The Best Ever Texas Fajita Recipe
March 28, 2022
Despite what you may believe about this heavily spiced, meat-packed dish, fajitas are actually an American invention. Originally cooked up by the Tejanos of South and West Texas, fajitas have become one of the most sought after Tex-Mex recipes over the years. It’s a dish that can be recognized immediately by its mouthwatering flavors and textures, and I have the perfect recipe for you.
A good seasoning mix is key to any spice-dependent dish, such as tacos, curry, fried chicken, and, of course, fajitas. Homemade spice blends, made by toasting and grinding whole spices, can go a super long way.
First, start with the basic fajita spices:
- Dried chillies
- Cumin seeds
- Coriander Seeds
- White peppercorns
- Mexican oregano
- Paprika (preferably smoked)
- Garlic powder
Making chili or garlic powder from scratch may seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. And unless you make it in bulk, it’s not worth the effort. However, a freshly ground blend tastes miles better than any shop-bought mix. As for cumin, coriander, and Mexican oregano, they can all be easily found in their whole or fresh form (keep in mind that fresh oregano will need to be dried before being ground).
Toasting and grinding the spices
Toasting spices is a very short and straightforward process –– simply add the whole spices to a frying pan, place them over a high heat, and cook and toss the spices until the room fills up with their aroma.
Place all the spices into a grinder, along with some dried Mexican oregano, paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Pulse until the spice mix is uniform and doesn’t have any clumps. Don’t wait too long to grind the spices after toasting them, as it’s easier while they’re still warm.
You can use all types of meat in fajitas, from venison and pork to goat and lamb. Nevertheless, the most popular kinds of fajita meat in America are beef and chicken. No surprise there.
Lean cuts of meat sliced into thin strips work best when preparing this dish, as they cook nice and quickly.
Fajita tips and tricks
- Use whole spices – The difference this makes cannot be underestimated. If you’re ever stuck wondering why your dish has plateaued, then fresh herbs and whole spices may be the solution.
- A good sear is everything – For both meat and vegetables, color is crucial. A nice sear doesn’t just add taste, but also helps the food retain its flavor by sealing it in.
- Cook everything at high heat – Whenever anything is in your pan, there should be a loud sizzle. Anything else means that you’re steaming or stewing whatever you’re cooking.
- Use high-quality meat – While much of this recipe’s success depends on the spices used, good quality meat is just as important. Source your meat from a craft butcher or have it delivered straight to your door!
- Try your hand at homemade tortillas – Making tortillas requires some practice, but once you’ve mastered it, it’s a skill you’ll never lose!
- Whip up some homemade guacamole and sour cream – If you’ve made everything else from scratch, you may as well go the full mile. To make homemade sour cream, add two tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of heavy cream and a ¼ cup of whole milk, and shake the mixture in a mason jar.