Skirt steak fajitas are an easy and delightful weekday barbecue recipe. We marinated the skirt steak in beer a day before to make them tender and flavorful.
Alongside the meat, we sautéed some onions and peppers and warmed up some tortillas. The entire recipe was prepared in just 20 minutes on the grill.
This is skirt steak, the cow’s diaphragm that runs from the chest through the flank to the rear end. You can tell from its thick grain that it’s genuinely a working muscle. This gives the meat a fantastic flavour but also makes it tough. We resolve this by marinating it and slicing it in a particular way after grilling.
Before marinating the skirt steak, we must clean it up. We trim away thick pieces of fat and silver skin. The silver skin can especially hinder the marinade from penetrating as deep into the meat as we’d like.
In the marinade, we include a few dried peppers. This is a Pasilla pepper, which is relatively mild but has a typical raisin-like flavour. We first lightly toasted the pepper in a skillet and then soaked it in hot water for half an hour.
After that, the peppers become pliable, and you can further process them. We remove the seeds and membranes since we’re mainly interested in the flavour of the peppers. Then, we chop them fine in the food processor along with a few garlic cloves.
We cut the skirt steak into smaller pieces of about 20 centimetres before it goes into the marinade. Smaller pieces are easier to grill.
First, we grill the skirt steak on both sides until it achieves a beautiful colour. A little black char here and there is fine, but don’t overdo it.
Then, we place the meat on the upper grill grate to keep it warm and allow it to continue cooking slightly. Meanwhile, we stir-fry the bell peppers and onions in a cast-iron skillet. If the skillet is hot enough, 10 minutes will be enough.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the grill, we heat the tortillas on the glazed grill stone. This also happens quickly, so this will be the moment to gather everyone around the dining table.
The trick to making skirt steak tender is partly the marinade, but even more critical is the slicing. The meat has thick bundles of muscles running through it. You need to cut those bundles shorter to make them easier to chew. This causes the meat almost to fall apart, making it much easier to chew.
This is our beer-marinated skirt steak fajitas. We serve them with lime wedges and some feta cheese crumbles. Let us know if you decide to make these fajitas in the comments below. Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you’ve created.
- Skirt steak
- Small tortilla pancakes
For the Marinade
- 3 mild dried peppers
- Half a bottle of dark beer
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsp ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce)
For the Vegetables
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 large white onion
- A bit of olive oil
- Half of the above marinade
- The rest of the beer
- 1 tsp salt
- Toast the dried peppers briefly in a skillet, then soak them in hot water for about half an hour until they become soft.
- Meanwhile, remove tough pieces of fat and silver skin from the skirt steak and cut the meat into lengths of about 20 cm.
- Remove the seeds and membranes from the now soft peppers and combine them with garlic in a food processor. Process them finely and mix them with the beer and ketjap manis.
- Pour half of the marinade into a ziplock bag with the meat and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours up to overnight.
- Mix the remaining marinade with the rest of the beer and salt.
- Prepare a barbecue for grilling and, in the meantime, thinly slice the bell peppers and onion.
- Grill the pieces of skirt steak on both sides until they have a nice colour. Then, place them indirectly on the grill to keep the meat warm.
- Let a cast-iron skillet heat up with a bit of olive oil. Stir-fry the peppers and onions, then add the beer sauce and let it simmer for a while.
- Slice the skirt steak across the grain into thin slices and heat the tortillas. Serve everything with lime wedges and feta cheese crumbles.