of the brisket. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cut the brisket in ½ or thirds (whatever will fit into your largest sauté pan). Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the sauté pan. Once it is hot and shimmering, add 1 piece of the brisket and sear it for 3-4 minutes per side.

Continue doing this for each piece of the brisket, using 1 tablespoon of olive oil for each piece. Add the remaining ingredients to a large Dutch oven and stir to combine. Add the pieces of brisket into the mixture so that they are at least half submerged.

Cover and cook for 3 ½-4 hours (the cooking time is up to you). Remove from the oven. Discard the bay leaves and as many of the onions as possible. With the lid off, place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

With a large spoon, break up the meat into small pieces. Continue to cook and break up the meat into smaller and smaller pieces. Keep cooking until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the meat. Remove from the heat and serve up in tacos, burritos, or by itself.

Machaca con Huevos (With Variations)

Machaca, (muh CHA kuh) in its traditional form, is beef that has been marinated, cooked, shredded, and then dried—a kind of Mexican beef jerky. It developed in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States and remains popular in that region

It used to be that cooks had to rehydrate machaca before using it, but that step is no longer necessary as refrigeration has become widely available, machaca rarely gets fully dried anymore.

One of the easiest ways to eat machaca is in the scrambled egg preparation called machaca con huevos. Look for the seasoned meat in the Latino foods section of a supermarket or a Mexican grocery store and whip up a flavorful, hearty, high-protein breakfast, brunch, or dinner. If you can't find authentic Mexican machaca, use a shredded beef jerky, or make the recipe with fresh shredded beef or pork.

Since machaca con huevos originated in northern Mexico, hot flour tortillas generally accompany it.

Making Machaca

As mentioned above, shredded beef is critical to machacas.

If you manage to source the right kind of meat, the vegetables and other ingredients added will make their presence felt even more.

Ingredients Needed

The following items are all that you need to make machacas:

    (beef dish) (2 to 3 pounds) or jalapenos (2 nos.) (2 nos.) (3 nos.) (2 cubes)
  • White onion (1)
  • Garlic cloves (5 nos.)
  • Bay leaves (3 nos.)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Boiling water

Cooking Instructions

Once you have all the necessary ingredients handy and ready to roll, start the cooking process. The following are the steps in detail:

  1. Begin with placing the beef bouillon cubes into the boiling hot water. Let the beef cubes stay in hot water until they dissolve entirely and give out their rich flavors, turning the water into beef stock.
  2. Cut the Roma tomatoes into small pieces. Shift the chopped tomatoes to a separate plate.
  3. Take the Anaheim peppers and cut its stem out. Slice them in strips or longitudinally, which will help you cut them into smaller pieces. Set aside the chopped peppers along with the tomatoes.
  4. Thinly slice the poblano peppers. Remove the stem, seeds, and other innards before cutting them into slices. Once scored, bunch them all and cut the slices in the middle to have two times the slices but as smaller pieces.
  5. Grab the white onion and cut the top and bottom portions of it. Then, cut it in half and slice the two halves.
  6. Take the garlic cloves and mince them.
  7. Next, grab the piece of meat and season it with some pepper and salt on both sides.

Once the veggies and meat are ready, move them all into a crockpot and cook them.

Here is how you do that:

  1. Place the crockpot on the stove and set the heat to high. You may set the heat to medium, but that could extend the cooking time.
  2. Put all the chopped veggies in the crockpot at once. If you did not have them all on one plate, mix them well after putting them in the pot. If there are large chunks of vegetables, break them apart with your fingers.
  3. Once the vegetables are all mixed and set, place the seasoned meat chunk on top of the vegetables.
  4. Pour the beef bouillon stock on the meat next. If there are small pieces of meat in the broth, put them in as well.
  5. Place the bay leaves over the meat.
  6. Close the crockpot with its lid and let the meat and vegetables cook on high heat for five to six hours.

It takes several hours to cook the meat as a crockpot is a “slow cooker,” and it continually releases heat at regular intervals to ensure the food inside doesn’t burn. Such slow-paced cooking is ideal for machacas.

Another reason it takes up to six hours of cooking is the meat itself. At the end of the cooking, the meat block should be soft and tender and not hard and chewy.

To accomplish the same, hours of cooking is essential.

  1. Check the pot after five hours. The meat should have been fully cooked by now. If not, give it 30 minutes or an hour more.
  2. To check the meat is well-cooked, grab two forks, poke at the flesh, and try to spread it apart with the forks or knives. If the meat gives in or spreads itself, it’s done cooking.
  3. Once the meat is cooked, remove the bay leaves. Also, take the meat out for shredding.
  4. Shred the meat with your fingers. If the piece of meat is too hot to handle with your bare hands, use a knife and forks instead. If you fancy only the flesh, separate the fat portions from the meat.
  5. Once the meat is all shredded, proceed to recook it.
  6. For that, take a cup of the veggies and broth from the crockpot and put them in the blender. Throw in the bay leaves too. Blend them all until you get a nice and smooth mix.
  7. Now turn toward the crockpot and separate the veggies and broth. Machaca is a dry dish, and it’s recommended to take the broth out of the equation.
  8. Once you have the veggies separated from the broth and in a bowl, cook them with the freshly blended mix.
  9. Take a relatively big frying pan and set it on medium heat. Without adding oil, put the shredded meat into the pan.
  10. While the meat is cooking in the pan, use a spoon or spatula to further separate or shred them—Cook the shredded meat in the pan for two minutes. Continue breaking down the beef during those couple of minutes.
  11. Now drain the veggies (mixed with the broth) so that only dry pieces of the vegetables make it into the pan. Mix the meat and the veggies well.
  12. Next, add the blended mix to the pan and mix it well with the meat and the vegetables.
  13. After mixing them, taste-test for salt. Grab a piece of the beef for the testing. Before doing that, lower the heat to the minimal setting. Add some more salt if needed.
  14. Once you’ve inspected for salt, close the pan with its lid and let it cook on the lowest setting for five minutes.
  15. After five minutes, the machaca is ready to serve.

You can serve the machaca with rice, tortilla and eggs. Throw in some lettuce and lemon as garnishments.

Chipotle Sauce for Enchiladas

  • 1 14oz can beef broth
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers from a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat and saut the onions until soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes. Place the sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. Check the thickness of the sauce. It should be the consistency of gravy. If the sauce is too thin, return to a simmer and reduce to desired thickness. If it is too thick, add more stock to thin it out a little. Once you have the right consistency, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Still have some machaca? Well, try a quesadilla made with 2 flour tortillas, 1/4cup grated cheddar cheese and about 2 tablespoons of machaca. Cook like a grilled cheese sandwich in a skillet over medium high heat until the tortilla is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted through. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and your favorite salsa. Enjoy!

Whip up a traditional Mexican breakfast in minutes with our machaca con huevo recipe, or machaca with eggs. Hailing from Nuevo León in northern Mexico, this combination of carne seca (dried beef), scrambled eggs and chile Serrano is perfectly paired with refried beans and warm tortillas for the ultimate breakfast taco.

burrito or taco with your favorite flour tortillas. Because it’s dried, machaca has a concentrated, distinctive beef flavor. So you only need a little to liven up your plate. Simply sauté onion, garlic, shredded beef and tomatoes. Scramble in eggs and cilantro, and you’re ready to eat!

What is Machaca?

Machaca is spiced pork or beef that has been pounded, dried and shredded, and doesn’t require refrigeration. Similar to beef jerky, it’s typically salty and eaten as a snack or rehydrated and used in dishes like our machaca con huevo, also known as machacado con huevo. You can find machaca in most Mexican grocery stores.

This recipe is fácil (easy) and deliciosa (delicious). My favorite combination!

  • 2 ½ ozs. machaca beef
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 chile Serrano or jalapeño
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 medium or 1 large tomato
  • 1 tbs cilantro
  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper (optional)

Machaca (Recipe)

Christmas Eve is the Busiest Night of the Year at our house, so you likely won’t hear from me until sometime on Christmas, after the dust has settled. But as a small pre-Christmas present, here’s another bit of traditional Mexican (New Mexican) food. It ain’t Taco Bell, baby…

Developed by Mexican peasants faced with the prospect of eating elderly goat, stringy rabbit, or the leftover remnants of the village cow, machaca is a way of rendering any cut of meat both edible and tasty. That being so, it really doesn’t matter what cut you select, or how big it is, but I usually buy a large rump roast, because it’s not very fatty, and is easy to clean. By and large, a pound of raw beef will yield about 10 to 12 ounces of machaca.


  • A large chunk of beef, any cut (one pound will probably feed 2-3 people)*
  • 1 onion, any color (yellow Spanish onion is traditional)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 head of garlic (yes, I do mean a whole head)
  • Cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes or other chili pods (I like the little brown Piquin peppers, myself) (optional)

*Note: Traditional Mexican cookery occasionally uses carne seca&mdashdried beef, or jerky&mdashinstead of fresh beef. In this case, you don’t need to boil or shred it, but will need to allow a longer steaming time. (Note: don’t use spiced jerky if you employ this option.)


Preparation has several steps this isn’t a recipe for people rushing home from work and wondering what to microwave. On the other hand, once made, machaca will keep&mdashand improve in flavor&mdashfor up to a week in the refrigerator, and can be used in a number of different quick, tasty dishes.

1. Boil the beef. This is simple it just takes a while. Put the raw beef in a large pot, cover it with water, and put over a medium-high flame. Bring to a boil, and keep gently boiling for 3 to 5 hours. The only thing to remember is to check the pot and add more water, to prevent the meat boiling dry. You know it’s done when you stick a fork in the meat and it begins to fall apart.

2. Chill. Scoop the beef out of the water, put it in a large bowl, cover and put in the refrigerator to chill. Overnight is best, but 2 or 3 hours will do.

3. Shred the chilled, boiled beef with your fingers, removing any gristle or fat. Put shredded beef in a large frying pan or stewing pan—any wide, shallow pan with a lid (or that can be covered with a sheet of aluminum foil).

4. Add the vegetables and spices. The thing to observe here is that the vegetables are spice in this dish. Ergo, you don’t want to have big chunks of garlic, onion, and peppers&mdashyou want to use quantities of very finely minced vegetable, which will desiccate in the cooking and flavor the meat. How much? Depends on how much you like garlic, essentially. For a 4-to-6 pound roast, I’d use a whole head of garlic, myself. Mince a quantity of onion equivalent to the quantity of garlic, and an equal quantity each of red and green peppers. If you like cilantro (aka coriander leaf) and can get it fresh, add 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls, also minced. Mix all the minced vegetables into the shredded beef, adding a light sprinkle of salt and pepper&mdashand if you want a spicy machaca (also known as barbacoa), add red chili flakes or pods, to taste.

5. Steam. Pour a small amount of water over the meat and vegetables&mdash3 or 4 tablespoonfuls. The water is to keep the cooking meat from sticking to the pot, and to gently steam it, not to braise or stew it, so you don’t need a lot. Cover the pan and set over a low heat. This is a good dish to make while you’re doing something else time-consuming in the kitchen, because while you don’t need to do anything but stir it occasionally, and now and then add more water, you do need to keep an eye on it. Check every 5 to 10 minutes, stirring the meat, adding water as needed, if the meat begins to dry or stick. Add additional salt or pepper, as desired, when stirring. Continue this process until all the vegetables are desiccated—appearing as no more than colorful shreds among the meat&mdashand the meat is uniformly moist and totally shredded. This usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.

6. A version of this dish in Cuban cuisine is known as ropas Viejas&mdash"old clothes"&mdash which will tell you something about what it looks like when done. Machaca can be served as a main dish, accompanied by fresh salsa, fried plantains, or fried potatoes, rice and beans (traditional Mexican-style Pinto beans&mdashwhole or refried&mdashor Cuban black beans), or eggs. It also makes a delicious filling for tacos, flautas, enchiladas, tostadas or burritos&mdashmy favorite is a machaca burrito, made by ladling a couple of large spoonfuls of machaca into the center of a flour tortilla, covering with grated cheddar cheese, and sticking in the microwave for 30 seconds (just enough to melt the cheese). Top with chunky tomato salsa (fruit salsas are also great), wrap the tortilla, and eat!

Machaca is time-consuming, but remarkably simple to cook&mdashand since the flavor will improve even more as the pepper-onion-garlic flavors continue to blend, it’s great to make a big batch to keep in the refrigerator.


A variant on machaca is something called beef barbacoa. Essentially, this is machaca with red chili and a little additional water added. I use dried Piquin chili pods, but Ancho, Chipotle, or any other dried red chili will work. You add this to the steaming machaca, to taste&mdashI judge it by color, myself the meat should have a uniform reddish look, and be moister than regular machaca enough liquid to ooze out when you drop a spoonful of the meat into a tortilla. Some people would leave the bell peppers and cilantro out of barbacoa, but I usually include the bell peppers.

This page was created on Sunday, January 11, 2014, by Loretta. This recipe was originally posted on Diana’s official facebook page.

How to make Machaca con huevo Recipe

  • You can add some garlic here, make it your dish.
  • Dry meat is usually salty, taste first before adding more salt


1. Heat the oil in a medium heat skillet, add the onion and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the dry meat. It will absorb the oil in the skillet. Let it brown a little at medium heat stirring frequently. About 5 minutes for this step.

2. Add more oil if need. Place the chopped tomatoes and Serrano pepper into the skillet. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Lower the heat.

Now the tomatoes have released their juice.

3. Pour the eggs into the skillet and stir until they are done and to your liking. Taste to see if they need salt. Do not let them dry.
Well, some people like to eat this dish very saucily.

4. Serve with fried pinto beans with fresh Mexican cheese and flour tortillas. A spicy sauce will be a good addition in case you didn’t add the serrano peppers.
Enjoy your Sunday brunch Machaca with eggs!

Mexican Shredded Beef (Machaca)

Mexican Shredded Beef (Machaca) is beef roast easily made in the crock pot or slow cooker with Mexican seasonings.

Mexican Shredded Beef (Machaca)

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

As I recall, the first time I ever made beef machaca at home I used a recipe from a cookbook called Mexican Cookery by Barbara Hansen. We’d had shredded beef a number of times in different things when dining out at Mexican eateries: chimichangas, enchiladas, burritos, in tacos, etc. So I really was excited when I came across that recipe and tried it. Barbara’s version is braised on the stove top. Over the years I have simplified the recipe for machaca, stripping it down to a bare-bones version I could throw into the slow cooker, since I didn’t enjoy hanging about the stove for several hours.

It has a basic flavor, because it is meant to be put into other things, as I stated above. It is also a basic recipe, and I post it to reference in recipes I will be publishing later on, as we enjoy machaca frequently when I cook Mexican food at home.

I know you will enjoy it, and while you are waiting for specialty recipes to post, feel free to cook this up and throw it on a soft warm tortilla with a sprinkling of chopped onion, cilantro, and spicy home made salsa.

Mexican Shredded Beef (Machaca)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 8hr 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy


  • 2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup canned roasted green chilies or roasted poblano peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned adobo seasoning or seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Place everything in the crock pot or slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until a fork (when inserted into the beef) can be easily twisted.
  2. Remove meat from crock, and when cool enough to handle, shred meat.

From the kitchen of

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Mexican-Style Burritos With Machaca Guisada (Braised Dried-Beef) Recipe

Why It Works

  • Homemade flour tortillas are far more delicious than most of the store-bought options.
  • Keeping the tortillas well wrapped ensures they stay warm and pliable.

Made from a few components, yet full of complex flavor, the burritos commonly found in Northern Mexico stand in stark contrast to the overstuffed version north of the border. They're significantly smaller, for starters, with two or three required to make a meal for one person. They also usually feature a much more pared down assortment of fillings, such as freshly mashed beans with cheese, or the machaca guisada (braised dried beef with onions and tomato) featured here. Some fresh, crunchy cucumbers and a squeeze of lime round the meal out.

Because so few ingredients are required, they need to be of the highest quality. Most critically, the eight-inch flour tortillas really should be freshly made, either by a local tortilleria or at home with a recipe like this one, which is rich with lard and milk.

This recipe makes six small burritos, which can work as a snack for a larger group or a meal for just two or three people, but it can easily be scaled up by doubling the braised machaca recipe and using the full batch of flour tortillas in the linked recipe.

These burritos can also easily be turned into pan-fried burritos, called chivichangas in Sonora, Mexico. Just add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a small skillet over medium-high heat, add the prepared burritos to the hot oil, and fry, turning once, until just-crispy and golden on both sides.

How to Use Shredded Beef

The flavor of this shredded Mexican Beef is spot on and my husband gave it two thumbs up. I love having this shredded meat on hand because I can turn it into so many things! One night it can be a taco, a taquito, the next night a burrito or enchilada. It’s great put on nachos or eaten over rice.

Whether you use your slow cooker or your Instant Pot, you are going to end up with a delicious meal!

Some of my other favorite Instant Pot recipes you may want to try:

For all of my other favorite kitchen products and tools visit my Amazon Store.

Did you know I wrote a cookbook? Check out the Holiday Slow Cooker Cookbook for 100 delicious recipes.

Watch the video: Mexican SHREDDED Beef and TACOS! (July 2022).


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