chase_gwJuly 29, 2014

I'm having a houseful of company for the long weekend and am trying to think of easy cooking that feeds a gang and can preferably be prepared and eaten outside.

Fajitas would be perfect . I make great chicken fajitas but my beef fajitas are always a bust . No matter what recipe I try, how careful I am to not cook too much, always sure to cut it properly.....it's either tough or tasteless. I have only used flank.

Anyone have tips, recipes ideas for beef fajitas that are T&T?

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I've been using flat iron steaks when the grocery has them lately when I want beef fajitas, I marinate them in spices, lime juice and a little olive oil and grill them, then thinly slice. But lately with the price of beef I've been using pork and they really come out great.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:24PM
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Sharon, I think I've mentioned this before. I never use flank steak for fajitas. I use New York strip steaks. Rib Eyes also work.

I use some of my homemade salsa to marinade the steaks. Not a long marinade because unlike flank steak NY strips do not need to be marinaded for tenderness. Just spoon a few tablespoons of homemade salsa over the steaks with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lime juice. Anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour before grilling.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:36PM
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beachlily z9a

Chase, I've been on here a long time, but never remembered your real name. I'll blame it on old age.

Can you give us your recipe for chicken fajitas? Thanks ever so much!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:56PM
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The word "fajita" (literally "little sash") was originally a reference to the cut of beef. It was the skirt steak, which was a cheap, leftover cut, until recently when fine dining chefs discovered it. There's not much of it per steer so the price has gone up. Unless it's barely cooked, skirt is very tough. It would be marinated for three days first, for fajitas, and then grilled with the vegetables.

Skirt is a very flavorful cut of meat, so it might be enough to liven up the recipe you've been using. If you haven't been doing the three days marinade, that might be the trick to making it work with your flank steak. Basic marinade: peppers, onion, garlic, lime, cumin S&P, good oil.

That's tradition. OTOH, here's a really good article about one day fajitas. I don't know if his optimal time is because of the proportions he uses, but it's a good article, and looks to be a good recipe.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:46PM
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beachlily z9a

I don't eat beef. Period. I don't care what tradition is.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have been using Alton Browns skirt steak marinade recipe for awhile and love it. It is my go to skirt/flank marinade. However, I think skirt is too chewy for fajitas although I adore the flavor and chew. I would use any strip type of steak or sirloin.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:19PM
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I was thinking cut too. Maybe a new one is in order? I love ribeye; Ann's got me drooling. Funny, the other night, the boy and I went out for fries (all we eat when we go out, cause the rest is expensive!), and fajitas went past our table. I said, MMMM!!! Fajitas at the exact time he was saying "What is that smell?" not in a positive way. Poor kid doesn't know what's good.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:32AM
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Depending on the city you live in, the best suggestion is to buy the meat or chicken at the small Hispanic grocer stores. Most have a meat counter. Ask for fajita marinada (already marinated). You'll get the best Tex-Mex flavor!

The prepackaged meats for fajita at the regular grocery stores are as tough as leather. 0 flavor.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:40AM
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I just made some beef fajitas over the weekend. I used hanger steak, but only because it was on sale. I usually use sirloin or New York Strip, but haven't tried ribeye. LOVE fajitas with cilantro lime rice.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:38PM
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Thanks guys...I have the d@mn flank steak in the freezer and was wanting to use it up.

No way I am buying rib eye or sirloin for the amount I need.....but will do that for a smaller group for sure.

So I think the only answer is don't do the beef fajitas OR go with the flank and hope most will have had enough cerveza they won't care!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:45PM
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you are making me giggle. Did you speak utterances at its existence when you glanced at it in the freezer?

I really like your solution, cervezas a plenty. You obviously know how to throw a shindig. I'll be there shortly. Yea, right! I have a meeting that's to go until 8PM Central time. It'd be pretty late by the time I got there.

ENJOY it enough for me too.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think flank is fine if the meat is sliced very thin. Whatever marinade you use, throw in some pineapple juice, nothing works better to tenderize chewy steak. Those enzymes...
Interesting though, flank steak here is more expensive than sirloin.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:46PM
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"---- Whatever marinade you use, throw in some pineapple juice, nothing works better to tenderize chewy steak. Those enzymes..---"

Needs to be fresh pipeapple juice. Cooked or canned juice will not work.

Be careful. Too much juice marinated too long will get you beef paste.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:24PM
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We had flank steak often growing up - before it became trendy and pricey. My mom marinated it overnight and all day, then grilled it quickly to pink in the middle and sliced it "on the bias" and at a slant into very, very thin strips. I'd love to make fajitas with flank, but it's just too expensive for my budget. When I make fajitas just for me, I use a small piece of sirloin cut in strips and stir fried with onions and peppers. I can often find a single sirloin steak on sale. Most of the time I make chicken fajitas.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:39AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Same experience here, Teresa! We had it often growing up, the same way and now I use sirloin.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:48AM
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This is why the sous vide method makes a lot of sense.

You can never make any meat tender by cutting it thin. The meat remain as tough as before. It only becomes more chewable, swollowable.

When I make Fajitas, I use the cheapest cut of meat and turning it into turly tender.

The link below shows what fork tender means. That was a very tough cut of bottom round, sous vided medium, for a steak dinner.


Here is a link that might be useful: Love me tender, steak

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:42AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I use pineapple juice on "london broil" cuts, some kind of round, and it has never turned it to mush. It is the only thing that does make it tender and tasty.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:04PM
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For what it's worth, I also use sirloin for fajitas, sirloin is one of my favorite cuts. It's not extremely tender, but it's tender enough and that's why I have teeth. I don't like meat that has been turned to mush, which I have actually done a couple of times with marinades. Now I'm much more careful.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:29PM
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OK , so if a give in and buy meat rather than use the flank I have on hand.......what do I do with the flank!

I will never buy this cut again...never! But in the meantime I can't pitch it!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 1:41PM
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If all else fails, maybe you could grind the steak into lean ground beef.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Sharon, I swear that I'm never buying flank steak again either. My least favourite beef cut.

That said, if I had one in the freezer, it would be destined for Braciole.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Funny you should mention braciole Ann

I had this recipe drop into my inbox

Braised Beef Braciola Stuffed with Basil and Mozzarella

by Tony Rosenfeld from Big Buy Cooking

This is a home-style version of the Italian-American classic. The traditional dish uses small roulades of beef round, but here we use a whole flank steak because it’s quicker and easier to stuff and roll one large cut and the flank offers a wonderful flavor. If you want to build up the stuffing, add prosciutto or hearty greens like kale.
more about:

flank steak
kosher salt
black peppercorns
Parmigiano Reggiano
olive oil
crushed red pepper flakes
white button mushrooms

One 2 lb. flank steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated mozzarella
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/3 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
12 large basil leaves, torn into pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, cut into thin strips (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup red wine
One 28-oz. can whole tomatoes and their juices (3 cups), puréed (preferably San Marzano)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
8 oz. white mushrooms, quartered

Set the flank steak on a large cutting board. Using a chef’s knife, slice the steak lengthwise along one long side (without cutting all the way through the meat) and open it up like a book. Using a meat mallet, flatten the meat so it is about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. For the stuffing, put the mozzarella, Parmigiano, breadcrumbs, and basil in a mini chopper or food processor and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the stuffing evenly over one side of the beef, and roll it up lengthwise jelly roll�"style with the stuffing inside. Secure with kitchen twine in five or six places.

Heat half the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering. Add the beef and cook until it browns and releases easily from the pan, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until browned, about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil and the onion to the pan, and lower the heat to medium. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until the onion wilts completely and turns a light brown, about 8 minutes. Add the red wine and cook, stirring, until it almost completely reduces, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and tuck the meat and mushrooms into the broth. Cover and cook, repositioning the meat occasionally, until the meat becomes tender and cuts easily with a paring knife, about 1-1/2 hours. Set the meat on a cutting board and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Thinly slice and serve topped with the sauce and vegetables.

Serve with Sautéed Broccoli Raab or Fennel Layered with Potatoes & Breadcrumbs (Tortiera di Finocchi e Patate).

I also have a great recipe for a beef and broccoli Chinese dish that it may work for...marinated in soy sauce.

Off to buy New York Strips.....

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:39PM
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Since your flank steak is already frozen, you can easily slice it very thinly while it is still frozen and then it will be fine in your Chinese beef & broccoli. If you slice it thin enough, you can plunge it into a boiling Japanese or Vietnamese style soup. I had this at a Vietnamese restaurant in Little Osaka (L.A.), and so I do not know whether it was Japanese or Vietnamese. I would probably make hamburger out of it, however.

I tend to make chicken fajitas instead of beef for the very reason that beef can be tough. I almost never order beef in a Mexican restaurant, although I frequently order carnitas, which is pork and is generally much more tender. My Texas relatives make beef fajitas, however, and they marinate the meat in lime juice.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:18PM
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