Saturday, July 25, 2009

Beef Fajitas

We miss Mexican food! I have been thus stymied in my quest for an even marginal Mexican eatery in Europe. Of course, the solution to this dilemma is to prepare authentic south of the (U.S.) border fare at home; which is exactly what we did last night when some American friends came around. These beef fajitas truly hit the spot and make great pary food! The recipe is easily doubled, tripled or more.

12 ounces (350 grams) lean, flank, skirt or rump steak
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice (lemon juice will work if you haven't a lime)
one good pinch ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
one fat pinch crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon (sea) salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
3 plump garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1) Trim the beef or any fat. Now, slice the beef into thin strips-- making sure to slice against the grain of the beef. Set the beef strips into a bowl.

2) Combine all the marinade ingredients, (except for the oil) in a separate bowl. Whisk until the salt is dissolved and the spices are evenly dispersed. Now, drizzle in the oil, whisking as you go, to finish the marinade. Pour the marinade over the beef and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for 1-3 hours. The beef can also be marinated overnight, but in this case, the salt should be omitted, the beef salted before cooking.

3) When ready to cook, thinly slice up a few red and yellow bell peppers and one large red onion.

3) To cook: Set a cast-iron skillet over high heat and allow to become scorching hot. If you don't have a cast iron skillet use the heaviest saute pan that you have. Pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil into the pan and layer in the beef (leaving any residual marinade behind). Make sure not to crowd the pan-- otherwise the beef will steam, rather than saute. Saute for just a minute or two, until the beef is still pink in the center. Remove to a plate and keep warm, add in a tad more veg oil and saute the peppers/onions in the same manner-- they should become bit charred. If you would rather, the beef strips would taste great grilled (saute the peppers indoors)-- just be careful not to lose too many of thr strips inbetween the grilling grate.

If you can muster it, serve these with homemade tortillas, refried or black beans and rice. Serves 2.

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