Skirt Steak Fajitas

Skirt Steak Fajitas

Why This Recipe Works: Skirt steak makes great fajitas, but it can cook up tough if not handled properly. For skirt steak fajitas that packed meaty flavor and wouldn’t overcook, we started with a marinade that included soy sauce. This helped brine the steak, keeping the meat moist. Pricking the steak with a fork helped the marinade penetrate the meat and cut the marinating time to only 30 minutes. We cooked the steak along with onions and bell peppers over a half-grill fire, which allowed us to get a good char on everything on the hot side of the grill. Then we moved the vegetables to the cooler side so they could cook through without getting burned. After the steak was cooked, we drizzled it with a second marinade and sliced the meat against the grain to make it more tender.

Serves 4

We prefer the beefier flavor of skirt steak, but you can use flank steak, which is wider. Don’t marinate the steak for longer than 2 hours or it will begin to turn mushy. To make this dish spicier, add the chile, ribs, and seeds to the marinade in step 1. Toast the cumin in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant (about 1 minute) and then remove the pan from the heat so the cumin won’t scorch. Serve the fajitas plain or with salsa, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream.

1/2 cup lime juice (4 limes)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin, toasted
2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
2 (12-ounce) skirt steaks, trimmed
2 pounds onions, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 large bell peppers (1 red and 2 green), stemmed, seeded, and halved, each half cut into thirds
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas

1. Whisk lime juice, 2 tablespoons oil, soy sauce, garlic, cumin, sugar, and jalapeño in bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup marinade to second bowl, add cilantro, and set aside. Prick steaks with fork all over on each side, then cut each steak in half crosswise. Place steaks in 1-gallon zipper-lock bag, pour in marinade (without cilantro), seal bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Remove steaks from bag, pat dry with paper towels, and discard marinade in bag.

2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

2B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).

3. Clean and oil cooking grate. Brush onions and bell peppers with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Grill onions and bell peppers on hotter side of grill, turning occasionally, until charred and softened, 8 to 12 minutes. (Bell peppers will cook more quickly.) Move vegetables to cooler side of grill. Grill steaks on hotter side of grill until seared on both sides but still pink in center, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer steak and vegetables to serving platter, pour reserved marinade over top, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, warm tortillas on hotter side of grill, about 10 seconds per side. Wrap in dish towel or foil to keep warm. Separate onions into rings, slice bell peppers thin, and slice steak thin against grain. Serve immediately with bell peppers, onions, and warm tortillas.

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