Super Fast Skirt Steak Fajitas
Marinated in lime, whiskey and chile de Arbol, skirt steak fajitas couldn’t get any tastier. And since the steak and peppers cook in one pan, they’re the perfect weeknight dinner. Serve them in tortillas, on a bed of salad greens or over Mexican rice with all the toppings.
Super Simple Marinade
Texas whiskey in the marinade helps to tenderize and flavor the meat, and any alcohol cooks off in the pan. Lime and chile add a balance of tart citrus and smokey heat. Use fresh lime juice, and if you can’t find chile de Arbol, crushed red pepper is a great substitute. If you only have time to marinate the meat for 30 minutes at room temperature, that will work just fine. For best results, however, marinate the skirt steak for at least two hours.
Use a cast iron pan, and get it preheated before adding the meat. I use an oblong Staub cast iron pan, which is the perfect shape for sautéing the meat. As soon as the skirt steak comes out of the pan to rest, add the peppers and onions and sauté until soft. The vegetables will gain flavor from residual marinade in the pan, and you’ll have only one pan to clean. If meat juices accumulate on the cutting board, add them to the onions and peppers during cooking. Once the vegetables soften, slice the steak against the grain and return the meat to the pan for serving.
Purchase pico de gallo and guacamole to make things super easy, or just slice avocados instead of using guacamole. Add an extra squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro to the fillings in your warm tortilla. Siete grain-free tortillas or corn tortillas are a great gluten-free option. Skip the cheese or sour cream if you’d like, the fajitas are delicious without them.
There were no leftovers in sight, and definitely no complaints, when I made this recently. Skirt steak fajitas are the perfect simple and easy dinner that cook in 15 minutes, and makes everyone at the dinner table smile.
Skirt Steak Fajitas Marinated in Lime, Whiskey and Chile de Arbol
Yield 4-6 servings
If you can’t find ground chile de arbol, substitute an equal amount of crushed red pepper. Skirt steak sometimes comes pre-cut into smaller portions, if you use a larger cut of skirt steak just increase the marinade ingredients. The whiskey helps to tenderize the meat as it marinates and adds a good balance of flavor with the chile powder and lime juice.
- ½ pound skirt steak
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili de arbol powder
- ¼ cup whiskey
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 1 onion, sliced into half moons
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 orange pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced
- Fajita fixings: Tortillas, guacamole or avocado slices, pico de gallo or your favorite hot sauce. Cheese and sour cream are optional.
- Season the skirt steak evenly on both sides with the salt, fresh ground pepper and arbol chili powder. Rub the seasonings into the flesh of the skirt steak.
- Add the seasoned skirt steak to a small, shallow baking dish or a freezer bag. Pour in the whisky, lime juice and chopped cilantro.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or up to overnight.
- Time saving tip: If you don’t have time to marinate the skirt steak in advance, season the meat and add it to a baking dish. Warm the whiskey and the lime juice in a small pan on the stove until simmering. Pour the whiskey mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle on the cilantro. Let marinate at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- When ready to cook the fajitas, warm a cast iron or heavy bottomed sauté pan over high heat. Add one tablespoon of the avocado oil and warm the oil (saving half to cook the onions and peppers) for about 30 seconds until it looks slightly wavy in appearance. Add the skirt steak to the pan and discard the marinade. Sauté on high heat for about 2 minutes. Flip the steak and sauté the other side for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove the steak to a cutting board and tent with foil. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of avocado oil to the pan and warm it up on medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté 1 minute until softened. Add the pepper slices and a sprinkling of salt and sauté, along with the onions, until softened and slightly browned on the edges, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- To cut the steak, be sure to slice it against the grain. That means that whichever direction the fibers of the meat run, cut the meat perpendicular to those fibers and not parallel to them. If you cut meat against the grain, you will tenderize it by cutting through the tough fibers that run through the muscle of the meat.
- Serve the fajitas with your favorite taco fixings.