Kathy Pitts' Fajitas
Yield: 4 Servings
1 1/2 lb Beef skirt steak*
1 c Beer
1/2 ts Liquid smoke
2 Lime's juice
2 tb Worcestershire sauce
1 tb Soy sauce (opt.)
pn Mexican oregano
Pepper; black or lemon
Skirt steak is the diaphragm of the beef, a long very stringy cut of meat that accounts
for the name of the dish (trans. "sashes"). It used to be dirt cheap, and was
poor folks fare until the food faddists discovered it. (Depending on where you live, this
cut may either be easily found at your market, or require a special order with the
butcher. In a pinch, you could substitute flank steak, just don't tell me about it :-) )
To be tender, the meat demands VERY careful handling. Arm yourself with a small, sharp
knife, and obsessively trim off ALL the fat, and as much of the silvery membrane
surrounding the exterior of the meat as you can manage. This can take a while, but be
persistent. The more you trim, the better the finished product. Place the meat in a deep
non-metallic pan, and cover with a mixture of the remaining ingredients. Marinate the
meat, turning occasionally for at least 2 hours (overnight is better). When the exterior
of the meat is grey, it's ready to cook.
The soy is NOT authentic, but since Ninfa's, the Tex-Mex restaurant chain that originally
popularized the dish uses it in THEIR marinade,I sometimes do, too. It gives the finished
dish a nice shiny glaze.
To cook, fish the meat out of the marinade, and dry well. Season the exterior with a
liberal quantity of cracked black pepper (lemon pepper is good, too), and garlic powder
(not salt). Grill over a medium-hot charcoal fire (best), or broil or grill indoors.
Either way, be VERY careful not to overcook the meat. If you cook skirt steak beyond
medium rare, it will be the toughest cut of meat imaginable. Since the steak itself is
quite thin, cooking time will be brief. To serve, cut into thin, slanting slices, carving
against the grain of the meat.
Fajitas are generally accompanied by sauteed or grilled onions and sweet green peppers
(you can saute the onions and peppers well in advance, and re-heat on the grill if you are
doing the dish outdoors). Also served is Pico de Gallo, a fresh tomato based salsa. You
will also need a stack of the best flour tortillas you can find. Some refried beans on the
side would be nice, too. Other possible accompaniments include guacamole or sliced
avocados, lime wedges to squeeze over everything, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream. To
eat, take a few slices of meat, and lay on a tortilla. Top with the sauteed onions and
peppers, pico de gallo, and whatever else suits you. Fold into a soft taco, and enjoy.
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