This Authentic Beef Tinga Recipe is made with chuck roast, olive oil, red onion, garlic, jalapeños, chipotle peppers, and diced tomatoes.
Beef Tinga is a traditional Mexican dish that is known for its bold flavors and hearty texture. The dish typically features tender beef that is cooked in a tomato-based sauce infused with smoky chipotle peppers, onions, and spices. The chipotle peppers add a distinct smokiness and mild heat to the dish, while the tomato-based sauce provides a tangy and slightly sweet flavor profile.
The beef for Tinga can be either shredded or diced, depending on personal preference. It is typically cooked until it is tender and can easily be pulled apart with a fork. The dish is often made with beef cuts such as brisket, chuck roast, or flank steak, which are well-suited for slow cooking to achieve a tender and flavorful result.
Beef Tinga is a versatile dish and can be served in various ways. It is commonly used as a filling for tacos, tostadas, or burritos, where it is typically topped with garnishes such as chopped cilantro, diced onions, and crumbled queso fresco or queso añejo. It can also be served over rice or as a stew with tortillas or bread on the side.
This is a simple Tinga de res recipe used in a ton of Mexican dishes. With this Tinga de res, you can make tacos, tostadas and gorditas. You can make this in a dutch oven, instant pot or a slow cooker.
What is Beef Tinga?
Beef Tinga is a Mexican dish that originated in the Puebla region of Mexico. It is a flavorful stew made with shredded or diced beef that is typically cooked in a tomato-based sauce with smoky chipotle peppers, onions, and spices. The dish is known for its rich and tangy flavor profile, with a hint of smokiness from the chipotle peppers. Beef Tinga is often served with tortillas or rice and is commonly used as a filling for tacos, tostadas, or burritos. It is a popular comfort food in Mexico and is enjoyed for its bold and savory flavors.
Beef Tinga Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Chuck Roast
- Olive oil
- Red onion
- Chipotle pepper
- Diced tomatoes
See recipe card for Beef Tinga Recipe quantities.
How to make Beef Tinga
See video below for step by step instructions.
- Heavy Pot/Dutch Oven: In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil. On medium high heat, add the meat and sear the meat on both sides, about 3-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the steak. After meat is brown, remove and set aside on a plate. Add the red onion, garlic, jalapeños, and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the diced tomato, water, and chipotle pepper. Bring to a boil and add the meat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1.5 hours. Continue to step 3.
- Cook in Slow Cooker/Pressure Cooker: Place chopped onion, minced garlic, chuck roast, jalapeños, chipotle pepper, diced tomatoes and water. For Slow Cooker: Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours. For Pressure Cooker: Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes. Quick release after. Continue to step 3.
- Preheat oven to broil (optional for crispiness). When the meat is done, use tongs to take the meat out and place on a baking dish. Using two forks, shred the meat. Reserve ½ cup of the juice.
- Put the shredded meat in the oven to broil for 5 minutes. This will crisp the ends of the meat and provide a delicious texture! Serve.
- Take the meat out of the oven and garnish with chopped cilantro.
What to serve with Beef Tinga
- Tortillas: Beef Tinga is commonly served with tortillas, such as corn tortillas or flour tortillas, which can be used to make tacos, tostadas, or burritos. Warm up the tortillas on a griddle or in a dry skillet before serving for added flavor and pliability.
- Rice: Cooked rice, such as white or brown rice, can be served alongside Beef Tinga to provide a neutral and filling base for the stew. You can also season the rice with some lime juice, cilantro, or diced tomatoes for added freshness and flavor.
- Beans: Beans, such as black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans, can be served as a side dish or a topping for Beef Tinga. They add protein and fiber to the meal, and their earthy flavors complement the smoky and tangy flavors of the beef stew.
- Mexican-style Salsas: Salsas, such as salsa verde or pico de gallo, can add a burst of flavor to Beef Tinga. These fresh and tangy condiments can be served as a side dish or a topping for tacos, tostadas, or burritos, and they can be made with ingredients such as tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice.
- Chuck roast: You will need a tough meat for this recipe that can be simmered for a long period of time. You can use other tough meats can be chuck eye, shoulder roast, shoulder steak, or another lean cut beef like top round roast or bottom round roast. All work perfectly fine for this recipe.
- Olive oil: You can use olive oil although vegetable oil works just as well.
- Onion: I used a red onion as most Mexican dishes use red onions. You could use a white or yellow onion as well.
- Jalapeños: I used jalapeños but serrano peppers work just as well.
- Chipotle pepper: This is optional if you like the extra heat. I like the earthy taste chipotle peppers give. Chipotle peppers in a can will be found in the ethnic food section of your local grocery store.
- Tomatoes: You can use fresh diced tomatoes, but to cut down prep time I like using from a can. You can also opt for the diced tomatoes with peppers in them!
Beef Tinga Recipe Variations
- Chicken Tinga: While the traditional version of Tinga is made with beef, you can easily substitute chicken for beef to create Chicken Tinga. Simply use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts instead of beef and adjust the cooking time accordingly, as chicken generally cooks faster than beef.
- Pork Tinga: Another common variation of Tinga is Pork Tinga, which uses pork instead of beef. You can use pork shoulder or pork butt, which are well-suited for slow cooking and will result in tender and flavorful meat. Pork Tinga can have a slightly different flavor profile compared to beef Tinga, as pork has its own distinct taste.
- Spiciness Level: The spiciness level of Beef Tinga can be adjusted to suit individual preferences. You can increase or decrease the amount of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or use a milder chili pepper such as poblano or Anaheim pepper instead of chipotle for a less spicy version. You can also add additional spices, such as paprika or cayenne pepper, to adjust the heat level to your liking.
- Tomato-based vs. Broth-based: Traditional Beef Tinga is typically made with a tomato-based sauce, but you can also use a broth-based sauce by substituting tomato sauce with beef or chicken broth. This can result in a lighter and less tomato-forward version of Tinga, with a focus on the meat and other flavors.
Check out my friend Angela's Beef Stew.
You can always use the leftover meat to make Birria Tacos - just skip to step 3.
- Instant Pot or pressure cooker: An Instant Pot or pressure cooker is the key equipment for making Beef Tinga quickly and easily. It allows for pressure cooking, which helps to tenderize the beef and infuse the flavors in a short amount of time.
- Cutting board and knife: You'll need a cutting board and a sharp knife to chop and prepare the ingredients, such as the beef, onions, and garlic.
- Measuring cups and spoons: You'll need measuring cups and spoons to accurately measure the ingredients for the recipe, such as liquids, spices, and other seasonings.
- Spatula or wooden spoon: A spatula or wooden spoon is useful for stirring and sautéing the ingredients in the Instant Pot, and for scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent burning.
- Kitchen timer: A kitchen timer can be helpful to keep track of cooking times, especially when using the pressure cooking function on the Instant Pot.
- Optional: Immersion blender or regular blender. If you prefer a smoother sauce for your Beef Tinga, you may want to use an immersion blender or a regular blender to blend the sauce until smooth. This is optional and depends on your desired consistency for the dish.
- Serving dishes and utensils: Finally, you'll need serving dishes and utensils to plate and serve your delicious Beef Tinga. This can include bowls, plates, forks, spoons, and any other serving utensils you prefer.
How to store Beef Tinga
- Allow the Beef Tinga to cool to room temperature. It's important not to store hot or warm food in the refrigerator, as it can raise the overall temperature of the fridge and affect the quality and safety of other perishable items.
- Transfer the Beef Tinga to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Make sure the container or bag is clean and dry before storing the Beef Tinga to prevent any cross-contamination or spoilage.
- Label the container or bag with the date of preparation. This will help you keep track of how long the Beef Tinga has been in the refrigerator and ensure that you use it within a safe timeframe.
- Store the Beef Tinga in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. It's best to consume it within this timeframe to maintain optimal flavor and quality.
Beef Tinga Recipe Top tips
- Choose the right cut of beef: Beef Tinga is typically made with a tougher cut of beef, such as chuck roast or brisket, that benefits from long, slow cooking to become tender and flavorful. Choose a well-marbled cut with good connective tissue that will break down during cooking to create a rich and flavorful dish.
- Use the Instant Pot for faster cooking: While traditional Beef Tinga is simmered on the stovetop for hours, you can use the Instant Pot to significantly shorten the cooking time. The pressure cooking function of the Instant Pot helps to tenderize the meat quickly and infuse the flavors into the dish.
- Add smoky flavors: Authentic Beef Tinga often has a smoky flavor from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. You can adjust the amount of chipotle peppers to your preference for spiciness and smokiness. You can also add other smoky ingredients, such as smoked paprika or smoked salt, to enhance the flavor profile of your Beef Tinga.
- Add fresh garnishes for freshness: Beef Tinga is often served with fresh garnishes, such as chopped cilantro, diced onions, crumbled queso fresco, or sliced avocado, to add a burst of freshness and balance out the rich flavors of the dish. Consider adding these fresh toppings when serving your Beef Tinga for added texture and flavor.
- Adjust seasoning to taste: Taste your Beef Tinga as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or other seasonings to suit your personal preference. Remember that flavors can intensify as the dish cooks, so it's best to start with less seasoning and add more gradually as needed.
- Make ahead for better flavor: Like many stews and braised dishes, Beef Tinga often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have a chance to meld and develop. Consider making it ahead of time and allowing it to sit in the refrigerator overnight to deepen the flavors and enhance the overall taste of the dish.
- Serve with traditional accompaniments: Beef Tinga is typically served with traditional Mexican accompaniments, such as corn tortillas, rice, beans, or roasted vegetables. Consider serving your Beef Tinga with these side dishes to complete the meal and create an authentic dining experience.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove