Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recipe: Best Beef Fajitas! Aiy-yi-yi-yi!

Love is blind, but not the neighbors. – Mexican Proverb

There's a joke or two I could tell about pricks but I'll resist the temptation.
Yes, fajitas get me that excited. Or at least these fajitas do. I’ve been making these from memory for so long I have no idea where the recipe originated. These are really good. They’re meaty, avocado buttery and chock full of cumin-y goodness.

The "fixin's": clockwise from bottom, pitas, romaine, hot peppers,
cumin seed, avocado and green onions and tomato, Missing from
this school photo is the sour cream.
I have a funny feeling this recipe came from a magazine, but which one is completely beyond my grasp. I don’t think I even wrote it down anywhere. I guess it was an easy study.

They do take a little planning. The steak is best marinated on the counter for at least one hour. But if you did that step and went out running errands that would not at all be a bad thing. The remainder is really fast.

The original recipe calls for flank steak, but I’ve used pretty much everything. There was a time when flank steak was cheap. Now it most definitely is not. Just make sure that whatever you use (if it isn’t flank) has some fat marbled in it to keep it tender when broiling.

If you’re in the market for cheap meat you should take a trip to the Atlantic Wholesalers behind the old Bay Store in Halifax. The cuts are humungous and so are the savings.

The marinated broiled meat. Looks good, doesn't it?
They sell huge roasts and packages of massive flank steaks (plus lots more). Be prepared to do a little butchering when you get home. It’s worth the minute exertion. 

A friend of mine and I went in on one and got many steaks, a few normal sized roasts and some stew pieces for significantly less that if you purchased them all separately at a grocer.

But enough about cheap meat. On to the recipe!

Best Beef Fajitas
Marinate: 1 hour  |  Prep: 5 min  |  Cook 14 min  |  Serves 4-6

The meat
2 lbs steak (preferably flank)
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp chilli flakes
4 garlic cloves

All ready to be rolled and eaten.
The “fixin’s”
6-8 8”pitas, white or whole wheat*
1 head romaine lettuce
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 avocados, peeled and sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 jar of hot peppers, preferably jalapeno
sour cream
cumin seed

Combine the lime juice, olive oil, chilli flakes and garlic in a baking dish. Mix well. Nestle the steaks into the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least one hour. Turn half way through your marinating time. You can let it go for much longer. The meat will continue to get more tender and flavourful.

Before you broil the steak prepare the tomatoes, avocado and green onions and put them out in separate bowls. Have the romaine washed and dried, and the hot peppers,sour cream and cumin at hand.

Broil the meat for about 6-7 minutes per side for a normal (3/4” thick) steak. Do not wipe off any of the marinade. Just lift it out and put it on the broiler rack.

Rather boring looking on the outside, but taste's amazing!
After broiling, let the meat rest for a couple minutes for the internal juice to redistribute. If you cut broiled meat while still hot all the juice will run out. Cut the meat across the grain.

Let everyone fix their own fajitas. If desired you can heat the pitas in some tin foil for a few minutes while the meat is broiling. Sprinkle a few drops of water in the foil before covering the pitas. It keeps them moist.

Assemble the fajitas by placing romaine on a split open pita (leave one edge still attached). Then add on the meat, tomato and avocado. Top with sour cream, green onions, hot peppers and cumin seed. I personally prefer jalapenos, but we were out...

Fold the top back over the ingredients and roll up the fajita. Enjoy!

*Traditionally tortillas would be used, but I find our pitas hold up a bit better.


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