(Pretend like there’s a picture of ridiculously tasty fajitas here.)
Whenever we go out for Mexican food (which is more that I’d like to admit because I’m addicted to cheese enchiladas), the Irishman orders fajitas. When they come out in all of their sizzling and smoking goodness, he always comments on how great the meat is seasoned. As always, I made a mental note and waited until I was craving fajitas (well, a veggie version) until I decided to tackle the mystery behind the seasoning. Turns out, it’s all in how you marinate the meat. And the best part is that you use an inexpensive cut of meat (flank or skirt steak) so it’s budget-friendly as well as seriously tasty.
Here’s the marinade for the flank steak:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1.5 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. Cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Honestly, I usually just eyeball the amounts of everything listed above as I pour it into a gallon ziplock bag. Then I toss in the flank steak, give it a good massage. I toss it in the fridge and, (are you ready for this?) forget about for 24 hours. Trust me, you want to let it marinate for that long so that the flavors meld and infuse the meat.
Once the marinating is done, the fajitas come together in less than 10 minutes. Thinly slice one large onion and a couple of peppers. I usually just do green peppers, but if you want it to be pretty, you can mix the colors up. You want to make sure that the green peppers are very thinly sliced because they generally take longer than the onions to cook.
Remove your steak from the marinade, but keep the juices. We’re going to use them to season the fajitas. Slice your meat against the grain into long slices about a 1/2 inch thick. Alright, now it’s time to cook!
Go ahead and heat your large skillet on medium-high, add in some olive oil and throw your peppers into the pan. I usually give them a good 4 minute head start on the onions and the meat. After those 4 minutes are up, dump in the meat, onion slices and the reserved juices. Now, kick up that heat to high so that the juices will come up to a boil (and kill any bacteria hanging out in there). After about 60 seconds of boiling, bring that heat back to medium and cook until the meat is done to your liking and the onions and green peppers are nice and soft.
When the fajita filling is done, I usually throw a small skillet on the stove and set the heat to medium. I toss each individual tortilla on there for about 30-60 seconds on each side just to heat them up and soften them a bit.
Finally, pile on your fajita filling and add whatever extras you’re into – sour cream, guacamole, diced tomatoes, cheese, taco sauce… So deliciously good and easy – perfect for weeknights!