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Braised Beef Shank Tacos

Try our recipe for Braised Beef Shank Tacos, a simple and tasty meal that everyone can enjoy. This recipe makes beef shank a delicious main ingredient for tacos, salads, burritos, or enchiladas. Most of the cooking effort is waiting, allowing all the flavors to develop effortlessly.

Braised Beef Shank Tacos

Braised Beef Shank Tacos

The beef shank cut is very flavorful and tender, so it’s perfect for slow-cooking. This recipe is beautiful because it is easy to follow. The beef cooks slowly, so you can do other things or just relax.

The versatility of this dish is a major bonus. After cooking, the beef can shine in many dishes, like tacos, burrito bowls, or enchiladas. People love using it for meal planning and last-minute meals because it can be adapted to any recipe.

For cooking, you have options to suit your convenience and equipment. You can braise on a stovetop or use a pellet grill or smoker. Each method gives the meat a unique flavor. Cook the beef slowly on the stovetop to wrap it in gentle heat. Use a pellet grill or smoker for a subtle smoky flavor that enhances the natural flavors of the beef.

The dish tastes great and uses simple techniques to make amazing results. The Braised Beef Shank Tacos are delicious because they’re cooked slowly, which enhances the flavor and makes the meat so tender! Whether you’re cooking for a quick weeknight dinner or a special gathering, these tacos are sure to impress.

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Bonus Points For Enjoying The Bone Marrow

One of the great things about beef shanks is the big piece of bone that is in the middle of this cut of meat. Inside that bone is bone marrow. After the meat is braised for a while, the bone marrow will become what we affectionately call, “beef butter”. It is one of the most decadent bites and flavors that you will ever taste.

Why you’ll love this dish…

  • SUPER tender and flavorful!
  • Easy to prepare.
  • Three words. Beef. Bone. Marrow.

75+ Recipes For Taco Tuesday

Braised Beef Shank Tacos

Braised Beef Shank Tacos shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Beef shanks
  • El Pato Salsa Fresco (Yellow can)
  • Granulated garlic
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Jalapeño pepper

Enjoy with a Classic Margarita!

Braised Beef Shank Tacos

How to make Braised Beef Shank Tacos

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.



Prep your meat by mixing together the seasonings and sprinkling all over both sides of the beef shank.



Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat-high heat. Brown both sides of the beef shank.



Cover, and add the rest of the ingredients and braise for 3-4 hours, or until fork tender.

(The bone marrow will be ready to scoop out and enjoy after about an hour, though, if you’ll be partaking in that!)



Once tender, remove from the pot and shred. Discard the bones and return the shredded meat to the pot with the braising liquid.



Load up into tacos, burritos or nachos, or serve on a salad with all of your favorite fixings!

Have some Blackstone Tacos, too!

Braised Beef Shank Tacos

Beef Shank Tacos FAQ

Can this recipe be made in advance?

Yes! This recipe is perfect to make ahead of time. The meat stays tender and juicy even for a reheat, so you can prep an easy dinner or lunch for the whole week.

What’s the best way to store and reheat the leftovers?

Store these in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave until they are steaming hot.

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Braised Beef Shank Tacos
Braised Beef Shank Tacos

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Braised Beef Shank Tacos
Yield: 4 servings

Braised Beef Shank Tacos

Braised Beef Shank Tacos

These decadent braised beef tacos are made with beef shanks for the biggest, beefiest flavor you can imagine. We love this cut for so many things, but especially for these tacos!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes


  • 2 pounds beef shank
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cans El Pato salsa fresco
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 whole jalapeño pepper


  1. Combine garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and cumin in a bowl.
  2. Rub the spice mixture onto the beef shanks evenly.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  4. Place beef shanks in the Dutch oven and brown on both sides.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Add two cans of salsa fresco, water, and jalapeño pepper to the pot.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer for 3 hours.
  7. After 3 hours, remove the lid and test meat tenderness with a fork. If it shreds easily, proceed to the next step. If not, cover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  8. Once the meat is tender, remove beef shanks from the pot.
  9. Shred the meat, discarding bones.
  10. Return shredded meat to the pot with the braising liquid.
  11. Stir to combine.
  12. Turn off the heat. Serve the shredded beef in tacos with your choice of condiments.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 525Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 177mgSodium: 744mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 77g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.


Monday 15th of January 2024

I tried this recipe last weekend and it was so delicious! I love how tender and juicy the beef was. I just added chopped onions and more jalapenos for extra spice!


Sunday 14th of January 2024

I never thought about using beef shanks for tacos, but these were so addictive. Thank you for the great recipe.


Friday 12th of January 2024

Sundays mean taco nights for my family. I made this and the meat was so easy to shred and it was so flavorful. I did use the extra juices by making it as a sauce for our taco and added some spice to it.


Friday 12th of January 2024

We made burritos with this recipe on Sunday and the meat was fantastic. I had never tried bone butter before, but you are right. It was delicious. Thanks for sharing that tip :)

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