How, when, and where the name and the food we call Fajita got its start is unknown to me. Even some verbal research in Mexican restaurants unearthed… nada. To further complicate the matter, I learned that a Fajita in Texas is different than what we call a Fajita in California.
Nevertheless, we now can order sizzling plates of marinated beef or chicken on large platters, together with crisp, Chinese-style veggies. To me it is a confusion of ethnic cuisines. But wait, as you can now tell, we even have a Fajita Red wine. Why not? It’s a mixed bag anyway.
With the recipe that follows, you will easily recognize how Texas Fajita is quite different from ours. Thai’s why I thought it would be fun to have you experiment with what the panhandle has developed.
TEXAS STYLE FAJITA SAUCE
1 cube Imperial Margarine
1 cup tomato sauce
2 oz. Heinz 57 sauce
2 tbspWorcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Optional: tabasco or cayenne to taste
Melt margarine in saucepan; whisk in tomato, Heinz, and Worcestershire sauces, and simmer for ten minutes to blend. Season to taste. Transfer to individual bowls before serving. Makes 2 cups.
3 lbs flank steak tenderized by the butcher or other equivalent amount of other meats. Grill and smoke meat over fire.
GRILLING AND SMOKING MEATS:
- Take two handfuls each of hickory (sweet flavor) and mesquite chips (smokey, to taste). Soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes minimum. The longer they’re soaked, the better.
- Build fire in a domed or covered charcoal cooker so meat will be smoked as well as grilled. Mesquite charcoal is preferable.
- When the fire is ready, drain water from chips and put over glowing coals.
- Put meat on and brush with honey (enough for a light glaze). Wait five minutes and coat other side of meat with honey. Depending on your fire, Fajitas should be ready in 15-30 minutes. Serving: slice meat into cubes, place a bowl of sauce in the center of a platter, and surround with Fajitas. Dip and cat. Very simple and very Texas. I do not see why even small ribs could not be prepared this way.