Slow Cooker Beef Machaca is a traditional Mexican dish full of peppers, tomatoes, and spice that makes a delicious taco or burrito filling.
Last night I dreamed about being a cowboy, about long nights on the trail and campfires and ….smores. So maybe it was more like camping than cowboying, but I was riding a horse and dressed in the best of cowboy attire. Where did this cowboy dream come from? I think the blame lies with this Machaca which I ate much too much of last night.
You see, Machaca traditionally was a dish made by cowboys and ranchers involving dehydrated beef, some chili peppers, and was eaten with whatever was handy. Sometimes it was rolled into flour tortillas, many times it was scrambled up with eggs, and sometimes it was fried into crispy little taquitos. This version skips the dehydrated beef but uses all the traditional flavors and can be eaten a thousand different ways. Make extra. You can always freeze it if you don’t finish it.
When you are making this Slow Cooker Beef Machaca, keeps these things in mind:
- Most of the spice in the dish is coming from the serrano peppers. These can be very spicy but tend to mellow out a bit when they are cooked for a long time. If you are worried about the spice, you can use jalapenos or poblano peppers instead. You could also use canned chipotle peppers if you want to add a smoky flavor.
- Although traditionally made with beef, this recipe is also really delicious with chicken. I prefer using chicken thighs since they stay nice and tender when cooked but chicken breast would also work as well. And although I haven’t tried it, I imagine that pork would work really well too.
- If you can find Maggi sauce, it will give it more of a traditional flavor. Maggi is a seasoning sauce that is used in a lot of Mexican, Latin, and Asian cooking. It’s a salty sauce, kind of like soy, but it does contain MSG so depending on your dietary needs you may want to use soy or Worcestershire sauce instead. There are also many versions depending on the country its intended for. I prefer the Mexican Maggi Jugo if you can find it.
Here are some things I used to help prepare this recipe:
- Slow Cooker: There are so many different slow cookers on the market but I personally use this one that allows me to brown, sear, or saute in the same pan. Plus I find the cooking temperature to be really even and consistent.