When it comes to fajitas, the most authentic cut of beef to use is the outside skirt steak. The very name “fajita” means “little belt,” referring to the shape of this cut.
Back in the day, the vaqueros (cowboys) in Texas received this little known or respected cut as part of their wages. They marinated the beef in lime juice to tenderize it and then grilled it over an open fire. Thinly sliced and served on flour tortillas, the fajita they invented became a popular dish in Tex-Mex cuisine.
Increasingly hard to find on the market, the outside skirt steak is the diaphragm muscle from below the rib, between the brisket and flank.
While this cut demands a little attention in the way of trimming, it rewards with its tenderness and depth of flavor. Remove the membrane and a bit of fat, and you are ready to cook.
Just the facts
- 100% natural beef from Angus cattle
- No growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics
- Raised on pasture
- 100% vegetarian diet of barley, corn and hay
- Equivalent to Choice-Plus graded beef
- Wet aged a minimum of 21 days
- Ships in an uncooked state
- Product of USA
- For best taste on fresh products, use or freeze within 3-5 days of receipt; for frozen products, use within 1-2 days after thawing
Just imagine if you could raise a steer from birth on the grass in your own back yard, and then feed it locally-grown alfalfa hay, barley and corn for a few months. You could guarantee it never got any animal by-products in the feed, nor any hormones or antibiotics. Well, that’s exactly what our ranchers do –but in a 10,000-acre backyard in the Northwest.
This group of conscientious cattle ranchers formed a cooperative to focus on humane care for the animals, and the highest quality finished product.
Their Black Angus cattle range over pasture land for most of their lives, and are then rounded up and fed a supplement of alfalfa hay, barley and corn for a few months in a spacious, dry, low-stress feeding facility, before processing (usually at about 2 years of age). The 100% vegetarian feed is supplemented with vitamin E and A which helps strengthen natural immunities.
To the ranchers, humane treatment is of paramount importance, so every care is taken, even in transporting the cattle short distances. They know exactly where each animal comes from, and can track them from birth to processing, all of which takes place in the great Northwest. Each animal comes with an affidavit that proves that the rancher followed the strict natural protocols of the cooperative.
This cut demands a little attention from the cook in the way of trimming, but rewards with its tenderness and depth of flavor. There is a membrane and some fat that must be removed before cooking.
Plumper than the inside skirt, and long and narrow, the outside skirt steak has a lot of surface to take on a lovely sear. Marinate it, and cook it hot and fast, leaving it medium rare, or it will get too tough.