Fajitas are a Tex-Mex dish which combines strips of meat (or in some cases, seafood) with onions and bell peppers, along with typical south of the border condiments like guacamole, salsa and perhaps shredded cheese. Although they are usually made with beef or chicken, or sometimes shrimp, the following recipe makes use of lamb, to offer a brand new flavor experience. Lamb has a delicious flavor and although it is usually more expensive than chicken, it is not too different from the price of steak, so swap your usual beef steak in favor of lamb, and enjoy this tasty treat.
Reasons to Choose Lamb for Fajitas
A lot of people enjoy roasted lamb but have never used it to make fajitas or even considered it as a meat to use in their favorite Tex-Mex dishes instead of the beef or chicken they usually opt for. Get some American lamb leg steaks and you will be able to make this delicious recipe. Lamb is not lean enough to dry out on the barbeque, even if you cook it to well-done, which is yet another reason to choose this tasty type of meat the next time you are in a fajita kind of mood. You can expect tasty and delicious results when making this.
The lamb is marinated first, to infuse it with Tex-Mex flavors. The marinade for the lamb is made with lime, chili, cumin, and herbs. Give it 4 to 6 hours to soak into the lamb, then discard the marinade and let the lamb sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or while the barbeque is heating up. The bell peppers can be cut in half but just leave the green onions whole. If you prefer to use another type of onion that is fine, but just halve or quarter it. You can slice it again after cooking it but too-small pieces would get lost through the grate.
The lamb and vegetables can cook together on the barbeque. Keep an eye on them and flip them over regularly, to promote even cooking. Once everything is done you can warm the tortillas (in a dry skillet, in the microwave or oven, or even wrapped in foil on a cooler part of the barbeque) then slice the lamb and vegetables into pieces. Either assemble the fajitas before serving them or allow people to assemble their own. Shredded cheese is nice in these, and you can also consider salsa, either homemade or bought, along with guacamole, and even sour cream.
Tips for Cooking Lamb Leg Steaks
If you can cook a beef steak, you can cook a lamb leg steak. There is nothing hard about cooking lamb. The following recipe uses a marinade but lamb steaks can also go straight on the barbeque without being marinated. Their fat content keeps them moist on the barbeque, and our marinade also helps with that, since it contains oil as well as the other seasonings. A meat thermometer is a good idea, unless you prefer to eyeball your meat and you are confident telling the doneness just by sight and touch. Put it into the thickest part of the lamb steak and the reading will tell you the doneness. When the meat is the right doneness, take it off the barbeque along with the vegetables, and you can slice them and assemble your fajitas.
- 1½ lbs lamb leg steaks, 1 inch thick
- 6 whole green onions
- 1 red bell pepper, halved and de-seeded
- 1 green pepper, halved and de-seeded
- ⅓ cup shredded cheese (optional)
- 12 warmed flour tortillas
- Salsa and guacamole, to serve
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Whisk the ingredients together to make the marinade.
- Put the lamb in a glass dish, then pour the marinade over it.
- Cover and refrigerate for about 5 hours, flipping the lamb over halfway through.
- Preheat the barbeque to medium-hot.
- Cook the lamb, bell peppers and onions 4 inches from the hot coals.
- The lamb will take about 5 minutes per side or until it is done to your liking.
- Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
- It will be 145 degrees F for medium-rare, 160 degrees F for medium, or 170 degrees F for well done.
- Turn the bell peppers and onions often, so they cook evenly.
- Slice the lamb and vegetables into ¼ inch thick pieces.
- Divide the lamb and vegetables between the tortillas.
- Add cheese, salsa, guacamole, and any other condiments you like.
Lamb fajitas offer a change of pace from the beef or chicken ones you might be more familiar with. Lamb is naturally juicy and offers a distinctive flavor. In this recipe we are marinating the lamb steaks in a Tex-Mex mixture which includes cilantro, lime juice and cumin, then it is time to barbeque the lamb and the vegetables, and you can imagine the lovely smoky aroma the barbeque will contribute to the dish. Serve the lamb and vegetables in tortillas with cheese and salsa if you like. In the photo you can see we have added some shredded carrot and cabbage too, just for a little contrasting crunch.
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