These beef fajitas actually taste sorta similar to tacos but better—if that’s even possible. And that’s entirely due to this spectacularly flavorful recipe for grilled steak that’s first marinated in beer and spices and then grilled to juicy magnificence before being piled atop lightly charred tortillas. Take a taste and tell us if you’ll ever go back to plain old beef tacos.–Angie Zoobkoff

The makings of beef fajitas on a wooden board - tortillas, steak, guacamole, salsa.

Beef Fajitas

5 / 4 votes
Let everyone customize their fajitas by setting out an assortment of toppings such as fresh cilantro, guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Pick up a container of freshly sliced onions and jalapeños at the grocery store to save time (and tears) when preparing the fajitas.
David Leite
CourseMains
CuisineTex Mex
Servings6 servings
Calories645 kcal
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time4 hours

Ingredients 

  • 7 tablespoons Texas dry rub
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (figure 4 to 5 limes)
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup amber agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • One (3-pound) flank steak*
  • Twelve to sixteen (6-to 8-inch) fajita-size flour tortillas
  • Pico de gallo, guacamole, shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced red onions, and sliced jalapeños, for serving

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together 4 tablespoons Texas meat rub, beer, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, agave, and soy sauce. Bring to a light boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Place the steak in a large baking dish. Pour the warm marinade over the steak and let it cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high or 350° to 400°F (180° to 200°C).
  • While the grill is heating, remove the steak from the marinade and discard the marinade. Let the steak sit at room temperature until the grill is fully preheated. Rub both sides of the steak with 3 tablespoons Texas meat rub.
  • Toss the steak on the grill, close the grill lid, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare or to the desired degree of doneness. Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
  • While the steak is resting, turn off the burner to one side of the grill to create an indirect grilling space. Working in batches, warm the tortillas on the indirect zone until lightly charred, about 30 seconds per side. Wrap the tortillas in a clean towel or aluminum foil to keep warm.
  • Cut the steak diagonally across the grain into thin strips. Serve the steak piled onto warm tortillas with pico de gallo, guacamole, Cheddar cheese, sour cream, red onion, and jalapeños.

Notes

*What can I use instead of flank steak?

This recipe is written specifically for flank steak and, obviously, will be the best with that delish cut. However…if you can’t manage it, then a slab of skirt steak will also make the cut. Finally, chuck steak is another option that will come pretty close. All 3 are leaner cuts that need to be prepared in the same way, as long as you slice them thinly across the grain.
Texas BBQ Cookbook

Adapted From

Texas BBQ

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Nutrition

Serving: 2 fajitasCalories: 645 kcalCarbohydrates: 61 gProtein: 56 gFat: 17 gSaturated Fat: 6 gCholesterol: 136 mgSodium: 1251 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 15 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2017 The Editors of Southern Living. Photo © 2017 Time Inc. Food Studios. All rights reserved.


Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These beef fajitas are a wonderful weeknight meal to serve my family of boys—and with plenty of leftovers. We regularly have ground beef tacos for dinner, but the fajita-style beef made our taco night restaurant-worthy. The beef was full of flavor, both from the marinade and the addition of the rub before grilling (broiling in my case—I live in Minnesota and we don’t have our grills out yet).

I served my fajitas with guacamole, plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, lettuce, and pico de gallo. I also sautéed onion, some red and yellow peppers in a bit of olive oil to complete the meal.

We cook a lot of fajitas and this recipe didn’t disappoint. The marinade gives a lot of Tex-Mex flavor and makes the flank steak really tender. I used an IPA beer (because that’s what was in the fridge) and tamari. The Texas dry rub came together quickly and easily; it made enough for a few more uses, too. I don’t use seasoned salt so instead of buying any, I just made my own (thanks, Internet!).

I let the meat marinate for 3 1/2 hours before placing it on the grill and 4 minutes per side was just enough to cook it to medium-rare. We sliced it up after letting it rest and served it with warm tortillas, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, lime crema, and pickled onions. We had made 16 six-inch tortillas and had enough meat for 14. The meat rub and marinade were both really delicious and added something special to the recipe. I’m quite sure this one will be added to the regular rotation.

If you judge a recipe by whether or not you can’t stop eating it, this recipe is definitely a 10. Ease of preparation, a delicious marinade with amazing flavor (yes, I tasted the marinade), and, once grilled, there was extremely juicy, medium-rare meat that had the crispiest crust I can remember having. This meat was so good, that I just couldn’t add all of my extra ingredients to the meat in the tortillas. I ended up eating the meat separately and had the extras with charro beans that I made in my Instant Pot, jalapeño slices, sour cream, red onion slices, homemade pico de gallo, and sliced avocado all together with the tortillas.

I have a pantry full of different rubs from many a recipe. In the past, I may have tried even more marinades than the number of rubs. I have even made many different beef fajitas recipes. NONE has come anywhere close to this recipe. Once the rub is made the marinade is very easy to throw together, then in goes the flank steak. After grilling and a 10 minute rest period, you are ready for a fabulous meal. No need to go anywhere to have fajitas that could never hold a candle to these.

This is a good recipe for beef fajitas. The marinade is simple to prepare and adds a lot of flavor to the beef. I served pico de gallo, guacamole, shredded Cheddar cheese and sour cream for the toppings. I like that the tortillas are lightly grilled rather than just warmed to give them a light char. I used Heineken beer and low-sodium soy sauce. I marinated the steak for 4 hours.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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4 Comments

    1. Catherine, you can use either honey or maple syrup. Just be mindful that either will change the flavor profile a bit.

      1. thank you for your reply but honey or what? you said I can use either honey…I’m not sure I understand…

        1. Catherine, I’m so sorry about that. I must’ve deleted part of the message. I fixed it. You can use either honey or maple syrup. But know that they will change the flavor profile, especially maple syrup.