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Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Tacos

There are many different options for Taco fillings but this recipe for Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Tacos simply has to be tried! The meat is full of flavour with a nice little kick of heat and it works fabulously with a range of salsas and toppings. These Tacos make a great meal for sharing and there is not much chance of just stopping at one!

Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Tacos and sweetcorn

Tacos are traditional Mexican street food or ‘antojitos’ which means a “soft flour wrap with a filling”. Dave and I are massive fans of this type of small plate cuisine when we eat out. It gives us a chance to try as many different types of dishes without becoming over-stuffed, so I had to try and make some of my own at home!

I have a great Mexican cookery book which I love to browse through. The recipes are always full of colour and look so appetising! I used the flavours and techniques from there as inspiration to make a taco recipe for the slow cooker, using beef brisket. I was pretty pleased with the result!

Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Tacos

What do I need to make Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Tacos?

First and foremost a joint of beef brisket, which you can buy from supermarkets or the butcher. Beef brisket is a fantastic cut for the slow cooker and produces tasty and tender meat, and is relatively inexpensive. As an alternative you could also go for other types of braising steak such as chuck steak or leg and shin cuts. A joint around the 2 kg mark will easily feed eight people, with leftovers!

The seasonings are those that appear in many Mexican dishes such as cumin, paprika (smoked and sweet), and chilli. These (amongst a few other herbs and spices) make up the rub that you apply to the meat before placing in the slow cooker.

What do I serve with Beef Tacos?

I bought some ready made small size soft flour tortillas wraps – you can find these on the “World Food” isles of most supermarkets. If you are preparing a gluten free meal, there are also corn flour options or crispy corn taco shells also would work well.

Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Tacos and accompaniments

For the topping, I like to serve some crumbled Wensleydale cheese as it has a gentle, creamy taste which compliments the strong flavours of the beef. I also make up some avocado and sweetcorn salsa and add and a drizzle of sour cream. Sour cream is great for serving with foods that have a bit of spice as it gives you a chance to cool down the heat if you want to!

How easy is it to make Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Tacos?

In short, very! In fact it’s one of the dishes that I like to call ‘easy prep’ in that you can be finished in the kitchen in 15 minutes before turning the slow cooker on. It’s literally a case of sealing the meat, applying the Mexican seasoned rub and placing it in the slow cooker with beef stock, some onions, garlic and chilli and tomatoes.

What can I do with leftover Spicy Beef Brisket?

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. Alternatively it will keep in the freezer for up to three months. Defrost and ensure it’s piping hot all the way through before serving.

Over head image of slow cooked spciy beef tacos and salsa

Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Tacos

A fiery and delicious beef brisket slow cooked then 'pulled', perfect for tacos!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings8 people


  • 2 kg beef brisket

For the stock

  • 1 red chilli pepper seedless and finely chopped. Test chilli first to grade the heat. If very hot suggest that half is used.
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 ml tomato passata
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 beef stock cube/pot Knorr beef stock pot was used in this recipe
  • 750 ml hot water
  • tbsp molasses

For the rub

  • 2 tsp coriander dried
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • tsp sugar brown
  • tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp chipotle chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp black pepper ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp flour corn
  • 2 tbsp oil


  • Rub the beef joint with oil, season well with half tsp salt and pepper then coat in the corn flour. Heat a pan to a high heat and place in the meat to sear each side until starting to turn golden, this will take approximately 1 minute per side. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a bowl mix the paprika, smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, ground chilli, chipotle flakes, brown sugar and remaining salt to make the Mexican rub. Smear this evenly all over the meat ensuring that it is coated well.
  • Place the sliced onion, crushed garlic and finely chopped fresh chilli pepper into the slow cooker. Then melt the beef stock in the hot water and pour this in the cooker. Add the tomato paste, tomato passata, molasses and cider vinegar and stir through well.
  • Place the beef into the slow cooker carefully, ensuring that the rub stays on the meat and is not washed off by the stock. Cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4)
  • Once cooked, remove the meat from the cooking pot and cover with foil. Use the stock in the pot as a sauce for the meat, it should already have thickened due to the corn flour on the meat but to create a richer, stickier glaze place the sauce in a pan on the stove over a high heat for 15-20 minutes to thicken further.
  • While the sauce is thickening, take two forks and shred the beef. When the sauce is thickened pour this over the meat coating well and then serve with fresh tacos, salsas and sour cream.


Gluten free
This recipe does not contain gluten.
Half a red chilli pepper was used in this recipe to add heat to the sauce however, adjust the quantity of fresh and ground chilli according to taste and the strength of the fresh chilli being used.


Calories: 491kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 54gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 709mgPotassium: 1303mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1491IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 7mg
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