Spoken like an Austin Man. I agree. The key to me when working with skirt is marinate and cook over a hot fire. Have you ever seen the grills that those guys cook bistec on in Mexico? The grill screen is just a couple of inches above the coals.They are really more like really large roasting pans with a grate on top. We had a cool one that the workers built, at the brewery in Tecate, where I worked for a couple of years. They all made their lunch on it everyday and if I (that’s El Jefe to you, Bubba) would spring for the meat, we usually had really decent food considering I was eating in the backyard of a large industrial plant in Baja (although it was in the middle of about 250, seventy five year old, beautiful olive trees that made olives that were black and huge).
I really got to where I prefferred the Mexican beef over American style. Still do. Meat is really lean and cut thin, but when you cut it that thin there is no real reason to trim the fat so much and the flavor is still there, just more subtle. I really love it when served on a Tampequena plate (beef, black beans, grilled peppers and onions, guacamole, corn tortillas) mmmmmmm, man I miss that food
Sorry to disagree with some of the posts above, but fajita should NOT be cooked rare like a good steak. The flavor will not develop, and it will actually be tougher. Just my experience, anyway…
We had the fresh frijoles refritos and rice, the sour cream, fresh store bought corn tortillas, freesh salsa but alas no guacomole. The flavor of the meat just wasn’t there. They were cooked med-rare on the grill and wound up about medium when I threw them into the hot pan with the onions and peppers.
Next time the marinade gets more salt, pepper and chili powder.
MikeSh, your recipe for fajitas sounds right-on. I would suggest letting the beef marinate longer. Do not grill past medium rare. Rare would be better. Drizzle with fresh lime juice just before serving. Garnishes are very important. Freshly roasted rajas of red peppers and poblano chiles, fresh homemade guacamole’, Mexican crema or sour cream, a fresh homemade salsa or pico de gallo, and quality tortillas (home-made if you have the time) make all the difference. Don’t forget the cilantro. Fresh frijoles refritos and rice are a major plus. The beauty of Mexican and Southwestern cuisine is improvisation within an established framework. You know how you want it to taste. Make it happen. BTW, flan would make an excellent,(and probably easier), dessert.
Well my fajitas sucked. When they came off the grill they didn’t have much in the way of flavor. So I threw them into a very hot skillet with a bit of oil, some garlic salt and garlic pepper along with the onions and bell peppers I had sauted. This helped some but dinner wasn’t a big hit.
Oh well, onto other things.
Oh yeah, the german choclate cake I made later did come out pretty good.
How about some portions people? 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup tequila and 1/4 cup oil or so sound right?
Ok, so I’m going to go with the lime juice, some tequila, fresh garlic and onion salt&pepper. It will get about 7 hours to marinate then go on a hot grill. When done I’ll give it 5 to 10 mins to rest then I’ll slice it across the grain. While it rests I’ll pan grill some onions and peppers and then serve it with some homemade refried beans, mexican style rice and warm tortillias.
If you’re stuck inside and can’t grill, you can also stir-fry them.
All of this sounds so good I might have to try it over the holiday, and, when I do, sound like a ravioli night for the youngun’s! Tequila, cayenne…..yum!
I’d make sure to have fresh lime juice in the marinade; bottled just won’t work as well. Typically I marinate the beef overnight in equal parts tequila, lime and olive oil, with a couple of crushed heads of garlic and some salt. I then use a cayenne/chili dry rub just before the meat goes on the grill.
You MUST trim your skirt steak, get rid of the fat and silverskin, plus it helps to butterfly some of the thicker areas, this helps for quicker grilling. Marinades should be as simple as possible, unless you really dig the taste of the marinade more than the beef.[:D]
Sundance, as Mr. Mayor mentioned, adding citrus to the marinade will help. I also have been told that beer will help. (And, even if it doesn’t help the meat, it will mellow the cook! [:D])
Also, making thin slices, across the grain, is the key. I didn’t do that my first couple of times I cooked them years ago. Might as well have served shoe leather…
I have always had a little trouble with my skirt steak being a little tough. Should you use a tenderizer on them before cooking?
Paul E. Smith
MikeSh, there are some good tips on this thread:
In a nutshell, I always grill then slice across the grain. I would lose half the meat through my grill slats if I pre-sliced. However, if you are using a grate, pre-slicing would work.
As for marinade, I agree with the comments above that just about anything can be used; whatever floats your boat. I’ve tried a bunch of things, and I’ve also always had great luck with just Wish-Bone Italian dressing.
I do my fajitas by using either skirt steak or sirloin, marinate it in lime juice, tequila, garlic and salt and pepper. After marinating overnight….I do a dry rub on it consisting of ground cumin, chili powder, couple dashes of cinnamon, salt, pepper,msg(evil I know),then toss it on the grill whole, brushing constantly with the leftover marinade.
I don’t have a specific recipe, but I have noticed a couple of things about Fajitas while watching some of the cooking shows, and other folks who were creating them.
1. There are two schools of thought about grill whole then slice, or slice then grill. In general the "hurry-up method" is to slice then grill. The "creative chef method" grills the thing whole and slices after, to give a ‘better quality’ image to the meat.
2. As far as marinade goes…You can do pretty much anything from a teriyaki type to a blazing pepper sauce…but one ingredient that needs to be included is a strong citrus base…Orange for a sweeter style, Lemon or Lime for the sharper tang. This is what softens the tough steak to make it easy for folks to enjoy it.
As I said I am not an expert on this , so I am more than willing to accept "constructive criticism" on these suggestions.[:(]
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