Fajitas with Grass-fed Flank Steak

May 31, 2011 · 27 comments

Fajitas-Grass-fed

We love fajitas around here, and have got them down. Even the kids go wild over this meal, and Kent and I agree that we’d rather have a marinated flank steak than a regular steak, it’s so flavorful!

  • Between one and three days before serving (the longer the better), marinate a grass-fed flank steak.  Here’s where to buy healthy, safe meat online if you don’t have a good local source.  We use two big flanks for the six of us because we want enough for leftovers.
  • I love trying new marinades, so please share your favorite recipe in the comments!  I normally use some variation of the following ingredients, and amounts aren’t exact – just make sure you have enough marinade to cover the meat well:
  1. Fresh garlic, crushed – 4 cloves or so
  2. A few glugs of Olive oil, probably 1/2 c. or so (The kind you use makes a huge difference in the amount of nutrients!)
  3. Juice from 1 large lemon or lime
  4. 1/2 c. or so of fermented soy sauce
  5. 3 T. honeyraw honey is always best
  6. Dash of Tobasco sauce (or a couple shakes of cayenne pepper)
  7. 1 T. onion powder
  8. Throw in any fresh herbs you might have on hand like parsley or thyme.
  • Mix all ingredients around in a big baggie with the meat and keep refrigerated.
  • Each day flip it over in the baggie, to make sure all sides get the flavoring on it.
  • Grill slowly over indirect heat until it’s done the way you like it.  Remember it cooks a little more after you pull it off.  (Hey Stanley, any other tips for us?)
  • Pour the extra marinade into a small saucepan and heat to boiling.  Serve drizzled over the fajitas.
  • Slice thin pieces of steak diagonally.  This really does make a difference in the tenderness of the meat for some reason.
  • Serve on homemade tortillas if possible, as I haven’t found any at the store with ingredient labels that don’t make my toes curl.
  • Serve with yummy fixin’s like sour cream (never low-fat, but you know that by now), salsa, shredded cheese (from pastured cows if possible), stir-fried bell peppers with onions (stir-fry using just olive oil with sea salt & pepper)
  • You could also put cilantro-lime rice (or Spanish rice) or guacamole inside your tortilla, but I like those on the side.
  • To make this a grain-free meal, I often eat guacamole right off the spoon, it’s that yummy, and I eat the fajitas without a shell.  It’s SO good that way and in my opinion, you really don’t even need the shell!
  • You could also make these with chicken.  Just stir fry strips of chicken in some Mexican spices and ghee or olive oil.

If you make your fajitas differently, let me know how you do it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  • Share this article


  • Stay Connected!

  • Get new articles and recipes, plus help getting and keeping your family on real food! Also coupons/discounts, and STAY signed up to be automatically entered in gift card giveaways!

  • { 24 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Musings of a Housewife May 31, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Girl, you need the Print This plugin for recipes. :-)

    Reply

    2 KitchenKop May 31, 2011 at 11:37 am

    OK, I’ll do that today! :)

    Reply

    3 Katie May 31, 2011 at 9:23 am

    “Slice thin pieces of steak diagonally. This really does make a difference in the tenderness of the meat for some reason.”

    When you cut that way–or even with a straight cut–you’re slicing against the grain, which results in smaller muscle fibers. So when you chew, you have less to break down, so to speak, to render small bits and pieces.

    Reply

    4 KitchenKop May 31, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Ahhhhh, yes, that makes sense. :)

    Reply

    5 Linda May 31, 2011 at 11:04 am

    This is perfect. I have a flank steak that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. This sounds great!

    Reply

    6 Belinda @zomppa May 31, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Grass fed beef just is that much better – and flank is perfect cut for this!

    Reply

    7 Stanley Fishman May 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    You asked for another tip, so here it is –

    Take the steaks our of the refrigerator about an hour before you cook them, so them can come to room temperature. Grassfed meat that is at room temperature when cooked will be more tender.

    Reply

    8 Robin May 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I don’t have a fajita recipe per se, but I do LOVE flank and skirt steak (skirt steak is similar to flank, but maybe even a little meatier and more tender?). If I’m making a flank steak for Mexican night, my go-to has to be Rick Bayless-I have his book “Mexican Everyday” and LOVE LOVE LOVE his marinade/rub recipes, and my favorite so far (although haven’t tried all of them!) is a rub that uses generous amounts of ancho chile powder and garlic with a touch of brown sugar, oregano, cumin, pepper and salt (it’s called “Garlicky Ancho Chile Rub”)-seriously, this stuff is amazing, as I’ve used it on flank steak, potatoes (rubbed on potatoes with olive oil and roasted in the oven), even added some to butter to make a flavored butter (also great on steak!). (And no, I don’t work for him, just really really really love that book and use it all the time!) I should also mention that the salsa recipes are pretty much perfection…:-).

    Reply

    9 Oregon Chris January 18, 2014 at 12:23 am
    10 Oregon Chris January 18, 2014 at 1:39 am

    I kind of combined Kelly and Robin’s ideas and came up with this for a marinade of which it is currently taking a nice long bath in :)

    First off I used Avocado oil because of it’s high smoke point and it is also liquid at room temp. I figured that some will stay on the meat during cooking so it’s a more healthy option. http://chosen-foods.com/products/avocado-oil One liter bottles are also avail from Costco, this stuff ROCKS with a 500 degree smoke point.
    As far as extra spices I liked the Robin’s idea of adding chili powder so I added about a tablespoon of each of the following: Ancho, Chipolte, & Fiesta chili powders. I also added a teaspoon of oregano.

    Like I said I will let ya all know how this one turns out.

    Reply

    11 Oregon Chris January 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I forgot to mention the Chosen Foods Avocado oil at Costco is only $10 for a Liter. That’s half the online price.

    Reply

    12 Sue E. May 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Hey, Kelly.
    I made my first grass-fed flank steak (actually, my first any kind of flank steak) yesterday. When you and I communicated you said to marinate 1-3 days, but mine had already been marinating from the night before. Altogether, mine marinated about 19 hours, I cooked it on indirect heat, low-med slowly, and was sorely disappointed in the non-tenderness of it. I think the key here is to marinate longer, just as you indicate in this recipe.
    However, I have been told that the citrus in the marinade can break down the proteins too much and it would be mushy. Apparently, that doesn’t happen with grass-fed?

    I will pick up another flank steak at the farm next week and see if I can try marinating it longer (and take Stanley’s advice above to let it sit out an hour before cooking!)

    Thanks for all you do! God bless,
    Sue E.

    Reply

    13 Kelly the Kitchen Kop May 31, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Sue,

    I’ve never heard that about citrus making meat “mushy” and have often used lemon or lime juice for marinating.

    Stan, have you heard this or ever had a problem with citrus? Do you think the marinating time being too short could make that big a difference in the tenderness?

    Kel

    Reply

    14 Robin June 1, 2011 at 2:39 am

    Citrus (like lemon or lime) is very acidic and does kind of “cook” meat if you marinate it in it for a long time (if you’ve ever had ceviche, it’s fish that’s been “cooked” in lime juice, simply by marinating the fish in the lime juice), so yes, it can affect the texture of meat if you use it in a marinade. I personally don’t usually add lemon or lime juice to meat like chicken or steak until I’m pretty much ready to cook it for that reason.

    The key to tender flank (or skirt) steak is to cook it only rare or medium rare, as it gets tough if you overcook it. Then, it should be sliced thin, AGAINST the grain (like described above).

    Reply

    15 Kelly the Kitchen Kop June 1, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Oh yes, that’s right, I’d forgotten that citrus can do that, but I’ll bet what you mentioned is the key, we only cooked ours to rare (notice how red the meat is in the picture). So Sue, did you maybe just cook it too long?

    Reply

    16 Stanley Fishman June 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I have heard of citrus breaking down meat, but I have not seen that happen with grassfed. I am wondering if Sue E’s meat is particularly lean, as meat varies from farmer to farmer. the learner the meat, the tougher the meat. Something that you can try is to double the amount of olive oil, so you have twice as much oil as citrus. This can help with leaner meat.

    Marinating time can make a big difference, especially with a very lean piece of meat.

    Reply

    17 Oregon Chris January 18, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Citrus doesn’t make meat mushy. For the marinade you should let it sit in there for a long as a week. It is true the marinade will help the meat be more tender esp if there is an acid in it, ie. vinegar, line, lemon, wine.

    For tenderness one point I think you are missing is heat. The cook temp of the meat should be VERY low, esp for grass fed. No more then 250 degree if smoking it, you can even grill it just do it as far away from the coals as possible with indirect heat. I personally recommend smoking it from 225 to 235 degrees. You can further increase it’s tenderness by wrapping it in foil with a little beer or whatever liquid you want and return it to the smoker for an hour or so. This method will make it tender guaranteed. Reply if you need more clarification, I subscribed to this topic.

    Reply

    18 Oregon Chris January 18, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I am going to try this recipe now not with flank steak but with the superficial region of a rack of short ribs. I ordered short rib racks they are about 14 inches by 12 inches with as much meat on them as possible. The only thing is there is a huge amount of hard fat in the center. I decided to trim the layer of rib meat that is on the top, it is about 1/2″ thick and 12″ long by 10″ wide, perfect I think for this marinade. This is an unusual cut, you wouldn’t see it in the market. I had them do it this way special. I’ll let you all know if this turns out killer or what! My assumption is that using the method I previously described will make one amazingly tender cut of meat.

    Reply

    19 Stanley Fishman June 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Sue, you might also try to purchase the fattest steak he has. How lean the meat is makes a huge difference in tenderness, especially in grassfed.
    I would also suggest that you use twice as much oil as citrus, as this can help with lean meat.

    Finally, the type of honey you use can really make a difference. Raw, unheated honey has live enzymes that really help make meat tender. Ordinary honey has the enzymes deactivated by heat, and does not tenderize.

    Good luck!

    Reply

    20 Robin June 1, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Just had to add one more comment regarding tortillas :-). I buy tortillas at Whole Foods, as they make them fresh in their bakery department, no weird ingredients! Although, after visiting a few Whole Foods in different parts of the country, I have found that they are not all the same, but it’s worth checking at least. We are fortunate here in Denver with awesome stores with the best bakery departments! I do want to try making my own corn tortillas at some point using soaked corn and all, but I was super happy to find a place where I can just buy them and still feel good about them!

    Reply

    21 nancy September 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Kelly

    I saw your recipe for the marinade for this. I am wondering if a brine would help to tenderize the meat more? What do you think? I found this recipe for a brine:

    2 1/2 cups water (room temperature)
    1/3 cup bourbon whiskey
    1/3 cup honey
    3 tablespoons kosher salt (use kosher salt only!)
    1 tablespoon chopped lemon zest
    1 teaspoon black pepper (more to season the steaks before cooking)
    2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh garlic (can use more)
    6 boneless beef steaks (about 1-inch thick)

    I am cooking some tomorrow and want it really yummy for folks from church!

    Reply

    22 KitchenKop September 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I think that one looks great, let us know how it is!

    Kel

    Reply

    23 nancy September 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    This is the site with the recipe, I will let you know how it goes:
    http://www.food.com/recipe/honey-bourbon-brine-for-steaks-205034#ixzz1YATx10q4

    Reply

    24 Oregon Chris January 30, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Okay I made those fajitas the other day and they really kick butt!!! Thanks Kelly for the ideas. I would upload images just not sure if I can.

    Reply

    disclaimer-disclosure

    Leave a Comment

    { 3 trackbacks }

    Previous post:

    Next post:


    Protect your files with Carbonite Online Backup Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community