From America's Test Kitchen Season 2: Fajitas and Margaritas
Steak fajitas were originally made with skirt steak, but the wider availability of flank steak has made it the cut of choice for this dish. Recipes for fajitas are fairly straightforward—grill the meat and vegetables and serve them in a warm tortilla. But too often, fajitas are lackluster or ruined by unnecessary complexity. We want fajitas that boasted flawless, flavorful meat with a rosy interior and browned crust. Marinating is often recommended as a way to tenderize flank steak, but we learned that it’s plenty tender without a marinade if sliced thin against the grain after being cooked. But we did want to add flavor. A long soak turned the meat mushy, but a squeeze of lime juice and a generous dose of salt and pepper just before grilling added all the extra flavor we wanted. The tried-and-true way of cooking flank steak—over high heat for a short period of time—required no changes. We found that the meat is juicier when allowed to rest after grilling, and that gave us time to grill the vegetables. Served in tortillas with freshly made guacamole, these fajitas delivered on all fronts.
Although it was originally made with skirt steak, this combination of steak and vegetables grilled and then wrapped in warm tortillas is the dish that put flank steak on the culinary map in the United States. The ingredients go on the grill in order as the fire dies down: steak over a hot fire, vegetables over a medium fire, and tortillas around the edge of the medium to low fire just to warm them.