Although Texans would like to claim the fajita as theirs, it was actually invented by Mexican ranch workers in West Texas during the late 1930s to early 1940s. After butchering a steer, the workers got the least desirable portions as part of their payment. The workers took this as an opportunity to turn skirt steak (the toughest beef cut) into a delicious treat. The word "fajita" comes from the Spanish word "faja" which means girdle. Fajitas are the perfect example of Tex-Mex as it combines Mexican ranchero and Texas cowboy foods. Despite the original meaning, fajitas now include any food which is served in a nice, soft flour tortilla after being cooked. To make a true fajita, however, you need to use skirt steak. Do you want to know more about how to make fajitas? Read on this article.
Prepare the Ingredients
1.5 to 2 pounds skirt steak (or chicken or other beef, cut into strips)
15 medium scallions or 1 medium onion (sliced)
2 large bell peppers (sliced and if possible, have two different colors)
¼ cup of lime juice
¼ cup of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of chili powder
2 tablespoons of oil
Mix together the oil, chili powder, lime juice and soy sauce. Leave some of this mixture on the side if grilling, as you will mix it with the vegetables and the meat separately.
Slice the meat into slices about ½ inch thick. When there are obvious grain lines in the meat, be sure to make your cuts perpendicular with the grain to minimize chewing lines. This will help you create many short fibers in your meat. There are some online instructions if you need more guidance.
If you plan on using a skillet, use a plastic bag or bowl to marinate everything together. If you plan on grilling, marinate the vegetables and meat separately. You should ideally let them marinate for two hours, but a few minutes can also work when rushed. If you plan on grilling, take the mixture from the marinade before doing so. After this step, you can simply grill the meat and vegetables.
When cooking with a skillet, opt for a normal and non-stick one. Start by cooking the meat, which can be divided into several batches based on the size of your pan. Add a bit of oil, heating it up until it is very hot and the oil shimmers. After the meat browns, take it out and throw in the veggies. Once they have softened a bit, put the meat back in the skillet to cook completely.
Serve the fajitas with cilantro, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Try to include a low-carb option such as low-carb tortillas.
- If you are feeding a large group of people, add in more onions and peppers to make the meat stretch further.
- Although the difference is slight, limes tend to do better than lemons due to their difference in zing.
- If you don’t have any on hand, you can make with bottled lemon juice (one teaspoon). Be sure not to stuff your fajitas too much.
- You can use garlic to flavor your oil, but if you add in extra garlic, be sure to do so with the onions to prevent it from charring.
- You should ideally use a frying pan that has sides which are straight up and down to prevent the fajita mixture from flying out.
- Take the time to experiment with extra ingredients and combinations.