Side Dishes to Serve With Carne Deshebrada

Carne deshebrada is comfort food in a flavorful tomato sauce with onions, olives, peppers, and cilantro. It’s usually served with rice for a full meal, but there are other side dishes you can pair with this delectable food. Check it out down below!

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What Is Carne Deshebrada?

Carne deshebrada is a traditional Mexican dish made by simmering meat with spices until it’s tender and shredding. Carne means “meat” in English, and deshebrada means “shredded.” Although “carne” can refer to any meat, this recipe mostly refers to beef.

Once prepared, you can use this Mexican shredded beef in various recipes. Tacos, sopes, and quesadillas are examples of street food, to classic stews and salads such as Salpicón de res.

It is customary in Mexico to cook carne deshebrada with a lot of water so you can use the beef broth to make soups, sauces, and stews.

Where Did Carne Deshebrada Come From?

As you might expect, carne deshebrada translates to shredded beef. It’s a popular dish in many Latin countries. Its name may differ slightly in different countries, but it all refers to the same dish.

In Cuba, for example, it is known as ropa vieja, whereas in Venezuela, it’s known as carne mechada. So it’s difficult to say where it came from. Some say it happened in Mexico, while others believe it happened in Venezuela. In any case, carne deshebrada is simply delicious!

Carne Deshebrada Recipe


Cooking the Beef to Shred

  • 10 cups water
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin or chuck roast (most fats removed) cut into two-inch pieces.
  • 1 anaheim chile or jalapeño stemmed (seeds are okay)
  • 1/2 large onion (yellow or white)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

To Make the Chile Sauce

Arbol peppers

  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 5 stemmed and seeded guajillo peppers
  • 3 Arbol chile peppers
  • 1 stemmed and seeded pasilla pepper

To Make the Shredded Beef Ranchero Style

  • 2 tbsp avocado or vegetable oil
  • 6 large peeled carrots cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small onion (white or yellow)
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes or 1 large tomato ( about 350 grams)
  • 1 celery stick
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups chile sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (add more as desired)
  • 1 pound of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • the cooked shredded beef


Preparing the Beef for Shredding

raw beef meat

  1. In a big pot, combine the beef, onion, jalapeno or anaheim chile, garlic, celery, and spices with ten to twelve cups of water and cover.
  2. Turn on high heat, then reduce to medium and cook for 2 hours, or until it’s tender enough to shred easily.
  3. As soon as the water and beef begin to boil, a foam will form that can be removed with a spoon. This will make the broth clearer. Maintain a close watch on the heat to prevent the water from boiling over.
  4. Place the beef in a bowl to cool. Then shred using two forks or your fingers.
  5. You should save four cups of the stock for the chiles and stew recipe. The remaining broth can be refrigerated for up to 10 days and used to make soups or other recipes.

How to Make Chile Sauce

  1. Remove the chiles’ seeds and stem. To remove dust, rinse with cool water.
  2. Add the guajillo, pasilla peppers, and garlic to a large pot with three to four cups of water (enough to cover the chiles).
  3. Bring your soup mixture to a gentle boil and allow it to cook for five minutes. Take the pot out from the heat and leave the chiles in hot water for ten minutes.
  4. Combine the chiles, garlic, and two cups of reserved beef stock in a blender. To fit everything in, you may need to do this in two batches.
  5. For a few minutes, puree the ingredients. Using a colander, strain the pureed sauce.
  6. Make Mexican-style braised shredded beef.
  7. Heat the oil in a huge pot over medium-high heat.
  8. For about four minutes, sauté the carrots, onions, and celery.
  9. Sauté the tomatoes for two minutes.
  10. Combine the potatoes, two cups of broth, chile sauce, and spices in a mixing bowl. When it begins boiling, reduce your heat to medium and cook for ten minutes.
  11. Mix in the shredded beef and a quarter cup of cilantro. Cook for ten more minutes until your potatoes are soft in the center.
  12. Serve immediately with tortillas and beans.

Side Dishes That Go Well With Carne Deshebrada

Carne deshebrada is frequently served with a starchy side dish to help keep you satisfied. It is unusual to see someone eat only carne deshebrada for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Carne deshebrada is usually served with a starchy dish, such as tortillas or bread because these options absorb the juice from the beef and keep you fuller for longer. To balance out the rich flavor of the meat, serve carne deshebrada with a vegetable dish.

To balance out the rich flavor of the meat, serve carne deshebrada with a vegetable dish. Here are other side dishes to serve carne deshebrada with.

Corn Tortillas

corn tortillas on a green background

If a carne deshebrada sandwich isn’t your thing, try carne deshebrada tacos. Serve your shredded beef with vegetables, corn tortillas, and sauce. You can make a delicious taco in minutes to relish at any time of day.


The most common way of eating carne deshebrada is as a sandwich (check out the best BBQ sandwiches In Austin!), with the meat sandwiched between two buns. You can add vegetables to make this sandwich more flavorful and healthier. A carne deshebrada sandwich is a nutritious, quick breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner option.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables make an exceptional side dish for your juicy and tender carne deshebrada. Including vegetables in your meals is a simple way to improve the health and nutrition of your diet. The crunchy texture of most green vegetables can also be a good accompaniment to the tender meat.

Platanos Fritos

Platanos Fritos is among the simplest and most delicious side dishes you will ever encounter in Latin cooking. They have a delightfully sweet flavor that does not overpower any dish, including carne deshebrada. They’re also incredibly simple to make!

Macaroni and Cheese

Serve your carne deshebrada with mac and cheese to fill you up. This creamy side dish goes well with many different meals, particularly savory dishes like this one. There are also several recipes for mac and cheese that use herbs, spices, and different types of cheese, giving you many more options.

Rice Pilaf

Rice pilaf is a popular dish in Central and South Asia and the Middle East. This flavorful rice dish is simple to prepare and full of flavor. When mixed with carne deshebrada, rice pilaf looks and tastes even better.