Fajitas are traditionally made from flank or skirt steak (one of those infamous “budget” cuts of meat), although you will often see them made with chicken, pork, or shrimp as well. They were always one of my favorite choices when going out for Mexican food before we changed to primal eating. There is just something about the mix of sautéed bell peppers, onions, and marinated meat sizzling on a hot plate with huge side of fresh guacamole that gets my mouth watering.
Even after going primal, fajitas are still one of my staples when we find ourselves out for dinner in the vicinity of a good Mexican restaurant…I just order without the beans, rice, or tortillas. And so it was only natural to come up with a recipe that we could prepare at home without requiring a lot of prep time, and to make more use of those economy cuts of meat we have from buying a side of beef.
- 1-1/2 lbs flank or round steak, or other economy cut of meat (alternately, you can use pork, chicken, or shrimp if you like)
- 1 Large yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slivers
- 2 Bell peppers, assorted colors, cut into 1/4″ slivers
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3/4 cup picante or salsa of your choice
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1-1/2 tsp cumin, divided
- 3/4 tsp celery seeds, divided
- 1 lime cut in wedges (optional)
- 1/8 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (optional)
Start out trimming any large pieces of fat from the steak, and cutting into narrow strips about 1/8″ thick. This works best of the steak is just shy of being fully thawed. Or, if it is fully thawed already, put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing to firm it up a bit.
Mix the lime juice, salsa, garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp celery seed together with the strips of steak. Turn to coat well, then set aside while continuing with everything else – we’re going to use the prep time for the remaining ingredients to give the meat a little time to marinate.
Proceed with slicing the onions and peppers and setting aside in another bowl. Toss with the remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp celery seeds. If you are going to have guacamole with these, now would be the time to make it as well (we’ll cover our recipe in a future post – sorry).
Heat a wok or other large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Toss in the veggies and sauté until the onions start to turn translucent but are still tender-crisp. Remove from the pan and place in a large bowl.
With the pan still on medium-high heat, toss in the meat – marinade and all. Sauté until just cooked through – about 5 minutes depending on how well your pan holds and transfers heat. Shoot for a touch on the medium-rare side to prevent it from becoming tough and chewy (a longer marinade of a few hours would also solve this, but we were shooting for “fast” with this recipe).
When the meat is done cooking, use a set of tongs to remove the meat and transfer to the bowl of veggies (leaving the liquids behind). Toss well with the veggies, and serve with a big helping of guacamole on the side. Garnish with a wedge of lime (to squeeze over top) and a little chopped fresh cilantro. If you absolutely must have something to wrap your fajitas up in for eating, try a large leaf of lettuce or kale in place of the traditional tortilla. Enjoy!