January 1, 2013

Copycat Cafe Rio Shredded Beef Tacos

 It's 2013!  
The year 2012 seemed to fly bye, yet when I think of certain things that happened throughout the year, they seem so long ago.  I have a good feeling 2013 is going to be an amazing year.

*First things first, I have a few housekeeping items to get out of the way* 
I finally signed up for Google+.  If anyone has any tips with how to use it, I'd love to hear them.  

Next, you asked and I listened.  I kept getting requests to add a "pin it" button to my posts and I finally did it.  I added the button to each of my pictures.  If you find it isn't working properly, please let me know.

Now, onto the good stuff!
If I order a taco at Cafe Rio, I get their Shredded Beef and I always order a side of the house dressing.  I have seen (and tried) so many copycat Cafe Rio recipes, but this was the first time I had seen a copycat recipe for their shredded beef.  

The flavor was delicious.  My only problem was I either undercooked my roast or overcooked my roast, because I wasn't able to shred it.  It was still juicy, it just didn't fall apart like usual when I cook a roast.  I blame it on my slow-cooker.  I ended up cutting it into strips (like their steak).

When topped with the copycat dressing, it tasted pretty darn close to the real thing.  I just need to figure out how to cook my roast properly and I think this will become a new favorite. 

Next on my list to try is a Copycat Cafe Rio Rice Recipe.  Anyone tried one and liked it?      

You might also like:
Cafe Rio Type Salads
 Copycat Cafe Rio Shredded Beef Tacos
1 small onion
2 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast
1 c. low-sodium beef broth
1 Tbl. ground cumin + extra to taste
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (14 oz.) can green enchilada sauce
1-2 Tbl. tomato paste
salt, to taste

For serving:
tomatillo dressing, see recipe below
soft corn or flour tortillas
black or pinto beans
spanish rice
diced tomato
chopped cilantro
Feta cheese
Monterey or Cheddar cheese, shredded

Cut the onion into large, chunky slices; place on the bottom of slow-cooker.  Place the roast on top of the onions.  Combine broth, 1 Tablespoon cumin, garlic and tomato sauce; pour over the top of the roast.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.  Transfer meat to a cutting board; use two forks to shred the beef.  Strain the juices from the slow-cooker, reserving the juice.  Transfer shredded meat back to the slow-cooker and pour some of the strained juices over the shredded beef (as much as you prefer).  Stir in the enchilada sauce and tomato paste (I added one Tablespoon).  Season with salt and extra cumin, to taste.  Serve in taco shells with desired toppings.  Serves: 8  

Tomatillo Dressing
1/2 (1 oz.) pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch mix
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. mayonnaise (I used light)
2 medium tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed well
1/2 - 1 garlic clove, to taste
1/2 small bunch cilantro
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 small jalapeno, seeds removed

Put all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Taste and adjust any flavors as needed.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Yield: about 2 cups

Jenn's Notes:  I wouldn't change anything with the above ingredients and measurements.  I loved the flavor of the beef and the tomatillo dressing.  



  1. looks divine...i love me some cafe rio!! we eat there every time we go visit our family in utah...and oh, the joy!! can't wait to try this!

    1. I love me some Cafe Rio too! I think you'll love the beef. -Jenn

  2. Thanks for the pin it!

  3. Thank you, I'm going to love this. Cafe Rio is my favorite place to eat.
    Have a great week.
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

    1. It is my favorite place to eat too! I think you'll love the shredded beef. - Jenn

  4. That sounds great, dinner tomorrow!

  5. If your slow cooked meat doesn't fall apart you haven't cooked it for long enough! It takes a lot of time for those connective tissues to break all the way down, so if it doesn't shred it needs to cook for longer. Hope that helps. Happy cooking!

    1. Thanks for the tip - that is kinda what I was thinking. I will definitely cook it longer next time. -Jenn

  6. This looks amazing! Now I want this for breakfast!

  7. Outstanding!!! Just pinned this. I love Mexican Food!!!

    Have a super great week!!

  8. I have to try this one, love Mexican food!!

  9. Made it for my family tonight. Was told to ditch the old recipe for this one. thanks Jen!

    1. That is awesome, I'm so glad everyone liked it!

  10. I had the same problem with my slow cooker. When I was first married I had this Rival Slow cooker and everything was a disaster. I ended up getting a Hamilton Beach slow cooker and voila moist meat that shreds! I can't tell you how much teasing I got from my husband until I could prove it wasn't me. One other thing that helps is browning the chuck roast on all sides in olive oil...it keeps the juices in. Excited to try this recipe out...especially the tomatillo dressing.

    1. Thanks for the tip!! I definitely need a new slow cooker. If you end up trying this recipe, let me know what you think. -Jenn

  11. Made already at least 5 times, people love it perfect!


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