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Simple Fajitas

The Spanish word fajita translates into English as ‘little strap’ which is a cut of beef from the belly. It was the cheapest cut and was given to Mexican vaqueros on south Texas ranches as part of their salary. They grilled the meat and wrapped it in a tortilla to become the fajita, a staple in the Tex-Mex cuisine. Fajitas have since been upgraded to pricier cuts of meat, but virtually any cut will suffice.

1/2 pound thin sliced beef, virtually any cut

Mojo marinade

1 red or yellow bell pepper

3 yellow onion slices, 1/4 inch thick

Flour tortillas

Salt and pepper to taste

Powdered cumin to taste (optional)

Place the meat and marinade in a zip-top plastic bag. Zip the bag almost closes, expel as much air as possible, and zip the bag fully closed. Marinate refrigerated for 24 hours, turning at least once. Prepare the grill for hot direct cooking. Place the pepper and onion directly over the fire. Grill the onions for 3 minutes per side on direct lid closed. Rotate the pepper as the skin chars, charring on all sides (including top and bottom, approximately 20 minutes). It is best to use tongs on the pepper and a spatula on the onions (the rings will separate).

Place the pepper in a closed container for 15 minutes. Remove the charred pepper skin, slice it open and remove the seeds and membranes. Cut the onion slices in half and cut the pepper into long, thin slices.

Remove the meat draining excess marinade. Brush the meat with oil and season. Grill the meat approximately 1 minute per side, depending upon thickness.

Cut the meat into long, thin slices. Assemble the meat, onion, and peppers in the center of the tortillas and roll or fold into a fajita. Beans are the ideal side dish, frijoles refritos in this case.


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