While the rest of America was cooking up chicken wings and nachos, I was cooking up beefylicous fajitas. Wings are nice, but beef trumps chicken every time. These fajitas were extra special, because the Mrs. made homemade flour tortillas.
I used a choice grade flap steak for my fajitas; skirt and flank steaks also good cuts for fajitas. I seasoned the steak with my Red Chile BBQ Rub and some habanero salt to give it a little more heat. After seasoning I placed them in the fridge and let them marinate in the rub for 3 hours.
|Flap Steak on the Big Green Egg|
The flap steak is thin and it will cook quickly, so I grilled them on the Big Green Egg with the lid open over red hot coals. To maximize browning and flavor, I kept the steak moving, flipping and turning every minute or so. After each flip I brushed the top side with garlic butter. I cooked the steaks to an internal temperature of 125º, a perfect medium rare.
I sliced the steak up then gave the meat a nice drizzle of jalapeño infused olive oil. The steak juice and the jalapeño oil create a fantastic little sauce for the fajitas. Just a reminder, when slicing skirt steaks, cut across the grain of the meat or your fajitas might be a little tough to chew.
|Sliced and ready for a fresh tortilla!|
The Mrs. here…fajitas are great and all, but what about that soft floury conduit used to get the meat from your plate into your pie hole? Living in the Land of Enchantment, we have the luxury of being able to purchase delicious, locally made, fresh tortillas right off the grocery store shelves. Be that as it may, I do have a good chunk of Hispanic blood coursing through my veins, so it’s only reasonable that I should make my own from time to time. ¿Verdad? On my quest to make flour tortillas, I came across lots of recipes, many only varying by minuscule differences. I have stitched together what I deem to be the best of the best and added a few tips and tricks as well to ensure tasty results every time. By the way, these are VERY easy to make.
Just a few humble ingredients are all you need to start. Nothing fancy, but when they combine…delicioso! Flour, lard (yes, it HAS to be lard!), baking powder, salt, and warm water. I bet you have these items in your pantry at this very moment!
In a large bowl, we begin by dropping the lard into the dry ingredients and gently crumbling the lard and flour together with our hands. This is going to get messy. Warm water is next, so if you thought it was messy before, well you haven’t seen anything yet. I like to use one hand to combine the ingredients, so that I have a clean hand free at all times. Once the dough begins to come together (it will be a bit shaggy) we dump it out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Next, we use a bench scraper to divide the dough into 24 balls to make fajita size tortillas or 12 burrito size tortillas. Let these little beauties rest on a tray and cover with a damp cloth for approximately 30 minutes. This will ensure that the dough will hold its shape and not snap back when rolled out.
Again, on a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball of dough into a paper thin round disc. You might be inclined to roll your pin back and forth across the dough, but this will leave your tortilla misshapen. Instead, use your rolling pin and roll “up” towards the top of the dough disc with one stroke and then turn the dough disc 90º. We repeat this step until we have a lovely round uniform paper thin disc. Next, we cook the tortilla in a cast iron skillet or griddle heated to Medium High heat. It will be pretty darn hot. It takes only a a few seconds to cook on each side, so you don’t want to step away. As soon as you see pockets forming, flip the tortilla and cook for a few seconds on the other side. Anything longer and we’ll end up with chewy, tough tortillas. No me gusta.
Once these bad boys are finished, stack them high and send pictures of them to family and friends. You’ll have uninvited dinner guests beating on your door in no time flat. On second thought, pile them up with lots of meat, cheese, and salsa and start stuffing them into your pie hole. Nobody needs to know, it’ll be our little secret. And when you’re done with the main event, take one of these delectable, still warm, tender rounds…slather it with butter, drizzle it with honey, and call it a day.
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (heaping)
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons lard
1 1/2 cups water
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the lard and crumble the mixture together with your hands until it is uniform and resembles the texture of cornmeal.
Heat the water in the microwave for 1 minute and add it to the flour mixture. Still using your hands, mix the water and flour until it starts to come together. It will be a bit shaggy.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for several minutes until smooth. Shape it into a ball and divide into 24 pieces (fajita size) or 12 pieces (burrito size). Roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls of dough on a tray, cover with a damp towel, and let them rest for 20-30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball of dough into a paper thin disc.
Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium high heat for several minutes. Gently lay a tortilla in the skillet and cook on each side for a few seconds.
Serve immediately and refrigerate the leftovers.