Traditional recipe with ingredients that have been updated to ones more accessible to us in the USA but this is the same recipe and method used by Mexican families for generations! (The soy sauce is a recent AND YUMMY addition) I saw an Alton Brown show recently in which he used this same method of cooking! The hair dryer is a new generation update- in the 'old days' they just fanned the flames to rid the ashes. UPDATE: 9/2009 Due to a review that this was a little to sweet I have edited the recipe with that in mind. Please adjust the amount of onion and sweetness to your personal taste. Thanks Steph for the input! I do appreciate it! I always enjoy others opinions and ideas!
- 2 lbs skirt steaks, tenderized
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1⁄3 cup soy sauce
- 1 large onion, quartered (for less pronounced onion flavor save some for grilling later)
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 limes, juice of, reserve flesh and rind
- 1 guajillo chilies, dried, torn in pieces or 1 chipotle chili, from a can of chipotles in adobo
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed (originally asked for 1/4 cup)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- tomato, quartered (optional)
- onion, quartered (optional)
- mushrooms, quartered (optional) or mushroom, whole (optional)
- summer squash, quartered (optional)
- zucchini, quartered (optional)
- bell pepper, any color, quartered (optional)
- crema (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
- cheese, grated (optional)
- pico de gallo (optional)
- salsa (optional)
- In a blender, whir together oil, soy sauce, onion, garlic, lime juice, red pepper or chili/red pepper/chipotle, cumin, salt and sugar until there are no chunks- liquefied. If you do not want to blend them combine all the wet until the sugar is dissolved then add the other ingredients and proceed.
- Place steak in a ziploc bag and pour in marinade. Toss in the squeezed limes that were juiced and reserved.
- Seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Allow steak to marinate for at least 1 hour in refrigerator. We do it overnight.
- Remove steak from bag and pat dry with paper towels. Toss out marinade.
- Heat charcoal, preferably natural chunk, until gray ash appears. Daddy uses B & B brand.
- You want the steak to fit nicely on the coals. You may need to cut the steak so that it fits nicely on the coals. You want the entire surface of the steak in DIRECT contact with the coals.
- Using a blow dryer, YES A BLOW DRYER! Blow charcoal clean of ash. You could also use a fireplace bellows or something heavy and just 'fan' them until the ashes are off the coals.
- Once clean of ash lay steaks directly onto hot coals for 1 minute per side. That is all. ONE MINUTE PER SIDE! (If you prefer NOT to use that method you CAN place them on the grill SEE NOTE BELOW!
- Now place meat in double thickness of aluminum foil, wrap tightly to trap in all the heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- Want veggies too? While the meat is resting, place a cast iron skillet right on the coals and heat until really scorching HOT. You could use a grill basket instead if you like. Add a little olive oil to coat the pan so that your veggies don't stick. Toss in the veggies and stir (or shake basket a bit) to cook evenly. Remove from skillet when they have reached the desired degree of done-ness!
- Remove meat from foil, reserving foil and juices. Slice thinly across the grain of the meat. Brush off any ash or coals that may have stuck to the meat.
- Note: You can do this the GRINGO way and cook on a grill over a very hot fire. You want the meat to sear. Just cook about 3 minutes per side instead of 1 minute directly on the coals. The grill rack MUST be placed as close to the coals as possible and the grill rack has been preheated to HOT HOT HOT! You want to sear the heck outta that meat! Then just follow the regular steps! Remember, if you want the meat more DONE you can pop it under the broiler in the house for a minute or two BUT you cannot UNcook the meat! So err on the side of RARE rather than DONE here.).
- Return to foil pouch (REPEAT AFTER MAMA- NO DISH TO WASH! YEA) and toss with the reserved juice.
- Fix a taco! We like to heat lots of yummy tortillas right along side the coals. Just wrap the desired amount of tortillas- it is best to keep it 10 or under so that the ones in the middle get nice and yummy too! Anyway, wrap them in a double thickness of aluminum foil and place near the coals. They can hang out and get toasty warm and will be waiting for you!
- Take a hot, steamy tortilla (authentically corn but use what you want) and add meat and veggies or whatever you like. Fold and eat!
- Oh ANOTHER Note: Some people like a little more sweetness to their fajita meat- If you are one try adding some 7-up or sprite to the marinade. mmmmm.