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Steak Fajitas

Martha Rose Shulman

main-course tex-mex


4 Servings

Prep time

15 minutes plus 4 hours marinating Minutes

Cooking Time

45 Minutes


--- Kcal


  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle or ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 ¼ pounds flank or skirt steak
  • Zest of 1 lime (2 teaspoons)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large red or yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers (or 1 red and 1 orange or yellow), seeded and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1-2 jalapeños, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil


  1. Combine 2 teaspoons ground cumin, the chile powder and 1 teaspoon salt. With a sharp knife, cut shallow crosshatched incisions across top and bottom surfaces of steak. Rub spice mix all over surface of steak. (It’s best to wear gloves as the chile powder is hot.) Place steak in a resealable zip-lock bag.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and zest, 1/4 cup olive oil, the Worcestershire sauce and half the garlic. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade and pour the rest into the bag with steak. Seal and move steak around in bag to coat thoroughly. Place on a sheet pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Flip bag over periodically to redistribute marinade. Refrigerate reserved marinade if cooking the next day.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until they soften and begin to color, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in bell peppers and chile. Cook, stirring, until peppers begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

  4. Lower heat to medium, add remaining garlic and cumin, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until peppers are nicely seared, softened and beginning to caramelize, 5 to 8 minutes.

  5. Pour in reserved 2 tablespoons marinade and scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Stir in half the cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat but keep warm.

  6. Wrap tortillas in a towel and warm in the microwave.

  7. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, or prepare a medium-hot grill. Remove meat from marinade and discard marinade. Pat meat dry with paper towels. If using a skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet. (If your skillet is not large enough for the steak, cut it in half and cook in batches.) Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Meat should be medium rare. Remove to a cutting board, cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. Cut across the grain into 1/2- to 3/4-inch wide strips.

  8. Arrange steak strips on a platter. Tip juices from cutting board over meat and sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Serve vegetables on the same platter or separately, along with warm tortillas, salsa and pepper-jack cheese.