Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recipe for Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Avocado

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Avocado
A beef roast is cooked in the slow cooker with Mexican flavors until it easily shreds apart and then it's made into tacos with whole wheat tortillas, spicy slaw, and avocado.

It only makes sense that with my new slow cooker blog, I'm paying more attention to how people use their slow cookers year round.  I'm finding lots of slow cooker recipes like these shredded beef tacos, which would taste just as good in the dead of winter as they did on a warm night last week. But one happy thing about cooking something like this when it's starting to get hot outside is that the slow cooker doesn't heat up the house for those hours that the meat is getting tender.  I love the spicy slaw that comes with fish tacos, so I couldn't resist adding some of that to my tacos, along with a little avocado, and two of these tacos made a perfect dinner for me.

I used a boneless chuck roast for the meat.  I trim all the visible fat and pieces of gristle and save the meat scraps in the freezer to make homemade beef stock.  Cut the meat in several pieces and rub all the pieces with steak seasoning.

I know some of you don't like to brown the meat when you're cooking it in the slow cooker, but I promise it makes a huge difference in the flavor.

While the meat browns, mix together the salsa, can of diced green chiles, lime juice, taco seasoning, and just a tiny bit of salt to make the cooking sauce.

Put the browned meat in the slow cooker, pour the sauce over, and cook on low until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork - about 6 hours.  (I used my Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe. If your slow cooker is much larger than that, I would recommend doubling the recipe so the slow cooker is at least half full. If anyone does follow that link and buy a small slow cooker like mine, Kalyn's Kitchen does earn a few cents on the dollar, so thanks!)

Here is how the meat looked in my slow cooker when it was done, swimming in sauce.

Remove the pieces of meat to a cutting board, put the sauce in a small pan, and simmer on medium until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about half, about 10 minutes.

While the sauce is reducing, use a fork to pull the meat apart, and put it back in the slow cooker so it stays warm.

When it's thickened and reduced, mix the sauce into the meat.

I used these low-carb whole wheat tortillas which are the 6 inch size, perfect for soft tacos.

Combine the shredded green cabbage, shredded red cabbage, chopped cilantro, mayo, greek yogurt, and green Tabasco sauce to make the spicy slaw.

Cut up the avocado and toss it with 2-3 tsp. of lime juice.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and cook the tortillas, turning often.  As soon as they start to slightly harden, fold the circle in half to make a taco shell.

To assemble the taco, spread 2-3 tablespoons of meat on the bottom of the shell, top with a thin layer of slaw and a couple of spoonfuls of avocado.  Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Avocado
(Makes enough beef for about 8 tacos; recipe created by Kalyn.)

I used my Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe. If your slow cooker is much larger than that, I would recommend doubling the recipe so the slow cooker is at least half full.

Ingredients for Shredded Beef:
a lean chuck roast, about 2 1/2 - 3 lbs. before trimming
1 T steak seasoning of your choice (I make my own steak seasoning.)
2 tsp. olive oil, for browning meat
1 1/4 cup mild or medium salsa (I used medium Pace Picante Sauce but if you have kids I would use mild.)
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles (Anaheim chiles, not jalapenos)
2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1 T taco seasoning
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt

Ingredients for Spicy Slaw:
1/4 small head green cabbage, very thinly sliced, then slightly chopped
1/4 small head red cabbage, very thinly sliced, then slightly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 T mayo
2 T fat free Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp. green Tabasco sauce (or use your favorite hot sauce)

Ingredients for Tacos:
8 whole wheat or low carb flour tortillas, 6 inch size
2 avocados, diced
2-3 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice, to toss with avocado
cut lime pieces to squeeze on tacos (optional)
extra green Tabasco sauce for serving (optional)

Instructions:
Trim all visible pieces of fat and gristle from the chuck roast and cut it into several pieces.  (I save the meat scraps in the freezer to make homemade beef stock.)  Rub the pieces of roast all over with steak seasoning.  Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan and brown the meat well on all sides, about 8 minutes total browning time. 

While the meat browns, mix together the salsa, diced green chiles, lime juice, taco seasoning, and a little salt.  Put the browned meat into the slow cooker, pour the sauce over, and cook on low until the meat is tender and shreds apart easily, about 6 hours.  

When the meat is done, remove it to a cutting board.  Pour the sauce mixture into a small pan and simmer on medium until the sauce thickens and reduces by about half, about 10 minutes.  Shred the meat apart with two forks and put it back in the slow cooker to keep warm.  When the sauce has reduced, mix it with the meat and continue to keep warm in the slow cooker.

Thinly slice and chop the cabbage and chop the cilantro.  Mix together the mayo, Greek yogurt and green Tabasco sauce to make the dressing and mix it with the cabbage.  Dice the avocados and toss with the lime juice.  

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and cook 2 or 3 tortillas at a time (whatever you can fit in the pan.)  Turn tortillas several times until they are just starting to get firm, then fold each one over in half to make a taco shell. 

To assemble the tacos, spread 2-3 tablespoons of shredded beef on the bottom of a taco shell, top with a thin layer of slaw and a couple of spoonfuls of avocado.  Serve with extra piece of lime and more green Tabasco sauce to add at the table, if desired.

This meat freezes well, so don't be afraid to double the recipe.  The meat can also be used to make burritos.


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South Beach Suggestions:
If you're making this for the South Beach Diet, remember the guidelines recommend meat with less than 10% fat, so don't be afraid to do some serious trimming of fat if you can't find a chuck roast that's that lean.  Other low-glycemic ingredients like cabbage and avocados make these tacos a good choice, but it's important to use whole wheat or low-carb flour tortillas (and corn tortillas are definitely not recommended.)  This recipe would be phase 2 or 3 because of the flour tortillas.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Recipe for Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Avocado


More Mexican Flavors in the Slow Cooker:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos with Lime from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chicken Fajitas in the CrockPot from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Bowls from Budget Bytes
Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans from A Year of Slow Cooking
Slow Cooker Mexican Braised Beef from Iowa Girl Eats
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

26 comments:

  1. You and I must both have tacos on our mind. I just made fish tacos for the boys tonight with slaw. Love the addition of avocado here!

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  2. Yum and double yum! I love using chuck roast in the slow cooker, and I always have cans of chiles in my pantry, ready to go. The colors in this dish are glorious, too.

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  3. Jeanette and Lydia, it took me two tries to get this one right but I was really happy with how it turned out!

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  4. I know a lot of people tend to use slow cookers more in the winter but I actually think they're better for summer because of the heat issue! These tacos sound delicious!

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  5. I just made almost this same recipe two nights ago but with pork. The only difference was we didn't make a slaw (but will do so next time). We also use those same tortillas and we add a little spicy cheese. So delicious. Love your blog. It has gotten me through phase one and continues to get me through phase two!
    --Crystal T.

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  6. This is delicious something i will definitely try for my hubby. he likes new tasty food. can't wait.

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  7. Yum! Thanks for reminding me that the slow cooker is a perfect alternative to the oven on those hot summer days! I will definitely be trying this recipe.

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  8. really simple but really good looking recipe i like it and want to make it this sunday.

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  9. Hi everyone,
    I'm excited that people are looking forward to trying this recipe. For me it's a definite repeater (and those are fairly rare around here with all the cooking going on!)

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  10. How am I already hungry for more beef tacos? Looks WONDERFUL.

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  11. these look completely delicious! I made some fish tacos a year or so ago with spicy slaw that I just loved!!

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  12. Thanks Bev! Your tacos were also spectacular.

    Becky I love slaw on tacos and sandwiches. (Well, on everything really!)

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  13. Yummy!!! Thank you Kalyn! You just gave me a great idea for Memorial Day weekend. Instead of the traditional burgers and hot dogs :-)

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  14. You are SO right. It makes a huge difference in flavor to brown the meat first. These tacos got my tastebuds going. YUM!

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  15. Kelly, so glad to hear that!

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  16. Ok. I just changes my dinner plans!

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  17. Wonderful. I just tried my first recipe. I've been looking for a recipe that has cabbage in it. So tasty and healthy. Thanks for helping me eat healthy and be happy. God bless you, Kalyn.

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  18. Slow cooker is the way to go on a lazy weekend! Great recipe and fantastic pictures :)

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  19. I have been on a Mexican kick lately, and I know these would hit the spot!

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  20. Thanks all for the nice feedback! Really loved these tacos.

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  21. Beautiful post and as usual, your attention to detail is outstanding!

    thanks for sharing
    Dave at erecipeCards.com

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  22. I made this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicous. Luckily we have leftover so we can have it again tomorrow. I used store bought taco seasoning, but I made your steak seasoning and it is amazing! I doubt I'll ever use anything else. Thanks for another great recipe. Having house guest soon and this will be perfect.
    Also, I didn't have a crockpot, and so I ordered the one you recommended. You're right, it's perfect for two and I love it.

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  23. So glad you enjoyed the recipe so much. Hope you get a lot of good meals out of that slow cooker!

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  24. Hi, Kalyn! I've followed your blog for years now! I've been thinking about tortillas -- are these Mission Carb Balance your favorites for phase 2? Or did I miss a Kalyn's Picks on tortillas at some point? Thanks for this great site and all your efforts to help eat healthier!

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  25. Hi Audrey,
    I do like this brand very well. Two others I also like are Carb Chopper Whole Wheat Tortillas and Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Tortillas. The Joseph's brand are probably my favorite, but I can't find them in Utah.

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