Unless you’re vegetarian, you probably enjoy a good steak fajita. I know I sure do. It’s such a fun dish to order at a restaurant. Its sizzling sounds, the strong smell of Latin-spices, the crunch of peppers and onions, and of course the flavor of all these ingredients when eaten together make this dish a complete sensory experience. Luckily we can replicate most of this experience in our home kitchens quite easily. I can’t promise you the sizzling hot plate, but my homemade steak fajitas recipe packed with peppers, onions, and roasted tomatoes will beat trekking out to your Tex Mex joint any night (except for the Mariachi band. Your iPod will just have to fill in for that).
We start with a marinade packed with Latin spices that you probably already own – ground coriander, cumin, and cayenne. Best of all, this marinade does double duty and is used for both seasoning the steak and the vegetables. Remember, always look for ways to cook smarter, not harder. For the steak I like to use flank, skirt, or hangar. I typically just look for what’s on sale or looks fresh at the market. If you’re not so into red meat, substitute it with another protein. For my vegetarian husband, I sliced up some super-firm tofu and used the same marinade and cooking methods. Definitely consider this more of a “fajita cooking formula” rather than a specific fajita recipe.
After the fillings are covered in our spice marinade, the steak gets a nice sear and then roasted in the oven with some tomatoes. The same pan we used for searing the steak gets returned to the stove and used to saute our peppers and red onion making clean-up relatively minimal. For a fun family dinner night, just have a buffet line of all the fixings and have each family member wrap up their fajita fixings in a warm tortilla and finish with whatever toppings they like. And don’t forget the mariachi music.
- Skirt / flank / hangar steak – 1 lb.
- Garlic, minced – 2 cloves
- Red pepper, sliced – 1
- Green pepper, sliced – 1
- Red onion, sliced
- Ground coriander – ½ tbs.
- Ground cumin – ½ tbs.
- Garlic powder – 1 tsp.
- Cayenne – pinch
- Kosher salt – ½ tsp.
- Grapeseed / canola oil – 4 tbs.
- Grape tomatoes – 1 cup
- Tortillas – 8
- Limes, sliced – 1
- Sour cream (optional) – ½ cup
- Cilantro, chopped – a few sprigs
- Steak – Chop into pieces that will fit into pan. Season with S&P and tenderize with fork if not already done on prep day
- Garlic, peppers, and red onion – Chop as directed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Mix coriander, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and 2 tbs. canola oil. Use half of marinade to cover steak pieces. Toss the other half with the chopped peppers and onions
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs. oil. To heated oil, add as many steak pieces as can fit into the pan. Sear for 2 minutes on each side. Set seared pieces aside onto a baking sheet. When all the steak is seared, add tomatoes to pan, and bake in oven for an addition 6 to 12 minutes, depending on how you like our steak
- Wipe skillet clean and return to medium-high heat. Add remaining tbs. of oil and then minced garlic to heated oil. Add sliced peppers and onions with a dash of salt. Sauté until softened, ~5 minutes. Add a squeeze of lime and season to taste with salt or the spices
- Warm tortillas according to package instructions
- After steak is done, let rest for 5 minutes and slice against the grain (perpendicular to the natural lines in the steak). Serve fajitas with your tasty fillings, warmed tortillas, sliced limes, sour cream, and cilantro