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Fajitas with Grassfed Flank Steak


We love fajitas around here, and have got them down. Every one of us go wild over this meal, and Kent and I agree that we’d rather have these fajitas with marinated grass-fed flank steak than a regular steak any day, it’s so flavorful!

Fajitas with Grassfed Flank Steak

Marinade ingredients:

  • A handful of any fresh or dried herbs you might have on hand: parsley and thyme are my favorites.
  • 1 T. onion powder
  • Dash of Tobasco sauce (or a couple shakes of cayenne pepper)
  • 3 T. honeyraw honey is always best
  • 1/2 c. or so of fermented soy sauce
  • Juice from 1 large lemon or lime
  • 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!)
  • Fresh garlic, crushed – 4 cloves or so
  • A grassfed flank steak — however much meat is enough for your family – we use 3 of them for our family of 6 because we like leftovers, so I use 2 lemons or limes and add extra olive oil. Here’s where to buy healthy, safe meat online if you don’t have a good local source.

Marinating instructions:

  • Between one and three days before serving (the longer the better), marinate your grassfed flank steak in the above marinade. You can use a big 2 gallon baggie or a big bowl. Just mix up the marinade and make sure the meat is covered.
  • I love trying new marinades, so please share your favorite recipe in the comments! I normally use some variation of the above ingredients, and amounts aren’t exact – just make sure you have enough marinade to cover the meat well.
  • Keep refrigerated.
  • Each day flip the meat over, to make sure all sides get all the flavors and herbs on it.

Serving day ingredients:

Serving day instructions:

  • Prepare your sides as indicated in the links above.
  • 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?)
  • Slice thin pieces of steak diagonally. This really does make a difference in the tenderness of the meat for some reason.
  • Serve on tortillas with any sides that you like.


  • To make this a grain-free meal, I eat the fajitas without a shell. It’s SO good that way and in my opinion, especially with plenty of fried peppers and caramelized onions, you really don’t need the shell!
  • You could also make these with chicken. Just stir fry strips of chicken in some Mexican spices like cumin, a little chili powder, sea salt, all in ghee or olive oil.


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

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  1. “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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…:-).

    • 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. 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.

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

  5. 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.

    • 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?


      • 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).

        • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

    • 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

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