South Texas Skirt Steak Fajitas with Fresh Tomato Salsa

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Much the way blackened anything spread the word of New Orleans cooking, fajitas have become the vehicle for Tex-Mex. This represents the best of a few different versions, but the main inspiration comes from “Cotton” Morgan in Richmond, Texas. Also try the marinade on chicken.


Cooking MethodGrilling



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Game Day

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free



Taste and TextureMeaty, Smoky, Spiced


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup fresh lime Juice
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced Jalapeño (with the seeds)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 skirt steaks, about 1 pound each, or substitute 2 pounds Dank or top round steak
  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped ripe tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped red onions
  • 4 green onions (white part only), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced Jalapeño (with the seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime Juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Eight 10-inch flour tortillas


  1. For the marinade, toast the cumin seeds in a small dry skillet over low heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan. Place the seeds in a small bowl and combine with the remaining marinade ingredients.

  2. Trim the steaks of any excess fat, place them in a large zip-top plastic bag, and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag, squish everything around to coat the meat, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours, turning occasionally.

  3. Combine the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. For the best flavor, don’t do this more than 1 hour before you plan to serve it.

  4. Remove the steaks from the bag and discard the marinade. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

  5. Light a charcoal fire or preheat your gas grill on high. Oil the grill’s cooking surface.

  6. Place the steaks on the grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes total for medium-rare or to your desired degree of doneness, turning once. Remove to a cutting board and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile, divide the tortillas and wrap in two aluminum foil packets. Throw them on the grill until warmed through, about 2 minutes, turning once.

  8. Cut the steaks into thin slices on the diagonal. Serve immediately on a platter with the warm tortillas and salsa in separate dishes and let your guests/family make their own.

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