If you are looking for an epic Skirt steak marinade to make the best fajitas of your life then read on because this recipe is full of flavor and relatively easy to make with just a few easy-to-find ingredients. Skirt Steak fajitas are one of my favorite things to make because skirt steak is an economical cut that can easily feed a crowd so you can set up a fajita bar at your next cookout and let your friends and family pile their tortillas high with their favorite toppings. I lived in San Antonio when I was younger and got spoiled with good Tex Mex at a young age and Fajitas are one of my first food memories. This food memory has lived on with me into my adult years and I've developed an epic skirt steak marinade that will now help you create lasting memories over skirt steak fajitas!!
Before we dig into this marinade, let's first discuss Why Skirt Steak for fajitas versus flank steak? While many people will make their fajitas with flank steak, Texans know that a fajita is only a fajita when made with skirt steak. In fact, the word “fajita” is a derivation of the Spanish word “faja” which translates to “belt” or “girdle” in English.
Skirt Steak comes from the lower central area of the cow, specifically from the plate to rib area. Skirt steak is ideal for hot and fast grilling and benefits from smoke flavor cooked over charcoal. This cut of meat is great paired with this Chipotle Lime Skirt Steak marinade that tenderizes the meat while adding tons of flavor!
This graphic, originally from my cookbook “Healthy Electric Smoker”, shows where Skirt Steak comes from on a cow. The “skirt” or “faja” in Spanish, ie near the bottom part of the cow behind the front legs, is where Skirt Steak comes from and where we get the word “fajitas”.
Now, let's talk about the flavors of chipotle and lime in this skirt steak marinade. This sauce has two core ingredients that make it epic: Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce and Lime Juice.
Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapenos which means they get the concentrated flavors of jalapeno while simultaneously lending smoke flavor to anything you put them in, making them a flavorful addition to all dishes. In addition, the adobo sauce is a rich sauce made from vinegar, garlic, onions, paprika and tomato, make a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce a flavor power house!
When I first got into grilling and cooking in my mid to late 20s, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce were one of my greatest culinary discoveries! I wanted to put Chipotle peppers in adobo in ALL THE THINGS (and I still do!) like mayo, marinades, sometimes I even use them in desserts! This culinary staple is a MUST have in your culinary arsenal!
Next, let's talk about how Citrus, specifically lime juice, brightens all dishes. The smell of fresh lime juice wakes up your senses while also uplifting them! Citrus also has the unique benefit of tenderizing meat since it is acidic. All marinades need a balance of herbs, spice fat and acid and Lime Juice is one of my preferred acids in all marinades. If you also love Citrus, check out my Mojo Marinade, which is another excellent marinade for proteins!
In this marinade, the Chipotle pepper in adobo is our spice, the lime juice is our acid, garlic is added for depth of flavor and cilantro is added for an earthy, herbacious undertone. These flavors come together to form the basis for an incredible marinade that will elevate your fajita game!
Lime zest takes every marinade to the next level. I put it in everything!!
Slice the skirt steak AGAINST THE GRAIN in thin strips and serve alongside warmed tortillas and all of your toppings so everyone can build their fajitas as they like!
Since you “are what you eat” it is important to know where your meat comes from. Here are some of my clean Meat recommendations:
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How to Add Extra Flavor on your meat: If you want to add extra citrus flavor, try my Sunshine State of Mind Craft BBQ Rub with a Kaffir lime and orange zest base and add it to the meat before adding the marinade onto your meat.
Pierce Your Meat with a Fork: I like to puncture the meat with a fork to help tenderize it further and get more places to let the marinade permeate the meat.
Don't over Cook the meat: cook to medium rare at 125- you can always put back on the grill but if you overcook you can never fix that!
Enjoy these fajitas with your favorite toppings and a large margarita (try out my Perfect Skinny Margarita recipe!) to feel like a true Texan, even if you live elsewhere. If you haven't heard, I recently launched a Craft BBQ Rub that is excellent on all proteins and even as a cocktail rimmer! Use code Sunshine for 5% off if you want to give it a try. If you order two I'll throw in a copy of my newly launched magazine!
Skirt steak is best cooked rare in my opinion, be careful to not overcook! Don't let this meat go above 130 degrees internal temperature or it will be tough. To determine what temperature your meat is at, I recommend using an internal read thermometer, such as Thermapen.
Go ahead and bookmark this Chile Lime marinade because while it is great on skirt steak, it is also equally amazing on all proteins for making fajitas. This simple marinade only requires a few ingredients: cilantro, lime, chipotle peppers in adobo, and garlic for a marinade that adds a ton of flavor to beef or any protein you marinate it in.
Toppings (this can vary depending on what you like!)
Sautee your peppers in a skillet while the skirt steak grills on direct heat.
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Check out our other Grilled Beef recipes!
Sriracha Skirt Steak Empanadas
Grill School: How to Grill the Perfect Steak Using the Reverse Sear Method (VIDEO)
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