Minced Beef Fajitas (No Overpriced Packet Mixes!)

Introduction

The great scam of “mexican kits” continues to baffle me.  People will gladly shell out ridiculous amounts for nothing more than a few tortillas and a packet of spices while the box insists you “ONLY need some chicken, tomatoes, onion, lettuce, peppers” etc.  Essentially you’re paying twice as much for something half as good.  Make the mix yourself and you know exactly what’s going into it, for half the price!

As usual, feel free to substitute out any of these ingredients.  I like to add sweetcorn, some people prefer to leave out the peppers, I imagine some proper chilis in here would work nicely if you desire more heat.

Ingredients

Flavour Mix (Approx Ratios)

I used 500g Beef so each part was roughly 1 teaspoon

  • Oregano (3 parts)
  • Ground Cumin (3 parts)
  • Paprika (1 Part)
  • Black Pepper (1 part)
  • Salt (1 Part then to taste)
  • Chili Flakes/Powder (to taste – you know how hot you like it)
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The Rest

  • Minced Beef Steak
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Tinned Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Red Wine
  • Oil
  • Flour
  • Toppings: Sour Cream, Cheese, Guacamole, Salsa etc.
  • Other Vegetables

Optional Suggestions:  Add some seasoned rice to the fajita for that real tex-mex feeling.

Method

  • Prepare your vegetables so you don’t have to rush later on.
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  • Heat the Oil in a pan and add chopped onions.  A little sprinkle of salt will help draw the moisture out of the onions to make them crisp up a little quicker.
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  • When they’re suitably browned, add the meat and continue to fry until it has all turned brown, then add the other vegetables (peppers, sweetcorn etc.)
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  • Continue frying as you make the flavour mix (see above for ratios) – you will notice a lot of liquid on the bottom of the pan.  Keep going until this has mostly evaporated, leaving you with plenty of flavour.  As the water evaporates add the flavour mix and coat the fillings thoroughly.
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  • Once most of the liquid has gone, add a spoonful or so of flour to the pan, just to help the meat get a little bit of browning.  After a few more minutes of frying, pour in about a glass of red wine and cook until mostly evaporated (it’s all in the name of a rich flavour.
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  • Add tinned tomatoes and stir through.
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  •  At this point, turn the heat down to medium-low so the entire thing simmers.  This will give all the flavours time to develop as the sauce reduces and thickens.  Keep this going until the entire thing is thick enough that it’s suitable for a fajita that won’t make too much mess.
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Fajita Assembly

  • Everybody does their’s differently.  I typically go cheese – meat – rice – sauces.  This way the heat of the meat/rice is encased in the cool (but melting) cheese and sauces.
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  • Wrapping is the bit that seems to stress people out so much.  There are two simple techniques.  Some simply fold up the bottom and roll over from one side – for this it’s best to have a thicker, chunkier filling and start with it offset from centre on the side you begin rolling.
    • Personally, for the sloppier minced-beef fajitas I prefer the 3 – fold technique.

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Storage

The filling will keep well in the fridge for a few days, but don’t assemble the fajitas until you’re ready to eat!  They’ll turn gross and soggy in the fridge.

 

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