Fajitas are a Tex-Mex dish that originated in the 20th century. Authentic fajitas are typically made with skirt steak, which is usually a tough cut of beef, but with proper preparation and marinating, the steak can be juicy and flavorful. The dish is commonly served by combining the skirt steak with bell peppers and onions, and the ingredients are wrapped in a flour tortilla. Skirt steak fajitas are usually topped with items such as grated cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo or salsa.
Preparation of the meat is important when making skirt steak fajitas. This cut of beef is covered by a thin membrane that must be removed before seasoning or marinating. One method to reduce toughness and increase flavor in the steak is to use a sharp knife to make small cuts both with and against the grain of the meat. Doing this can help break down tough fibers and allow the marinade to better penetrate the skirt steak.
There are a number of marinade recipes that can be used when preparing skirt steak fajitas. The best ones generally contain some type of acid, such as lime juice, which also assists in breaking down tough fibers in the meat. For best results, the beef should be marinated for as long as possible — at least two hours, and up to 24 hours, in the refrigerator. Before cooking, the steak should be taken out of the refrigerator and brought to room temperature.
One of the most popular ways to prepare the meat for skirt steak fajitas is cooking it on a grill. When grilling, the steak should be basted with extra marinade to further lock in flavor. The beef may also be broiled in an oven or cooked in a skillet on a stove top. Meat should be allowed to rest after cooking, and then sliced against the grain, into thin strips.
Bell peppers and onions for skirt steak fajitas should also be cut into thin strips before being cooked. These vegetables can be grilled or sauteed on a stove top with a small amount of butter or oil until slightly soft. While the onions and peppers are cooking, the flour tortillas should be warmed up in the oven, microwave, or in a frying pan. The dish is then easily assembled by placing the sliced steak, onions, and bell peppers in the middle of the tortilla. Skirt steak fajitas are typically served with toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa or pico de gallo.