This Crockpot Carne Mechada is insanely delicious!
In this post, you’ll get all the information you need to make the absolute best Carne Mechada ever. This is one of those recipes that comes together quickly with minimal effort but tastes like something special every time you make it. This one will become one of your go-to dishes. I guarantee it! If you want to use a pressure cooker instead, check out my recipe for Instant Pot Carne Mechada.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure.
What Is Carne Mechada?
Carne Mechada is a delicious Venezuelan dish made with shredded beef and vegetables. The beef is cooked with the veggies in a flavorful tomato sauce and then shredded once it has finished cooking. The result is a slightly tangy, rich, stewy shredded beef that is tender and full of flavor.
It’s a versatile dish that is often served with rice, beans, and plantains. It can also be served with potatoes or tortillas. And, my favorite way to enjoy this wonderful Venezuelan shredded beef is on an arepa.
Carne Mechada is also perfect for meal prep and can be made ahead of time and frozen for future meals. It’s a great addition to any number of other recipes.
Tips for a Perfect crockpot Carne Mechada
- Choose A Well-Marbled Chuck Roast: Choose a chuck roast that is fatty, with marbling all the way through. This will ensure that the meat turns out tender and juicy.
- Add A Beer: A dark lager or stout beer adds an incredible amount of depth and flavor to this dish. It will also tenderize the meat.
- Cook It Longer: Chuck roast gets more tender the longer it’s cooked. So, let the roast cook for the full recommended time. This will allow it to become fall-apart tender, give time for the flavors to meld together, and create a truly delicious shredded beef.
- Brown The Meat: This one is optional (the recipe does not call for it), and I have to admit, I usually don’t have the time to do it nor the desire to clean an extra skillet. However, browning the meat will add more depth and richness to the flavor. I recommend it if you have time but it’s not necessary. You’ll still end up with a phenomenal dish without browning.
Ingredients for Carne Mechada
I know you like keeping things simple, and this one is simple. There are just a handful of ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. But don’t let the simplicity fool you. When everything is done, you’ll have a juicy, tender shredded beef bursting with flavor. Here’s a complete rundown of exactly what you’ll need:
- Chuck Roast: Chuck roast is the perfect cut of meat for Carne Mechada because it’s a tough, slow-cooking cut that becomes meltingly tender when cooked properly. It’s also relatively inexpensive, which makes it a great option for budget-conscious families. You’ll want a 2 ½ to 3-pound chuck roast for this recipe.
- Herbs & Spices: Garlic powder, black pepper, and kosher salt are all you’ll need to season the roast.
- Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce is a key ingredient because it adds a flavorful tanginess and moisture to the dish. It also helps to thicken the sauce and bind the ingredients together. Without it, the meat would be dry and bland. The recipe calls for one 8-ounce can.
- Diced Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes add a lot of flavor and moisture to the dish and also help thicken the sauce. When choosing diced tomatoes, be sure to select a quality brand. I prefer Muir Glen Organic Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes but have also used Hunt’s and HEB brands. You will need a 14.5-ounce can for this recipe.
- Diced Green Chiles: Green chiles are a great addition because they add a delicious layer of flavor and spice to the dish. A small 4-ounce can is all that’s needed for the recipe.
- Brown Sugar: Tomato sauce is a bit acidic so the brown sugar helps to balance out the acidity by adding a touch of sweetness. It also enhances the natural flavors of tomatoes. This recipe requires a ¼ cup of brown sugar.
- Beer: Beer adds a depth of flavor that other liquids cannot replicate. Additionally, the beer has enzymes that help to tenderize the meat, making it incredibly succulent. I recommend that you use one 12-ounce can of your favorite beer. I prefer using a dark lager or stout.
This recipe for Carne Mechada is made in the slow cooker and is as easy as it gets: just dump a few ingredients into your crockpot and turn it on ‘High’ for six hours. By the time everyone gets home, you’ll have tender beef, smoky vegetables, and a rich sauce that’s ready to serve. Your family will thank you!
Start gathering and prepping the ingredients. Here’s exactly what you’ll need:
- Chuck Roast: a 3 pound roast
To season the chuck roast:
- Kosher Salt: 2 teaspoons
- Black Pepper: 2 teaspoons
- Garlic Powder: a ½ teaspoon
To layer over the chuck roast in the slow cooker:
- Diced Tomatoes: one 14.5 ounce can
- Tomato Sauce: one 8 ounce can
- Diced Green Chiles: one 4 ounce can
- Brown Sugar: a ¼ cup
- Beer: one 12 ounce can
Mix the kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning mix evenly over both sides of the roast. Then place the roast inside the slow cooker.
Dump the rest of the ingredients over the top of the roast. Add them in the order they are listed – diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced green chiles, brown sugar, and beer.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and adjust the heat setting to ‘High’. Cook for 6 hours or until the roast is fall-apart tender.
Once the roast is finished cooking, shred it with a fork or chop it into small pieces. Remove and discard any fatty pieces while you’re shredding the meat. The roast should be very easy to shred – practically falling apart – once it’s fully ready.
Wasn’t that a really simple process? And the end result is a tender, juicy, and flavorful dish that the whole family will love. It’s time to grab a plate and enjoy!
Substitutions for Carne Mechada
Do you have questions about substituting ingredients in this recipe? I’ve gotten a few frequent questions about swapping out ingredients, so I’ve answered them below. Hopefully, I’ve answered any questions you may have. If you have any questions that I haven’t answered below, please leave them in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
what can I substitute the chuck roast for?
While this Venezuelan shredded beef is traditionally made with a beef chuck roast, it can be made with any cut of beef. In fact, it can be made with a variety of meats, including beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. Some popular substitutions for chuck roast are skirt steak and flank steak. But please note that cooking times and temperatures will vary depending on the type and cut of meat you choose.
what can I substitute the beer for?
You can replace the beer with any number of liquids. My first recommendation would be to replace it with a good-quality chicken or beef broth. A full list of suggested replacements would include:
- Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable Broth/Stock
- Red Table Wine
- Grape Juice
- Apple Juice
- Pineapple Juice
Here are some essential prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.
Questions About Making Carne Mechada In The Slow Cooker
You may have some questions about making carne mechada, especially if this is your first time making it. Here are some of the most common questions I get asked about this recipe. If you don’t find the answer to your question below, please visit the comments section to post your question.
How long do I cook carne mechada in the slow cooker?
Cooking Carne Mechada in the slow cooker is a very easy and straightforward process. Cooking time will vary depending on the size roast you use and your slow cooker. However, the general rule of thumb for a 3-4 pound chuck roast is to cook the roast on low heat for 8-10 hours, or on high heat for 5-6 hours.
Every slow cooker is different, so be sure to check the instructions that came with yours to determine the best cooking time for your chuck roast. In my crock pot, I found that cooking on High for 6 hours gives me a perfectly tender, fall-apart roast.
Won’t beer add alcohol to the Meat?
Generally speaking, when beer is used in cooking, the alcohol will cook off and there will be little to no traces of it left in the food. However, the amount of beer that is used in the recipe and the cooking method will determine how much, if any, alcohol is left in the food after cooking.
For this recipe specifically, the fact that it uses only one can of beer and cooks for 6 hours on high heat, it is very likely that all the alcohol is cooked off. You can always substitute the beer with one of my suggested substitutions if you’re concerned.
What are the benefits of cooking carne mechada in a slow cooker?
Some benefits of cooking Carne Mechada in a slow cooker are that it tenderizes the meat, infuses it with flavor, and allows you to simply dump the ingredients in, set it, and forget it. A slow cooker also allows you to make a large batch that can be easily reheated throughout the week.
Storing and Reheating Carne Mechada
Storing and reheating Carne Mechada leftovers is easy and can be done in a few different ways. Here is everything you need to know about storing your leftovers safely and keeping them tasting great.
How long will carne mechada leftovers last?
Refrigerator: Carne Mechada will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. For storing in the refrigerator, place in a sealable glass or plastic container.
Freezer: Carne Mechada will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When storing in the freezer use airtight freezer-friendly containers, resealable freezer bags, or a vacuum sealer. Before vacuum sealing, however, make sure to let your leftovers cool to room temperature.
How Do I Reheat Carne Mechada?
Reheating your Carne Mechada leftovers is quick and simple. Here are the most common reheating methods:
Oven: Place the shredded beef along with its juices in a baking dish and let it sit out at room temperature while your oven preheats to 325°F. Once the oven is ready, tightly cover the baking dish with foil and place it in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the meat is heated through. Reheat time will vary depending on the amount of meat you are reheating.
Stovetop: You can reheat the Carne Mechada on the stovetop. Place 2-4 cups of the shredded beef along with its juices in a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until the juices start to simmer and the meat has heated through. Make sure to stir occasionally.
Microwave: If you’re in a hurry, you can microwave your Carne Mechada. Add the shredded beef with its juices to a microwave-safe container. Loosely cover the container and cook at 50% power for a minute at a time until the meat reaches your desired temperature. Times will vary depending on the amount of meat you are reheating, but this should only take a few minutes.
Did you make this recipe yet? I truly believe that this is the best Carne Mechada recipe out there because it’s so simple and so delicious! I know you will absolutely love it! Let me know in the comments section below how much you enjoyed it.
5-Star Rating: If you enjoyed this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you could give it a 5-star rating to show how much you loved it.
More Recipes for Shredded meat
Looking for more shredded meat recipes? Here are some of my favorite recipes for shredded beef, shredded chicken, and shredded pork. I know you’ll love them all:
Need a side dish for Carne Mechada? If you’re looking for a perfect complement to this recipe, then try one of the following side dishes:
Crockpot Carne Mechada
Stewy Mixture of Shredded Beef, Tomatoes, And Green Chiles
- Season Roast: Season chuck roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides and place inside slow cooker.
- Add Remaining Ingredients To Slow Cooker: Add the rest of the ingredients on top of the roast in the order listed – diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced green chiles, brown sugar, beer.
- Cook On High For 6 Hours: Set the slow cooker to cook on 'High' for 6 hours or until the roast is tender.
- Shred Roast: Shred roast with two forks, discarding any fatty pieces, and serve!