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Barbecue Secrets

Flank Steak Fajitas Adobo with Mango Strawberry Salsa

Jun 17, 2010

Makes 4 servings

This recipe makes use of the flank steak, one of the tougher and leaner cuts of beef, but also by far the most flavorful. The trick to great flank steak is to make sure you don’t overcook it, let it rest before carving it, and cut thin slices across the grain. This recipe contrasts a spicy marinade with a fruit salsa. The fajitas go well with cold Mexican beer or a light red wine.

To marinate the steak:

1/2 tsp | 2 mL kosher salt

1/4 cup | 50 mL lime juice

2 tsp | 10 mL vegetable oil

1 Tbsp | 15 mL ground cumin

1 Tbsp | 15 mL powdered ancho or

New Mexico chili powder

6 cloves garlic, peeled

2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

ground black pepper to taste

1 large flank or skirt steak

(about 11/2 to 2 lb | 750 g to 1 kg)


For the mango strawberry salsa:

2 fresh ripe (but not too ripe) mangoes,

peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped

1/2 cup | 125 mL ripe but firm strawberries,

stems removed and roughly chopped

1 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped

dash or two of Louisiana–style hot sauce

1/2 tsp | 2 mL kosher salt

1/2 tsp | 2 mL sugar

2 Tbsp | 25 mL fresh lime juice

freshly ground pepper to taste


To make the fajitas:

12 flour tortillas, wrapped in foil and

warmed in a 250˚F | 120˚C oven

1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

Blend the salt, lime juice, oil, cumin, chile powder, garlic, chipotles, and pepper in a food processor until you have a fairly smooth paste. Place the steak in a nonreactive baking dish and spoon on the marinade, thoroughly coating the steak on both sides. Cover the steak with plastic wrap and refrigerate it 6 hours or overnight, turning it once or twice.

Half an hour before cooking the steak, combine the salsa ingredients and lightly toss them in a bowl. Season the salsa to taste, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator.

            Prepare your grill for direct high heat. Place the flank steak on the grill. Flip it  after 3 minutes and spoon 1 or 2 Tbsp | 15 or 25 mL of the marinade on top. Cook it for 3 more minutes and flip it again. Grill it for 1 more minute for rare; add a minute or two per side for medium rare. Set the steak on a chopping board, tent it with foil, and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.

            Thinly slice the flank steak across the grain, creating juicy strips of meat, and place it in a warmed serving dish. Put out the salsa, cilantro, and warmed tortillas. People can now serve themselves, placing a couple of slices of meat, then a dollop of salsa, then a sprinkling of cilantro on a tortilla, folding it up, and wolfing it down.