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Carne Deshebrada served in a grey dish, topped with cilantro sprigs and surrounded by lime wedges.
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5 from 2 votes

Carne Deshebrada (Shredded Beef)

Carne Deshebrada (Shredded Beef) cooked to tender perfection in a savory tomato sauce with onions, peppers, olives and cilantro. Serve with a side of rice for a complete meal! Comfort food at its best!
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Keyword: ropa vieja meat, shredded beef
Servings: 6
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Mexican Appetizers and More


To Make Shredded Beef

  • 2 lbs chuck roast, beef round, brisket, flank or skirt steak
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • handful fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Spices & Veggies for Carne Deshebrada

  • 1 pepper rinsed, seeded and sliced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • tsp tomato paste can also use ⅓ cup of tomato sauce
  • pimiento stuffed olives
  • 3 tbsp sofrito
  • ¾-1 cup broth from cooked beef (or water)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime quartered
  • salt and pepper to taste


To Make Shredded Beef in Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

For Stove Top

  • Add meat to a large pot and add enough water to cover beef.
    Add the spices included in the instant pot recipe with broth and cook beef over medium heat for 2-3 hours or until beef is very tender. 
    Make sure to check that meat has enough water every 30 minutes and is not drying out.
  • Once beef is done, bring to a cutting board and shred with two forks.

Cooking the Carne Deshebrada

  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, add a tablespoon of oil and stir in onions, peppers and olives.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes or until onions and peppers are to your liking.
  • Add chopped garlic and stir. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, sofrito, bay leaf, oregano and broth from cooked beef (or water).
    Allow sauce to cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the shredded beef to the sauce and incorporate well with sauce.
    Cook on medium low heat for 20-30 minutes.
  • Add cilantro. Stir.
    Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Beef is done!
  • When you're ready to serve, sprinkle with lime juice. (optional)


See post for serving suggestions.


Serving: 6g | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 593mg | Potassium: 627mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 231IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 4mg