Posted by: Budger | November 13, 2010

Citrus Marinated Skirt/Flank Steak for Fajitas

I have been truly blessed in my life for a lot of reasons, but on the culinary front, I have been lucky that, except for 2 years when I lived in New Orleans, I have always been surrounded by great Mexican restaurants.  New Orleans is known for its Cajun Food, but it doesn’t have a lot of great Mexican food.  Since I’m a California girl, I used to think that California had the corner on great Mexican restaurants, but then I moved to Texas, and I discovered a whole new kind of Mexican restaurants.  Tex Mex.  There is nothing like good Tex Mex.  And I love it.  I could eat Mexican food every day, and my favorite thing is Fajitas.  Yes I know they are not traditional Mexican, but they are Tex Mex.  In Texas, you have to look long and hard for bad Mexican food.  Needless to say this is a staple in Budger and Budgee’s diet.  Just ask my thighs.

However once I was diagnosed Celiac and went Gluten Free, eating out became more of a challenge.  Now I have to worry about how they marinate the meat, whether the chips have flour or have been cross contaminated.  I have found that our wide range of restaurants has now been whittled down to a select few where I know I won’t have any issues.  So I decided why not have fajitas from Casa de Budger?  That way I don’t have to worry about it.

Now it seems like it would be an easy thing.  Just buy some skirt steak, marinate, grill, slice and voila you have fajitas.  Not quite as easy as it seems, unless you like shoe leather.  So first thing I did was I found this great recipe at for Citrus Marinated Skirt Steak.  It seemed easy enough.  I bought some skirt steak, trimmed it per the directions I found via Google, and put it in the marinade.  After I grilled, per the directions, I very carefully sliced it AGAINST the grain.  It smelled wonderful.  It looked wonderful, and it even tasted wonderful.  But in order to get one bite down, my jaw was exhausted, and I ended up cutting it up.  Not so great for fajitas.  I ended up with an empty tortilla.

Try #2, maybe it needs to marinate a little longer.  Maybe I need to more carefully slice it AGAINST the grain at a 45 degree angle.  Smells wonderful, looks wonderful, tastes wonderful, but my tortilla is empty again, and my jaw is tired.  At this point I’m willing to try anything.  Now I don’t need it to be as tender as butter, like it is at my friend Christina’s restaurant Saldivia’s South American Grill.  They have a skirt steak there, called Entrana, that is mouth-watering good and so incredibly tender.  I’m hungry just thinking about.  I just need this skirt steak to be chewable, while it is in the tortilla.  No more taking a bite and getting a bite of tortilla and a strip of skirt steak, leaving behind an empty tortilla.

I tried, and I tried, and I tried.  I marinated longer.  I trimmed more carefully.  I Googled, and read, and I cooked shorter, and I cooked longer, and I can honestly say I now know how to make shoe leather.  And then I thought OK I’m done with the skirt steak.  I almost gave up, but my love for fajitas took over.  So the next time, I bought some Flank Steak.  Everybody I talked to said Flank Steak would be better.  I ignored the fact that Skirt Steak is traditional for fajitas and went for the Flank Steak instead. 

And voila, my tortilla was not empty.  And it smelled wonderful, and looked wonderful and was wonderful.  And it was really easy to grill especially while standing by with a Gluten Free beer. 

So here is the recipe.

Citrus Marinated Skirt or Flank Steak 

  • 1/2  cup  orange juice
  • 1/4  cup  fresh lime juice
  • 3  cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4  cup  finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  teaspoon  cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/4  pounds  skirt steak – I doubled the recipe because I had about 2 pounds

Combine orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, salt, cumin, oregano and crushed red pepper in a large ziplock bag. Add steak, seal bag and turn to coat with marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.  I marinated for about 4 hours in the fridge and then set it out to get to room temperature.

Preheat a gas grill to high. Oil grill. Remove steak from bag, discarding excess marinade. Grill steak to desired doneness, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serve with tortillas, chopped onion, jalapenos, guacamole, salsa or your favorite condiments.  And don’t forget the Margaritas.

I’m really liking Casa de Budger’s fajitas.  Yummy!

Citrus Marinated Flank Steak

Unfortunately the battery on my camera went dead before I could get a picture of it sliced. 

Now I haven’t given up on the skirt steak.  I just needed a victory.  If you have any tips for trimming, marinating or grilling skirt steak, let me know.  I will not give up.  But in the meantime I have my flank steak on standby.  Oh and my Margaritas.  The Margaritas at Casa de Budger are awesome.


  1. I always read your blog, God bless you in your endeavors!

  2. You need a job? We could use you at the restaurant!

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