Beef Fajitas, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Beef Fajitas

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This recipe takes me right back to my childhood. Oven-baked beef fajitas were a specialty of my friend's mom... and they just might become one of your go-to recipes!

It was not until I moved to Texas in 1979 that I discovered what beef fajitas were. Most often they are simply seasoned and grilled on an outdoor grill. The two kinds of meat I am familiar with for fajitas are flank and skirt steak. These have a slightly higher fat content, which makes for a moist steak.

For this recipe, I was trying to recreate an oven-baked version of beef fajitas that my good friend Angelica’s mom used to prepare for us. This was before I was bitten with the cooking bug and never asked her for the recipe. I do remember that they were seasoned well and so tender they would just fall apart. I really think I captured the flavors I remember, and the seasoning was perfect. You must not skip the last step, which is to sear the beef, because it really adds a great flavor!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank steak sliced into 1-inch strips, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
  • For the Marinade
  • 1 cup sweet onion diced
  • 2 serrano peppers minced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Mexican oregano crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds toasted and crushed, or 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • You Will Also Need
  • 1 large poblano pepper sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
  • 1 medium sweet onion sliced into strips
  • 2 jalapeño peppers sliced into rings (optional)

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Directions

  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to slow cooker.
  2. Combine all of the remaining ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Pour over beef in slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours.
  3. Strain the beef into a large colander lined with a bowl. Reserve the broth.
  4. Skim off about 4 tablespoons of oil from strained beef into a large skillet. Preheat to medium/high for 5 to 7 minutes. Sear the beef in the hot oil until you get some nice browning. Transfer the remaining broth to the blender. Blend until smooth, transfer to small sauce pan and keep warm on low.
  5. Add the peppers and onions to one side of pan next to the beef and stir-fry for a few minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle some of the warm blended beef broth to the fajitas. Serve with rice, beans, salsa and warm tortillas.

Chef Notes

If you have the choice to purchase key limes as opposed to regular limes, I would choose the key limes. They are much more aromatic and flavorful. These are the limes I remember as a kid and are still the most commonly used lime in Mexican cooking. If you want to bump up the flavor of your savory dishes, try toasting and grinding your own spices at home. Purchase an inexpensive coffee bean grinder and use it just for spices. Explore the ethnic food aisles in your local market for spices packaged in bulk. It will save you a little money in the long run.

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