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Braised Beef Tacos–A Family Table Recipe

Looking for a perfect winter time meal? I’ve got your recipe today.

Last fall we purchased a quarter of a cow. Of course, the ground beef was used up a long time ago. The roasts went next along with the stew meat. And now we have a few lingering cuts in the freezer that I never buy and don’t really know what to do with. I’ve decided to tackle them one at a time. First up? The top round steak.

I don’t really know my way around the butcher counter very well, but I understand that top round is a pretty inexpensive cut. It’s very lean, with practically no fat, which makes it tough and dry with traditional cooking methods like roasting and grilling. Most of the recipes I found seasoned the steak and gave it a quick sear and then sliced it thinly, kinda like a flank steak. But with this type of preparation, a few pounds of steak doesn’t go very far in my family of 6. I need recipes that are “meat extenders” not “meat centric”.

Then I found this recipe. Jackpot.

The steak is braised in a seasoned liquid in the slow cooker. The low and slow cooking makes the steak so tender and moist, and the addition of the sauce to the shredded steak keeps it juicy. My family loved this recipe. The kiddos had their beef in organic corn taco shells that were lingering in the cabinet. The Sweetie Pie and I had ours served on top of a bowl full of shredded lettuce with our desired toppings (cheese and salsa for the Sweetie Pie, avocado and lime for me).

In addition to being delicious, the recipe is incredibly easy. It took me about 10 minutes to put it all in the pot in the morning, and then another 10 minutes just before serving to shred the beef and puree the sauce. Done and done.

It’s the perfect recipe for the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Even if you’re feeling rushed and frantic, at least your food can be slow and succulent.

* In my recipe book, I’ve filed this with my GAPS/Paleo/SCD dishes, which means that it mostly, not strictly, adheres to those diets. Please make adaptations as needed to fit your particular diet needs.


Print Recipe

Braised Beef Tacos

adapted from a Food Network recipe. Our kiddos eat this in organic corn taco shells. For a grain free serving option, I serve over shredded lettuce.

Source: Erin at Plan to Eat

Course: GAPS/Paleo/SCD-Main (Beef)

Cuisine: Mexican

Serves: 6-8


  • 2 tablespoons beef tallow or other cooking fat
  • 4 pounds top round steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro stems and leaves separated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz beef broth
  • your preferred taco toppings for serving


  1. In a large skillet over high heat, add the oil. Season the steak with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, put the steaks into the pan and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  2. In the sleeve of a slow cooker, add the onion and cilantro stems. Put the steak on top and sprinkle with garlic and chile powder. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, and 2 cups water. Cover and cook on high for 6 to 8 hours, or until the steak is tender and shreds easily. Remove the meat and shred using 2 forks.
  3. With an immersion blender, puree the sauce in the slow cooker until smooth. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker and mix well.
  4. Serve the beef with desired toppings. You may chop the cilantro leaves and use for a topping.

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  Leave a Reply

  • Thanks, Erin! I’m just about to pull the meat apart. It smeels FABULOUS! Thanks for posting such a great and easy recipe. Oh, and I used the extra bacon fat to make a warm bacon spinach salad dressing. In case you’re wondering, I don’t eat this much bacon fat usually!

    Nancy Lee January 13, 2013 AT 5:32 pm
    • Yum! I have no reservations about extra bacon fat! Hope your dinner was fabulous.

      Erin January 14, 2013 AT 10:01 am
  • Hi! I’m making the recipe using 3 lbs of tbottom round roast. It was on special at the market, making it cheaper than the cut called for in the recipe. It is one big hunk of meat! I couldn’t find beef tallow or lard at any of the three different markets where I shopped, so I bought salt-cured bacon and used it to make up the two tablespoons of fat. And BTW, I noticed that the recipe ingredient list doesn’t call for 2 cups of water, but the directions do. Is that correct? I added one cup to be on the safe side, As it cooks I’ll watch it to see if it needs more liquid. I’m so excited to have this for dinner tonight!

    Nancy Lee January 13, 2013 AT 12:15 pm
    • Nancy Lee, Yes, add 2 cups of water to the crock. I’m sure you’ll be fine with just one cup, especially if you’re around to keep an eye on it. Your sauce might be thicker, but no big deal.

      I love it when people adapt recipes to their needs and preferences! Good for you! I bet this will be delicious with the bacon fat. I can’t find tallow to purchase either and have to render my own. I don’t get around to it very often, so will use butter or coconut oil if I don’t have any on hand.

      Erin January 13, 2013 AT 2:42 pm
  • Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

    Tuyet December 13, 2012 AT 5:05 pm
  • Sounds scrumptious. But what in the heck is the “…sleeve of a slow cooker…” you refer to in Step 2?

    Wanda December 12, 2012 AT 6:49 pm
    • The “sleeve” is the interior portion of the slow-cooker; the part that can be removed (in most models) and washed, in which the food is actually cooked. I don’t know the correct term for it…
      Hope this helps! :)

      Sarah December 13, 2012 AT 10:46 am
    • Wanda, I thought that was a funny term, too. It just means the stone crock of the slow cooker. I should really just change the recipe….. :)

      Erin December 13, 2012 AT 1:12 pm

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