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True fajitas were invented by Mexican ranchers living and working in West Texas. The dish takes its name from the cut of meat used—in Spanish, faja means “belt” or “girdle,” and fajitas were originally made from skirt steak, one of the less-desirable cuts of meat given to ranch workers in partial payment. The first fajitas were sold by Sonny Falcon, the meat market manager of Guajardo’s Cash Grocery, who in 1969 set up a portable outdoor operation that earned him the moniker “The Fajita King.” Fajitas made their way to Houston via the restaurant Ninfa's and in 1982 expanded around the United States, spread by Chef George Weidmann of the Hyatt Regency in Austin. A true Tex-Mex dish, fajitas combine Texas cowboy and Mexican panchero cuisines to delicious effect. As fajitas have gained wider popularity, the specificity of the term has waned, and “fajita” now often refers to any dish of grilled meat wrapped in a soft flour tortilla, whether the meat used is skirt steak or not.

Recipe Servings: 4

Prep Time
15 minutes
+ 8 hours resting
Cook Time
20 minutes
Total Time
8 hours 35 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


Lime Marinade: 
  • 1½ lbs skirt steak (flank steak may be substituted)
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped as needed for topping (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, as needed for topping (optional)
  • Sour cream, as needed for topping (optional)
  • Guacamole, as needed for topping (optional)
  • Salsa, as needed for topping (optional)


    For Lime Marinade: 
  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large, resealable plastic bag and set it aside.
  2. For Dish:
  3. Place the skirt steak on a cutting board, use a sharp knife to remove the outer membrane, and make a number of slits in the meat, cutting both with and against the grain.
  4. Add the skirt steak to the plastic bag with the marinade, reseal, and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it rest until it reaches room temperature.
  6. Preheat the grill and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. Drain the steaks, reserving the marinade.
  8. Place the steaks on the heated grill and spoon some of the marinade over the top. Close the barbecue lid, opening vents, and cook for 3–5 minutes, until finished medium-rare, at 120°F on a meat thermometer.
  9. Wrap the stack of tortillas in foil and heat in the oven for 10–15 minutes.
  10. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board, slice diagonally into thin strips, and place it on a serving platter.
  11. Place the green pepper and onion slices on the heated grill and cook for 1–2 minutes, until softened.
  12. Transfer the grilled vegetables to the serving platter with the steak strips.
  13. For Assembly:
  14. Place steak strips and grilled vegetables inside each warmed tortilla.
  15. Serve with tomatoes, cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa on the side for optional toppings as desired.

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