Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Randy Mon
Total Time
4 Hours 15 Mins
Serves 6 (makes 12 tacos) (serving size: 2 tacos)

This recipe is adapted from one in the book Amor y Tacos (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, May 2010; $19) by San Diego–based chef Deborah Schneider and features shredded beef chuck roast flavored with cola, tomatoes, chiles,  and cumin.

How to Make It

Step 1

Make sauce for beef: Wipe chiles clean with a damp cloth, stem and seed, and tear into pieces. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chiles and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, the cumin, tomatoes, oregano, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chiles are softened, about 10 minutes. Purée sauce in a blender until very smooth.

Step 2

Meanwhile, season beef with the remaining tsp. salt. Heat the remaining tbsp. oil in a 5- to 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Brown beef, turning occasionally, 10 to 14 minutes. Discard fat, if any.

Step 3

Pour sauce into pot and add bay leaf, cola, and a little water if needed to barely cover meat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until beef is very tender, 3 hours.

Step 4

With a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a plate. Let cool slightly, then tear into shreds, discarding any fat or gristle. Meanwhile, boil sauce over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 3 cups, 10 to 30 minutes. Stir in beef and heat a few minutes until hot. Remove bay leaf.

Step 5

Make tacos: With a slotted spoon, transfer beef with some sauce to a bowl. Spoon beef into tortillas (double tortillas if they're thin), tuck in accompaniments, and serve with remaining sauce if you like.

Step 6

*Find in the Latino foods aisle or spice aisle of a supermarket, or at a Latino market.

Step 7

Make ahead: Through step 3; chill, covered, up to 2 days.

Step 8

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Ratings & Reviews

sharilou's Review

July 02, 2014
oh my, was this good!!!! I cooked it as a 'what do I have in the fridge' meal, so prepared with 1 lb of flank steak, and didn't have the chilies called for so added about 1/2 cup of green chilies and about a teaspoon of ancho chili powder. if you don't have corn tortillas, put this meat on hamburger buns for a southwestern sloppy joe!!!!

Hoppenrey's Review

October 27, 2013
I made this exactly as written except I let it simmer for about 5 1/2 hours and I used non-Mexican soda for convenience. The beef was falling apart and required no forks to shred. The flavor was great. This is a must do again!

mary327's Review

July 14, 2013

RuthinCA's Review

September 03, 2012
This was very good. We fixed it in a slow cooker for 12 hours - not nearly done after 6 hours as a previous reviewer recommended. It is a good way to use chuck roast when it is on sale without having to make a soup or pot roast.

Hilarys1332's Review

May 15, 2012
Made this for Cinco de Mayo and it was a huge hit. I made it basically as written but used one less ancho chile and used cumin rather than cumin seeds. After doing all the searing and I sautéing on the stove top, I cooked it in a slow cooker for 6 hours and then shredded it. I boiled down the remaining sauce until it was very concentrated and put it all back in the cooker on warm during the party.

nkgler's Review

May 29, 2011
I just made this last night and we loved it. It takes some time so plan ahead. I cooked the beef for 3 hours to get it soft enough. My husband thought it was a little sweet at the end and suggested a bit more salt and adding some black pepper, but I liked it just how it was.

LaLuna's Review

August 03, 2010
I've made this recipe a few times with regular US coke and Mexican, difference in using the cane sweetened soda is noticable. I do not brown the meat, cut the salt in half and instead of cooking on the stove, I put it in a slow cooker on low for six hours or until the meat is falling apart on its own - if you have to shred the meat with a fork its not cooked enough (IMHO). I've also made this with pork butt and am planning on trying it with chicken. Meat is also great for nachos. Add a little cinnamon and Mexican chocolate and you get an easy mole.

Dandoon521's Review

January 28, 2010
Amazing Recipe, my family loved it. This recipe is a keeper

Tamer8's Review

January 11, 2010
great cool recipe

piacere's Review

December 22, 2009
Very easy and tasty and reliably comes out just as promised per the recipe. Also makes a nice braising liquid for lamb shanks, in particular if you can find them in "osso bucco cut". We find the sauce needs boiling for quite a bit longer than the recipe says to bring it to the right thickness at the end.