Traditionally in Southwestern and Mexican cooking there is a misconception about the ingredients relating to fajitas. Fajitas are traditionally made with skirt (the authentic ingredient) or flank steak. When a cook or a recipe says "chicken fajitas", that is not authentic!
Fajitas are a beef dish! The old time Mexican cooks will laugh if you mention chicken fajitas. I have worked with them, I know this first hand. :) Although nowadays, as many people are staying away from red meat and lightening up their diet with chicken – it is a great alternative when making this dish.
If you dine in a Mexican restaurant, fajitas are served on a hot iron skillet and are screaming hot when brought to your table. However, we are home cooks and we can get the same delicious results on an indoor cast iron flat top plate, in a skillet or on your outdoor grill! My Southwestern Fajita Burrito Recipe uses simple ingredients and easy cooking techniques to make this recipe a breeze to make.
2 lb. Skirt or Flank steak, trimmed of fat
1 taco seasoning packet (I used Taco Bell - it's very flavorful!)
Olive oil for marinating/sautéing
2 large bell peppers (any color you prefer) de-seeded and cut into thin strips
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
Flour tortillas (or hard shells)
1. Drizzle the steak with a little olive oil and rub the taco seasoning into it well. Marinate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator! Then, remove the meat from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat about 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and onions and sauté for approximately 5-8 minutes until crisp tender. Set aside.
There are three methods by which you can cook the steak. All require the same cooking time of 4 minutes per side for medium, to medium-rare. In all of the following cooking techniques, let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing to your liking.
3. If you are using an outdoor grill - use the hand test – if you hold the flat of your hand over the grill 2 inches away and you feel like the heat is really hot, you are ready to place your meat onto it. Make sure the coals are white-hot. Brush your grill with oil. Grill for 4 minutes per side.
4. In a skillet or a cast iron flat top, over high heat, sear the meat on both sides until nicely browned for approximately 4 minutes per side. Use the hand test as in the grill method above.
5. While the meat is resting - heat a skillet on medium heat or on turn on the burner of your stove at a very low heat, brown the soft tortillas on one side until the top starts to puff up a little, then immediately flip them over and do the same on the other side. Do not leave these alone. You can vary the char on the tortillas to your taste. The char adds a wonderful and authentic flavor to these burritos and it only takes a few seconds.
Place the cooked ingredients onto the 1st third of the tortilla closest to you in whichever order you prefer – fold up the right side, fold the long side next to you over that - and then tuck the ingredients in as you roll it away from yourself.
Serve family style and with any or all of the following toppings.
You can use any or all of these toppings to make your burrito. I make mine with a little re-fried beans on the bottom of the tortilla followed by the meat, peppers and onions, some salsa Verde and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime. It’s a wonderful combination!
Pico de Gallo or your favorite salsa
Fresh limes or lemons
Diced jalapenos or other Chile peppers