The reality of life is that sometimes we don’t always cook with the most prime ingredients. Whether it is because of availability or economics, the best cuts of meat aren’t always on cutting board, so home cooks just have to make do. That doesn’t mean that we have to sacrifice on flavor or chew on a tough piece of meat.
While assembling ingredients for a fajita feast for our boys and a bunch of their friends yesterday, the store didn’t have any great deals on steak and their strip loins were over priced but looked like crap. We decided to pick up a couple of those garbage fast fry steaks, as they would be seasoned and sliced thin for fajitas anyway. I figured I could find a marinade of some sort to impart some flavor and tenderize it a bit.
Most of the Mexican beef marinades I was able to find included lime juice and cilantro. Sadly I was stranded at home without wheels and had no limes, so I had to dig a bit further. I found some references to orange and jalapeno marinades, but nothing that really caught my eye so I decided to experiment. The resulting marinade did the trick, so I decided to share it with our readers.
1 cup of beer – I used a pale lager because it was what I had on hand.
1 cup of orange juice
2 tbsp of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, roughly chopped – yes, I actually keep them in the pantry.
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp of fajita seasoning
Combine all ingredients and allow them to mingle for a half hour or so to combine the flavors.
Put meat into a pan large enough to hold the meat and 2 cups of liquid and then pour marinade over top.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for as long as you can. Overnight would yield the most flavorful steak, but it is not needed for a quick mid week meal. I left mine to marinate for about an hour and a half and the steak picked up a nice citrus taste with a bit of a kick.
Once you have marinated, toss your steaks on a preheated grille until they are done to your liking. I find that even those who like their meat well done enjoy it better in a fajita if it is medium rare at most.