The Best Kind of Steak for Fajitas
Quick to prepare and endlessly customizable, fajitas are one of my go-to weeknight dinners. Fajitas are an especially great end-of-the-week supper, when you have to raid the refrigerator, Chopped-style, to cobble together a meal. If you have tortillas, vegetables, and some form of protein (beans, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp—or any combination), you can pull together a sizzling fajita dinner in minutes. Bonus points if you also have pico de gallo and a little sour cream for topping.
While almost any combination of meat and vegetables tastes great when wrapped up in warm tortillas, it is pretty hard to beat beef fajitas. Especially if they are made with flank steak. This cut of meat is rich, beefy, and juicy and has just enough chewiness to pair well with tender vegetables and soft tortillas. Flank steak with grilled bell peppers and onions is a classic combination, but we also love serving it with charred tomatillos and roasted sweet potatoes, or topping it with fresh Watermelon Salsa.
Because flank steak is so flavorful on its own, it can stand up to other bold ingredients—sprinkle on a spice rub, or let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Flank steak is a lean cut of beef, so it works very well with marinades, which add flavor and tenderize the meat. If you're using a wet marinade, be sure to pat the meat dry before you cook it to help create a better sear.
The key to great flank steak is to not overcook it. It's a thin cut of meat, so it doesn't need more than a few minutes on both sides, especially when you're cooking over a hot grill. Once it is cooked, be sure to let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before slicing it diagonally across the grain. Slicing across the grain shortens the length of the muscle fibers, making each slice more tender.