We love fajitas, Tex-Mex flour tortillas stuffed with chicken or steak, bell peppers, onions, salsa, and cheese. At least that’s how I like to prepare them. We usually have them with chicken, but I was curious to try them with steak. Skirt steak is sometimes also known as ‘fajita meat’, and so that was the cut of beef I wanted to use. Skirt steak is from the diaphragm of the cattle. It is very flavorsome meat with a coarse structure, and can be tough if you don’t slice it very thinly across the grain. For a special treat I cooked the skirt steak sous-vide for 48 hours at 55C/131F and then finished it on the grill. This made the beef tender and juicy, and still pink medium rare all the way through. I think the photo above speaks for itself. It also gave the fajita spices the opportunity to penetrate deeply into the meat. The result was absolutely delicious and this is something I’ll definitely make again.
When I first tried skirt steak sous-vide, I had cooked it only 24 hours and it was still tough. I think you could cook it even for 72 hours if you like it extremely tender. As for the spice mix, of course you can adjust that to your own taste. For instance, I used smoked paprika and New Mexico chile powder (courtesy of Baby Lady). If you like it more smoky, you could replace the chile powder with chipotle powder. Or if you like it less smoky, replace the smoked paprika with regular paprika.
Now 48 hours seems like an awful lot of time. But remember that sous-vide cooks by itself. You don’t have to do anything during those 48 hours, just let the sous-vide cooker do its thing. Fajitas can be very quick to prepare if you use store-bought tortillas and store-bought salsa. If you like to go all the way, it’s great to make your own salsa and tortillas but that is not required for a very tasty result. When you do buy the store-bought stuff, check the label for natural ingredients. Ideally they should only contain the ingredients that you would also use yourself.
bell peppers, cut intro strips
onions, thickly sliced into rings
chunky salsa for fajitas, store-bought or homemade
flour tortillas, store-bought or homemade
Spice mix for 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of skirt steak
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
Brown the meat briefly over a very hot charcoal grill, only long enough to give it a nice color and flavor. Remember the meat is already cooked and it would be a waste to overcook it.
If you own an ice cream maker, making your own homemade ice cream is a breeze. Many ice cream recipes use a custard as a base, so if you know how to make vanilla ice cream, you can make many more flavors by adding pureed fruit. Of course it is important to use real vanilla to make real vanilla ice cream…