Citrus Braised Beef


Use this citrusy, bright, sweet, savory slow-braised beef as a base for truly anything you want. I love it just as much in flour tortillas and eaten as tacos as I do served over polenta or rice. It freezes well, will last for days in the fridge, and the salsa that gets served alongside will single-handedly change your life.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 4 hrs 45 mins

Screenshot 2024-03-01 at 7.42.25 AM


  • 3 navel oranges
  • 2 limes
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 6 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 white onions
  • 3 jalapeños


  • kosher salt
  • ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • olive oil, for drizzling ortillas or rice, for serving


  • 3 ½ lb boneless beef chuck roast (whole if possible, if not chunks is fine)

1. Season the beef:

  • Cut a 3 ½ pound boneless chuck roast into 4 or 5 large chunks– about 3” thick and wide each. Season the beef all over generously with salt. You can proceed with the recipe here or let it sit in seasoning overnight.

2. Make the braising liquid:

  • Using a veg peeler, peel 4 thick, wide strips of zest from one of the oranges. Set the zest aside.
  • In the base of a blender, combine ¾ cup distilled white vinegar, 10 garlic cloves, ½ bunch cilantro, 1 packed tablespoon of fresh oregano, the juice and pulp of 3 oranges and 2 limes, 3 tablespoons of honey, 2 teaspoons salt. Trim the stems of 3 jalapenos, cut them in half and cut the jalapenos into 1” pieces. Add the jalapenos to the blender and blend on medium speed until a green, speckly puree forms.
  • Pour out and set aside ½ cup of the salsa (keep chilled until ready to serve)

3. Braise:

  • Preheat the oven to 325.
  • Peel and thinly slice 2 white onions (reserve a big handful of the raw onions for garnishing your tacos or rice bowl later on.) Scatter the sliced onions in the bottom of a large Dutch oven.
  • Place the chunks of beef on top of the onions, and scatter the orange zest around them. Drizzle the whole thing with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Pour the braising liquid all over the beef and onions. Add 1 ¼ cups water to the pot. Set the pot over medium high heat and bring the liquid to a simmer. As soon as it simmers, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and transfer to the oven to braise for 3 ½ hours, basting with some of its juices once every hour and returning the lid,, until the beef is fork tender and shreddable.
  • Remove from the oven, increase the oven temp to 425. Remove the lid and scoot any onions off the surface of the beef to expose the flesh. Use a spoon to kind of prop the beef up so it’s sticking out of the liquid by a bit. Return the pot to the oven (once at temperature) and cook until the beef that is exposed is caramelized and sizzling, and the braising liquid has reduced to a nice thick stew-y consistency, about 15 minutes.

4. Shred and serve:

  • Use two forks to shred the beef into smaller pieces and give it a stir to submerge it in its cooking liquid. Taste a bit and see if it needs more salt, and add more at this point if needed.
  • Coarsely chop the remaining half a bunch of cilantro.
  • Serve with cilantro, the reserved salsa, and the reserved raw onions, along with warmed tortillas, rice or whatever starchy business you’ve got going on!

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