These slow cooker jerk-inspired beef tacos are full of Caribbean flavor, and are served wrapped in tortillas, topped with a sweet mango salsa. The perfect blend of spicy, sweet and savory.
When you're craving tropical flavors, these tacos are where. it's. at.
Adapted from my favorite jerk chicken marinade, this recipe combines delicious earthy spices like allspice, nutmeg and thyme, with a kick from jalapenos (because scotch bonnets are SPICY!), sour lime juice, and savory onion and garlic.
These ingredients infuse so much Caribbean flavor into the beef as it cooks, and it's perfect topped with a sweet mango salsa.
Reasons you’ll ♡ jerk-inspired beef tacos
- no sautéing means you can get the ingredients into the slow cooker quickly
- they make a big batch and you can freeze leftover beef
- the spicy and slightly earthy flavors of the beef pair so well with the sweet mango salsa
Watch the video below to see exactly how I prepped these tacos. It’s so easy! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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What is Jamaican jerk?
Jerk refers to a Jamaican style of cooking which involves dry or wet marinade on chicken, pork, seafood or beef, followed by smoking it over pimento wood (which is from the allspice plant)(1). Traditionally the jerk paste or marinade includes scotch bonnet peppers as well as allspice, thyme, and a variety of other ingredients, though the recipes can vary greatly by chef (2).
These jerk-inspired beef tacos were inspired by traditional Jamaican jerk flavors, but cooked in the slow cooker and served in tortillas. If you'd like to add some smoky flavor to your beef after slow cooking, feel free to place it on a sheet pan under the broiler for a few minutes, until crispy and slightly charred. If you are looking for an authentic Jamaican jerk recipe, check out this one!
The best cut of beef for this recipe
The slow cooker presents a wonderful opportunity to cook tough, cheap cuts of beef. While they cook low and slow, the tough collagen fibres melt into the beef, making it tender and juicy.
Feel free to use a brisket, chuck roast, inside round, or blade roast, but any cut of beef will work well for this recipe.
Start by prepping the sauce
Grab your food processor, and add the onion, garlic, jalapenos (seeds out), lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, thyme leaves, allspices, black pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Whew! That's a lot of ingredients, but the earthy spices, spicy peppers, savory aromatics, sweet brown sugar and sour lime juice all work together to create incredible layers of flavor that are going to infuse into the beef while cooking.
The mango salsa
The heavier jerk-inspired beef goes so well with a fresh, bright, mango salsa. Not only does this add some sweetness to contrast the spiciness of the beef, but it also makes the meal feel less heavy.
To our mango salsa, we are adding mango cubes, diced shallots, cilantro leaves and lime juice. Mix it all together just before you serve, as this salsa will not keep for more than an hour.
The finishing touches
When you are ready to serve the jerk-inspired beef tacos, a few tips can make your prep go easier and your meal taste even better:
- transfer the cooked beef to a large bowl, and shred using an electric hand mixer (this makes the shredding SO much easier!)
- toss the shredded beef back in the cooking liquid so that it can absorb more flavor
- take the time to toast your tortillas over a gas flame or, on the grill, or in a frying pan. This gives them added flavor and improves the texture as well
- serve with yogurt or sour cream for a dose of creaminess
Storage + meal prep tips
- fridge- after cooking, beef can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 4 days
- reheat- reheat in a frying pan, or in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes
- freezer- freeze for up to 3 months
- thaw- thaw overnight in the fridge before rewarming in a frying pan or in the oven
More slow cooker recipes
- Crock Pot Pulled Pork
- Crock Pot White Chicken Chili
- Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Slow Cooker Smoky Turkey Chili
- Slow Cooker Honey Lime Chicken
Slow Cooker Caribbean Beef
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 jalapeños deseeded and chopped
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 lb beef roast see note 1
- 2 mangos cut small
- 2 shallots diced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro loosely packed
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 8 small tortillas
- Greek yogurt
Slow Cooker Caribbean Beef:
- Place all ingredients except beef into a food processor, puree until smooth. Scrape into slow cooker; place beef on top and smear with the sauce.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours, until beef is cooked through and tender. Remove from sauce, shred with two forks. Stir sauce in with shredded beef to taste. Start with ½ cup and add more to taste.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover until ready to serve.
- Spread tortilla with beef. Top with mango. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt, if desired.
- fridge– after cooking, beef can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 4 days
- reheat– reheat in a frying pan, or in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes
- freezer– freeze for up to 3 months
- thaw– thaw overnight in the fridge before rewarming in a frying pan or in the oven
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- Marinade adapted from Gourmet