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Smoky Steak Fajita Recipe

Updated on January 19, 2014
vespawoolf profile image

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" & "Taste of Home" magazines. She belongs to "Cook's Recipe Testers" for Cooks Illustrated.

Favorite Steak Fajitas
Favorite Steak Fajitas | Source

Restaurant-Style Beef Fajitas

When I was a child, fajitas were my favorite dish. For one thing, they were served on an impressive, sizzling platter. And for another, it was fun to stuff my favorite ingredients into the warm tortillas.

As an adult, I realize that fajitas are one of the more expensive meals sold at Mexican restaurants. But the ingredients are not too expensive and fajitas are easy to make at home. Buy organic skirt steak and you have a healthy, not-too-expensive meal that your family is sure to enjoy.

Fajitas are traditionally made of beef, not chicken, although the other variations can also be delicious. "Fajita", in Spanish, is the name for the inexpensive cut of beef traditionally used in this Tex-Mex dish.

Some fajita recipes call for marinating the peppers and onions before sauteeing them. That only leads to soggy vegetables. What you really want is to stir-fry the vegetables, leaving them crisp-tender and flavorful. Please see the section "How to Stir Fry Vegetables" at the end of this page for 5 simple steps to perfect vegetables.

This kitchen-tested recipe yields flavorful fajitas. The meat, marinated and grilled, is moist, smoky and chewy. The veggies are crisp tender, not soggy. Top everything with creamy sour cream, guacamole and fresh salsa and you have restaurant-quality fajitas that are easy to make at home.

As a final touch, we sprinkle Trader Joe´s lemon pepper over the peppers and onions. Since the lemon pepper comes in a grinder, the freshly ground spices are bursting with flavor. Try it! This is bound to become your go-to recipe for a delicious Tex-Mex experience at home.


Tips:


5 stars from 7 ratings of Best Steak Fajitas

Steak Fajita Recipe

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Serves 4

Instructions

  1. To marinate the steaks: Heat ungreased skillet over medium heat. Add garlic cloves and peppers and turn occasionally, until both are softened and covered in black spots (5-10 minutes for the chiles; 10-15 minutes for the garlic cloves). Cool garlic and peel. Place chiles, garlic, 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 Tablespoons of oil and 2 teaspoons of salt in a blender container. Blend until smooth. The marinade should be very salty.
  2. Pour marinade over both sides of flank steak and allow to marinate for 2-8 hours.
  3. Heat grill to 400 F. Remove steak from the marinade and pat it dry. Place meat on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, until medium-rare to medium. Place on a plate and tent with foil.
  4. Brush both side of tortillas with vegetable oil. Place on grill, close lid and leave for about one minute. Open lid, flip tortillas and grill another minute, or until charred but still soft. Wrap tortillas in foil or a cotton kitchen towel to keep them warm.
  5. Stem, seed and slice bell & poblano peppers and onions. Sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper.
  6. Heat a large skillet on high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Saute vegetables for several minutes, until charred but still crisp tender. If your skillet isn't large enough, you may need to saute vegetables in 2-3 batches. Be careful not to crowd them.
  7. Thinly slice the steak against the grain. This is an important detail for this tough cut of beef.
  8. To assemble fajitas: Layer meat, veggies, toppings and salsa over a grilled tortilla. Serve with a salad and ice cold margaritas or limeade. Enjoy!

Fajita Ingredients

  • 1.5 - 2 lb. skirt steak
  • 6 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 3 bell peppers, red, orange and yellow
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 medium white onions
  • salt & lemon pepper*, to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream, for topping
  • 1 cup guacamole, for topping
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (for topping)
  • 1 cup green or red salsa**, for topping
  • 12 yellow corn tortillas***

What to Buy

* We prefer Trader Joe's lemon pepper grinder for this recipe

** Try Rick Bayless's jarred green salsa or see tips section for links to homemade salsa recipes.

*** Mission yellow corn tortillas are are moist, flavorful and also gluten-free.

How to Grill Tortillas

Heat oven or grill to 400 F. Use a pastry brush to oil the tortillas or mist them with cooking spray. Place tortillas on grill. Bake or grill approximately one minute, or until edges begin to char. Turn tortillas and grill one minute on the other side or until crispy.

Photo Gallery

Stir fry peppers & onions on high heat
Stir fry peppers & onions on high heat | Source
Mix up some guacamole
Mix up some guacamole | Source
Our assistant chef is slicing grilled flank steak against the grain
Our assistant chef is slicing grilled flank steak against the grain | Source
Serve while still hot
Serve while still hot | Source
Assemble the garnishes: guacamole, salsa, sour cream and cilantro
Assemble the garnishes: guacamole, salsa, sour cream and cilantro | Source
Pour the margaritas
Pour the margaritas | Source
It´s time to eat!
It´s time to eat!

How to Stir Fry

Stir Fry Tips

  • Use a deep stainless steel or cast iron skillet. Do not use a non-stick skillet.
  • Slice peppers and onions in even slices.
  • Dry vegetables thoroughly.
  • Wait until skillet is hot enough to skittle a drop of water across the surface. Then add oil and veggies.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan. Sauté vegetables in batches, if necessary.

Comments

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  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 2 years ago from America

    Love fajita and these look delicious. Great photos and instructions. Voted up

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Bethperry, I'm glad you and your hubby are going to try this out!

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 3 years ago from Tennesee

    Oh no, I read this too close to dinner time, and now you have me salivating! This fajita recipe does sound delicious; will have to share with hubby - I think he'd like to try it out.

    Voted up and thanks for sharing!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    GetitScene, I understand what you say about meat. I hope to get out some meatless recipes soon!

  • GetitScene profile image

    Dale Anderson 3 years ago from The High Seas

    5 stars! I rarely eat meat anymore but this recipe sounds delicious.

  • tabbykern profile image

    tabbykern 3 years ago

    Looks absolutely delicious I can't wait to try this recipe!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    PeggyW, I hope spring is truly on its way and you and your family can soon enjoy these delicious grilled fajitas. Thank you for your comment.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I don't think that I was using Pinterest when I first read this recipe. Will be pinning it now! With spring and summertime coming, we will be grilling more and this is such a good sounding recipe for the steak fajitas.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Thank you for coming by, Eddy.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

    A wonderful recipe for me to save and thank you for sharing.

    Eddy.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Rebeccamealey, thanks for your comment. I hope you have a good week!

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    These fajitas look great, and I like your tip on using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    That's a good question, Just Ask Susan. Skirt steak is the diaphragm muscle. Ask your butcher for the inner part, attached to the rib cage. Although it's not extremely tender, it is very flavorful and the marinade will tenderize it some. I hope you can try it soon!

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I love making and eating fajita's. Your recipe calls for skirt steak and I'm not sure what the cut of beef would be called here in Canada.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    You're welcome Bk42author.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Denise Handlon, it's so nice to hear from you! Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  • Bk42author profile image

    Brenda Thornlow 3 years ago from New York

    This sounds so good! Thanks for sharing!

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

    Tantalizing recipe, Vespa. I found your explanation of the word, 'fajita' interesting, too. The photos are very clear, colorful and helpful. Thanks for another great recipe. :) Up and across with a 5 star rating. Great job! (now I am hungry for a fajita...)

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    VVanNess, I made these fajitas last time we were visiting Phoenix. We bought the skirt steak at Sprouts and it really was delicious! I hope you can try it sometime, even though the meat isn't as delicious as in Texas. : )

  • VVanNess profile image

    Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

    Yum! I wish they sold skirt steaks out here in Arizona like they did in Texas. We've had to do our best to make do with the pieces of meat they do sell. These sound amazing! Great job!!

  • mylindaelliott profile image

    mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

    Oh my, it all looks so delicious. I'm hungry again.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    CraftytotheCore, these are delicious with homemade tortillas! Enjoy!

  • CraftytotheCore profile image

    CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

    These look delicious! I make homemade corn tortillas that would be decadent with this recipe! I've always been a fan of fajitas.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    IndieJoe, it's so nice to hear from you! Yes, the assistant is really the key to tender fajitas. Now if I could just get him to share his margarita recipe! : )

  • IndieJoe profile image

    IndieJoe 3 years ago

    Vespa, You've done it again! These fajitas look better than any restaurant that I've been to recently. KUDOs to your assistant for knowing that the steak should be cut cross grain. The margarita's look amazingly delicious too! Voted up.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    PeggyW, thanks for all your support! This is one of my husband's favorite meals and I enjoy preparing it as well. I hope you have a good week.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I love eating this type of meal. Your recipe sounds like a winner! You always do a great job with your photos and interlinking of other recipes.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Vacation Trip, thank you for your comment.

  • Vacation Trip profile image

    Susan 3 years ago from India

    Wow... That looks so yummy. Wonderful hub with great pics.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Thanks DeborahNeyens!

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

    There is something about a sizzling platter of fajitas, isn't there? Your photos are fantastic.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Thanks for your comment ChitrangadaSharan.

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

    This looks very interesting and tempting!

    I have not tried something like this before. But will definitely prepare now.

    Well presented and well illustrated with helpful pictures. Thanks for sharing the details!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Anglnwu, I'd love to have you for dinner! Thanks for the votes and comment.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    JoGoldsmith11, I'm glad thus gave you an idea for dinner. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 3 years ago

    Fajitas is one of my favorite and I always order that in the restaurant. Yours look so yummy, can I come over? Rated up across.

  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

    Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

    I love guacamole on this kind of food. This is so cool! I think I need to stop by more often to help with ideas on what to fix for dinner. I have always enjoyed fajitas, and sometimes, I will change off and use chicken instead of the traditional meat, steak. ect. Shared, tweeted and up! :-)

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    You're welcome, RTalloni!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

    This fajita recipe really does sound like it is bursting with flavor! Thanks much for sharing it with us.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Trusouldj, thanks for coming by.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Deborah-Diane, this is one of our favorite Tex-Mex recipes.

  • trusouldj profile image

    trusouldj 3 years ago from Indiana

    ok ... now i'm hungry. thanks a lot. :)

  • Deborah-Diane profile image

    Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

    We used to live in Texas and loved Fajitas. Your recipe sounds wonderful!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    DDE, I'm glad you enjoyed reading about these fajitas and hope you can try them someday!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    AliciaC, thank you for the kind words. We enjoy good food and love to share it with others! I hope you have a good week.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Smoky Steak Fajita Recipe is a unique recipe and looks so tasty with such lovely photos and the procedure is explained to the point it makes the hub even more interesting.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    These fajitas sound and look so flavorful, vespawoolf! I appreciate not only your lovely recipes but also the extra tips that you include in your recipe hubs. The hubs are very useful and the photos are great!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    GlimmerTwinFan, I'm glad you're going to try these fajitas. Of course, this is our go-to recipe and I hope it becomes yours, too. Enjoy and thank you for coming by.

  • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

    Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

    We love love love fajitas and are always looking for a good recipe. Am definitely saving this one. I like the addition of the lime juice. Another wonderful recipe vespawoolf!.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Lindacee, I'm glad you're going to make these tasty fajitas! The margaritas make it one of our favorite meals. Enjoy!

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 3 years ago from Southern Arizona

    I love that you test all of your recipes. That's the "seal of approval" as far as I'm concerned! I will definitely give this fajita recipe a try--and will revisit your Margarita Hub for something refreshing to wash them down! Voted up, awesome and interesting! :)

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Thelma Alberts, thanks for the comment, vote and pin!

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

    OMG! My mouth watered while looking at the photos. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Bookmark for later use. Voted up and pinned.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Suzanne Day, I'm glad you've decided to make these homemade fajitas! We enjoy them every chance we get. Thanks so much for the votes.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    FlourishAnyway, I hope your husband enjoys the fajitas. Since you don't eat beef, I think you would enjoy them just as much with the grilled tortillas, veggies, guacamole and salsa! Thanks so much for the votes and pin,

  • Suzanne Day profile image

    Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    The delicious fajita photo made me click and read your wonderful recipe. I have no idea how to make fajitas, but your recipe has cured me of that! I look forward to giving it a try soon. Rated and voted awesome ;)

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

    Although I don't eat beef, this gorgeous hub nearly makes me rethink it! My husband eats it, however, and might just be getting this if he is good. The margaritas look good, too. Voted up ++ and pinning.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Jackie Lynnley, you gave me a laugh! Thanks for checking out the guacamole recipe. It's our favorite way to make it...enjoy!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    pandula77, thank you for taking the time to comment.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Well, like a relative, I'm baaaaack, lol. Checked out your guacamole and discovered you are the one to teach me to use good ol'diced tomato, so guess it can't get no better, having been your recipe!

  • pandula77 profile image

    pandula77 3 years ago from Norway

    A delicious hub! Thanks for sharing and the pictures are lovely.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    Jackie Lynnley, I always enjoy your enthusiastic comments. I wish we were kin, too, and then I would have you over for these delicious fajitas. : ) Thanks for being the first one to drop by.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Oh, yum, I wish we were kin! lol I will fix this for sure and I am off to see your guacamole recipe, I make it and it is good but I will bet yours is better! Up and share

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