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South Texas Fajitas
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    South Texas Fajitas

  • 2 to 4 jalapenos, canned or fresh, stems removed, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons commercial chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 8-ounce bottle herb and garlic oil-based salad dressing
  • 1 12-ounce can of beer, preferably Lone Star
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Juice of 4 Mexican (Key) limes
  • 2 teaspoons comino (cumin) seeds
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 3 pounds beef skirt steak
  • Combine all of the ingredients, except the meat, to make a marinade. Place the meat in a non-reactive container, add the marinade, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours, turning the meat occasionally. Fajitas can be cooked in several ways. If you have the space, mesquite-smoke the meat for about 30 minutes, and then cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side over direct heat--mesquite coals being the heat of choice. Baste with the marinade throughout the cooking process. If you need to cook completely over direct heat, then use a fairly slow fire, and cook, covered if possible, for about 10 to 15 minutes per side, basting with the marinade.

    "About twenty years ago, fajitas were 'discovered', wrote Texas barbecue expert Red Caldwell, from whom this recipes comes. "Since then, an awful lot of good meat has been wrecked, and skirt steak--once a 'grinder' item--has risen sharply in price." To tenderize skirt steak, it needs to be marinated, cooked and then cut with the grain at a forty-five degree angle. Serve the fajitas with flour tortillas, a fresh salsa, guacamole, and cold beer Red doesn't have a recipe for chicken fajitas--he says that's a contradiction in terms.

    Serves: 4 to 6
    Heat Scale: Medium

    From: The book Heat Wave! The Best of Chile Pepper Magazine, Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1995. Paperback, $14.95, ISBN 0-89594-759-5. Compiled by Chile Pepper Editor-in-Chief Dave DeWitt and Food Editor Nancy Gerlach.
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