So you want to make a real Mexican taco? Fajitas, know in Mexico as arachera, is one the best fillings to make a real beef taco. Even though I love Taco Bell Mystery meat, as I have told you before you won’t find anything like Taco Bell’s menu in Mexico. Traditionally the fajitas are made up out of the skirt steak of the cow. For many years the skirt steak was considered a throwaway cut. Cows have only 8 pounds of skirt steak per carcass, and this limited the commercial availability of the cut. Someone got clever with the marketing and the Fajita has now taken its place as a favorite for backyard barbecues. It crazy that in the butcher shops near my house, this cut is generally more expensive than a T-bone, or a Rib Eye cut.
People like the cut because of the skirt steak mixture of muscle and fat. The cut which is one of tougher cuts, when cooked right makes for a very tender meat. The best way to cook this cut is over coals in a barbecue. There is a good technique that can be used when you don’t have the time to fire up the grill. It involves using a cast iron pan. A cast iron pan is required because of the extreme heat it produces once it is hot. Once the cast iron pan is hot, it will take a while for it to get cold again. This is the property we are looking for in order to have a successful grilling without the grill. The other thing we require is an oil with a high smoke point, like safflower oil. If you use any other oil your kitchen will become a smoking mess.
1 Pound Skirt Steak
1/4 Cup Safflower Oil
Add kosher salt liberally to the skirt steak on both sides. Brush some safflower oil on both sides of the skirts steak. Add some oil to the cast iron pan. Set the cast iron pan on the highest setting on your stove. Wait for 4-5 minutes until the pan is scorching hot. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side which should be enough to brown the meat, but you can cook it till the desired doneness. Cut the meat into small strips. Serve as soft tacos in heated flour tortillas. You can add salsa, avocados, cheese, and lime juice as toppings for the tacos. If you are going to grill the meat in a barbecue, you can omit the oil.