Monday, July 8, 2013

The Best Steak Fajitas

My family loves Mexican food.  But over the past few years, we've been pretty disappointed with the steak fajitas at our local Mexican joints.

After many disappointing dinning experiences, I set myself on a mission to make the best steak fajitas at home on our grill. And I can say with some confidence, based on my family and guests reactions, these are pretty darn good and rival some of the best steak fajitas we've had.

This recipe is an adaptation of one from Alton Brown.  If you are familiar with his old cooking shows, you know he's pretty methodical.

A great steak fajitas start with a marinade.  I also learned that having the right cut of meat is almost as important.  My favorite cut for fajitas is the flat iron. It is the most tender and downright tastiest cut there is for fajitas. Not gristle, very little fatty tissue.

These are the ingredients I combine with the steak in a zip lock bag and let it marinade all day.  If the particular steak I've purchased is a little on the thick side I cut it in half.  This makes it easier for me to grill to the desired medium without overcooking the thinner parts at the ends.

As soon as I start the grill, I drain the marinade into a skillet and add sliced onions and bell peppers.

Here are the four pieces of the flat iron on the grill. Notice the foil packets on the top? I try to remember to heat the tortillas here while the steaks are cooking.

Once the steaks appear cooked to our liking, I remove them to a plate and let them rest before slicing.

Honestly, this is a little rarer than I like, but not to worry.  I just toss the sliced steak into the skillet with the onions and peppers and let it cook down just a minute or two.  Actually, this just enhances the flavor so if you aren't sure, always err on the side of rare and let it simmer with the onions and peppers.

If you don't know what different cooking temperatures, well, medium, rare feel like I just go by this tip. I must not have checked this particular piece very good enough.

The Best Steak Fajitas


1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 green onions, coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or 1 tablespoon Agave Nectar
2 pounds flat iron, cut into 2 equal pieces
Enough Chipotle seasoning to lightly cover one side of the steak


Combine oil, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, lime juice, red pepper fl, cumin, and sugar and whisk together. In a large heavy duty, zip top bag, put pieces of skirt steak and pour in marinade. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Allow steak to marinate for 1 to 8 hours in refrigerator.

Remove steak from bag and reserve marinade for cooking onion mix in a skillet.

Preheat gas grill on high.

Cook using a cast iron skillet on grill or inside on cook top. Start cooking before placing the meat on preheated grill. Add marinade from beef to pan.

Lower grill heat to medium high and grill approximately 5 to 7 minutes on each side for skirt steaks between 1 and 1-½ pounds each. When the meat is cooked to your liking, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes, covering with foil.

After the resting period, remove meat from foil, reserving juices. Slice thinly across the grain of the meat and diagonally into finger-length strips. Return to platter and toss with juice. Serve with grilled peppers and onions, if desired.

If you'd like, you can add the steak to your pan of onions.  My family doesn't eat the onions and peppers so unless we have company or the meat came out too rare to our liking, I just serve separately.

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