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Carne Mechada (Shredded Beef)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
Carne mechada is shredded meat that serves as a base for a number of recipes in Latin America, including as filling for empanadas and arepas.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Costa Rican, Latin American
Servings: 4 people
Author: Mike Benayoun
  • lb flank , skirt or brisket (in one piece)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper , chopped
  • 1 clove garlic , chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Lizano sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)
  • 1 carrot , cut in large pieces
  • ½ bunch cilantro , tied with kitchen string
  • 5 cups water
  1. Remove excess fat from meat.
  2. Add oil to pressure cooker and brown meat on all sides on medium-high heat.
  3. Sauté onion, bell pepper, garlic and incorporate carrot and cilantro.
  4. Season with salt, thyme, oregano, cumin, Lizano sauce and bay leaves.
  5. Add water to cover the meat completely.
  6. Cover the pressure cooker and cook for 1 hour from the sound of valve.
  7. Open the pressure cooker and let the meat broth cool.
  8. Remove cilantro and carrots.
  9. Strain the broth and return the meat to the broth.
  10. Keep meat in broth until ready to use.
  11. Shred meat (long or short threads) with a fork and knife (or two forks) and add a little broth to keep it moist.