Fajitas are the quintessential Tex-Mex dish that, for years now, have been exploited in nearly every fast-food joint and fusion cuisine restaurant the world over. Unless you’re actually in a really good Tex-Mex restaurant or in Mexico itself where fajitas are known as Arrachera, you probably haven’t had the “crème-de-la-crème”. Richly and deeply flavoured tender slices of meat cooked in a blend of aromatic and robust Tex-Mex and Mexican herbs and spices. They’re then served in a taco shell, soft corn or flour tortilla and complemented with delicious fresh vegetables, cheese and crema (Mexican sour cream).
In this recipe, we’re going for a low and slow cooking technique to ensure that the brisket I’ve used here is melt in your mouth delicious. Let’s check it out!
Begin with a fresh cut of brisket from the butcher and have them remove as much of the sinew and fat as possible. Rub the meat abundantly with your favourite Tex-Mex or Mexican rub and set aside.
The next step is to line the bottom of a roasting dish, such as the Fornetto roasting dish seen below with thickly sliced whole rings of onions. See below.
Here’s the roasting dish with the onions in the bottom. Simply place the rubbed brisket over top of the onions and it’s ready to be cooked low and slow. Click on the image for further details about the Fornetto ceramic baking dish.
In the image above is a cast iron sizzle plate or fajita pan with wooden base. You can find them in many Asian grocers that have a section specialising in cooking utensils or online. It’s important to season the pan before first use by oiling it and subjecting it to high heat. This can either be done in your conventional oven or in your Fornetto when cooking at higher temperatures.
Before placing the brisket into the preheated 120C (250F), you’ll want to place the cast iron pans in the bottom of the Fornetto. These will keep hot while the brisket is cooking and will keep the final dish hot for a long while after serving it.
Roast the brisket at 120C (250F) for about 4 to 5 hours. This long slow cooking method will ensure that the connective tissue of which brisket is primarily comprised will break down and tenderise. When the brisket is done, remove it from the oven and place the tortilla warmer in the top position of the oven to warm up the tortillas. Click on the image to view the tortilla warmer.
When the brisket has been removed from the Fornetto, allow it to rest in its own juices, uncovered for about twenty minutes before slicing it thinly across the grain. “Why across the grain?” you may ask. Simple! By slicing it across the grain you’re slicing across the connective tissue. This will ensure the meat is even more tender.
Once the meat has rested, remove the meat from the liquid and onions. Discard the cooked onions but reserve the liquid. Slice the meat thinly across the grain and set aside. Slice a generous amount of onions and bell peppers (approximately 3 of each for a 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) brisket). Sauté the onions and peppers in a small amount of oil and add in the liquid from the roasting pan (which is quite lean as brisket contains very little fat). Bring the liquid to the boil and reduce it by half. Don’t allow the onions or peppers to go limp and if need be remove them from the liquid until it’s reduced. When the liquid has reduced and thickened, add the sliced beef to the pepper and onion mix and combine them thoroughly in the liquid.
Remove the fajita mixture from the heat and load up the hot sizzle pan. You’re ready to serve!
Enjoy your fajitas either on corn or flour tortillas or fill your favourite taco shells with the mixture. Click on the image for the shopping list.
Load them up with fresh coriander, cheddar or pepperjack cheese, Mexican crema or sour cream, fresh tomatoes, finely sliced lettuce or any of your favourite Tex-Mex or Mexican condiments.
Check out our delicious guacamole recipe as a great topper for your fajitas. Click on the image for the recipe.
You’re in for a treat. Enjoy!