Monday, September 20, 2010

Spicy Grass-fed Beef Fajitas

As a member of the Foodie Blogroll, I was given the awesome opportunity to try out some grass-fed steaks from Hearst Ranch. When I signed up for the opportunity, I figured I'd be getting a small sample, as has been the case with other similar opportunities. Imagine my surprise when 2 huge 20 oz. packages of beautiful, lean, vitamin-packed grass-fed flank steaks showed up on my doorstep! I did a little happy dance (no one was around to see or videotape it, so you'll just have to visualize for yourselves).

The flank steaks, like all steaks from Hearst Ranch, came frozen. They shipped overnight from California to Massachusetts and were still solid as a rock when I got home after 6 in the evening - which clearly says a lot about the care Hearst takes in its packaging. I stuck one in the freezer for another meal, put one in the fridge to defrost and eagerly started to plan a menu. I knew flank steak could be tough if overcooked or cut the wrong way, so I just wanted to do a simple recipe. I ended up deciding on spicy beef fajitas with corn & black-eyed pea salsa.

When the steak was fully defrosted, I cut open the package and rolled out this HUGE piece of meat. I mean seriously - I felt like Fred Flinstone for a minute.

(This is 1 steak cut in 1/2!)

Then I covered it with the spicy marinade (recipe below) and refrigerated for about 6 hours. When it was time to cook, I did what I thought was a quick grill (about 4-5 minutes per side) aiming for medium-rare, but the meat still came out medium. I was a little nervous that I might have overdone it - but the meat was still tender and juicy - not one bit tough or stringy like I'd feared.

The beef was very good, though I will say it didn't have quite the exceptional flavor like the aged-beef we normally buy locally (though that beef is also grain-finished, so not 100% grass-fed). All in all, I was impressed and am looking forward to trying another recipe with the other flank steak I have in the freezer. Got any good flank steak recipes? Leave me a comment if so!

In the meantime, here's my Spicy Grass-fed Beef Fajitas recipe:

Ingredients:

1 20-oz. grass-fed flank steak

Marinade:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 small cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. ancho chili powder
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lime juice

Corn & Black-Eyed Pea Salad:
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 c. cooked & cooled corn (fresh or canned)
1 1/2 c. cooked & cooled black eyed peas
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced

Flour tortillas
Hot sauce, if desired

Method:
To make the marinade, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add chili powder, stirring constantly. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. lime juice. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes until chili powder is a deep reddish-brown. Set aside and allow to cool 10 minutes.

Once cooled, spread marinade (it will be thick and more like rub) over both sides of steak. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.

In another saucepan, combine 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. sugar, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder and 1/8 tsp. salt. Heat over low heat until sugar is fully dissolved. Allow to cool.

In a small glass bowl, combine corn, black-eyed peas, jalapeno and tomatoes. Pour cooled red wine vinegar dressing over top. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours to allow flavors to meld.

When ready to cook the steak, bring it out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, start heating the grill to medium-high heat. Place steaks on grill and cook 3-4 minutes on each side for medium rare (I'm shaving a minute off each side from what I cooked it at). Once done, remove from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes. Cut in strips running perpendicular to the grain of the meat.

Serve on tortillas with corn salad and hot sauce, if desired. (We like sriracha - yum!)

Note: Hearst Ranch provided me with free grass-fed flank steaks to sample; however, the views expressed above are my own.

6 comments:

Jenn said...

Nice!!! Sample beef, delicious fajitas, what else could be better. Now I'm craving me some tacos!!! lol.

Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen said...

Very nice Amber! Your fajitas look great! Glad you enjoyed the steak!

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Wow, that's a lot of steak, lucky you! Interesting the difference between pure grass-fed and grain-finished. I once bookmarked this recipe for when I ever have spare flank steak: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/steak-sandwiches-brie-00000000035959/ Maybe worth a try?

ValleyWriter said...

I know Prof. - it was a crazy amount of steak! (I should have noted that fed us for 3 meals - 1 dinner & 2 lunches!)

The sandwich recipe looks delicious - maybe we'll give it a try. Thanks!

Norma said...

This looks truly delicious. I think that using grass fed beef makes such a big difference in any recipe. The two essential ingredients to a great meal is to find the right Steak Recipe, as well as the right beef. While I do work for them, LaCense Beef honestly offers not only truly tasty ideas, but also some amazing, mail order grass fed beef.You should really take a look.

Janice said...

Fajitas, what a great idea. I've been searching for something new to do with grass fed steak. My family is going to love this.