Smoky Steak Fajita Recipe
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.
- If you don't have sour cream, try Greek yogurt.
- You can purchase the guacamole or click here for an easy recipe: Chunky Mexican Guacamole.
- If you´d rather make your own salsa, click on any of the following links: Fire-Roasted Green Chile Salsa, Best Homemade Mexican Salsa or Authentic Pico de Gallo.
- We use Mission yellow corn tortillas, which just happen to be gluten-free.
- Slicing steak against or across the grain is important for this tougher cut of meat.
- Try Trader Joe´s lemon pepper grinder for an infusion of flavor.
- See stir fry tips at the end of this page for restaurant-quality fajitas.
- Serve fajitas with Joshua´s Famous Margaritas.
Steak Fajita Recipe
- 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.
- Pour marinade over both sides of flank steak and allow to marinate for 2-8 hours.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stem, seed and slice bell & poblano peppers and onions. Sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper.
- 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.
- Thinly slice the steak against the grain. This is an important detail for this tough cut of beef.
- To assemble fajitas: Layer meat, veggies, toppings and salsa over a grilled tortilla. Serve with a salad and ice cold margaritas or limeade. Enjoy!
- 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.
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.