This recipe for Slow Cooker Shredded Beef is not only simple to make, but it’s also incredibly versatile. The juicy and flavorful beef is perfect to use in so many dishes, like shredded beef sandwiches, tacos, or pasta.
Just put the beef in your crockpot in the morning and by the time you come home, you’ll be greeted with the mouth-watering aroma of a perfectly cooked meal.
This is truly one of those set-it-and-forget-it recipes. And while it does need some time in the slow cooker (it takes 10 hours to cook!), the prep time is quick (about 15 minutes) and the results? The kind of dish that you can make on the weekend to enjoy throughout the week.
Why this recipe works
The slow cooker breaks down a tougher cut of meat into something that is succulent and melt-in-your-mouth. Using a chuck roast (or blade roast) means that you’ll end up with pulled beef that tastes, well, beefy. It’s rich, savory and accented by caramelized-like onions and garlic.
What to serve this with
That’s the best part about this recipe! You can make this once and eat it in many different ways. The first night, I’ll often serve it over egg noodles with my house salad.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Beef chuck roast or blade roast (as it’s called in Canada) is the base of this recipe. You’ll want to trim off some of the excess fat that’s visible.
- For the aromatics, I use a combination of sliced onions and garlic. To add flavor, the beef is cooked on a bed of sliced onions and garlic, and the meat itself is studded with garlic pieces.
- For balance, I use red wine vinegar and olive oil. You could also use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- The spice rub is a mixture of salt, garlic powder, black pepper and Montreal steak spice. The steak spice is a little trick of mine that I love to add to beef dishes to enhance out the beef flavor (like my chili in the Dutch oven).
- Finally, some beef broth helps keep the meat extra moist.
- To start this slow cooker pulled beef recipe, begin by preparing two bowls. In one bowl, combine red wine vinegar and olive oil. In the other bowl, mix garlic powder, Montreal steak spice, salt, and pepper to make the spice rub.
- Next, layer half of the sliced onions at the bottom of the crockpot insert, followed by the beef roast. Using a pairing knife, create about 12 slits in the top of the beef–these should be about ½″, and stuff half of the minced garlic into each slit.
- Pour the vinegar and oil mixture over the beef, and rub it in with your hands over both sides. Sprinkle the spice rub over both sides of the beef, then top with the remaining onions and garlic.
- Pour beef broth around the beef, being careful not to pour it directly on top. Cook on low for 10 hours
- Once cooked, remove the beef from the crockpot and shred it using two forks. Discard any large pieces of fat and skim any excess fat off the top of the liquid in the slow cooker before returning the shredded beef to the slow cooker. This fall-apart-tender beef can be used in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches to tacos to pasta.
- While some recipes may say it will only take eight hours for the beef to become fall-apart tender, I actually found in my recipe tests that at the eight-hour mark, the beef was still quite tough and not able to shred. Stick to ten hours, and don’t open the lid to check!
- In my recipe tests, I also found that searing the beef doesn’t actually add much extra flavour. This cut of beef is so beefy and savory that it wasn’t worth the effort. Depending on how you’re serving the beef, for example, if you’re baking beef tacos, you can sear the beef once it’s been shredded for some extra texture.