I’m truly shameless when it comes to shaking down other cooks for recipes. It’s worth it just for the surprising little tricks I learn, of which this is a prime example. A number of years ago, I was pestering a nice Mexican lady for the recipe for her dark, savory shredded beef, when she nonchalantly mentioned that she added Coca-Cola to the cooking liquid. I’ve heard many times since about the use of this “secret ingredient” in various recipes, from cakes to salad dressing to BBQ sauces. Mexican Coca-Cola definitely tastes different from American Coke—richer, sweeter, and more complex, possibly due to the use of cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup—but American Coke works fine. The flavor and dark color certainly add something special to this delicious broth, which is not sweet at all, but full of the flavor of dried chiles and tomatoes. Try to buy the beef chuck roast in a single thick piece, which will stay moister than small, thin pieces.