Thursday, 12 August 2010

Steak Fajita Pasta

A colleague of mine got wind of the large pack of Basics frying steaks that I have acquired in my excitement. Knowing that I might have some trouble finishing it up before the expiry date, and given where he's based, he suggested that I try making fajitas. On this occasion however, I got lazy. Since I wasn't keen on getting the Basics pitta bread to substitute for tortillas, and wanting to run down my inventory of Basics items, I decided to add pasta for my staple.

Fajitas are usually done using skirt steak or flank steak, both taken from the front of the cow. These are considered to be one of the most flavourful cuts, but can be difficult to cook because they tend to get tough very easily, since they're near the respiratory system and hence consist of very lean well-exercised muscle. There are generally two approaches to cope with this; acid-based marinades would soften the muscle fibres through hydrolysis, while searing quickly would seal the insides of the meat, keeping it juicy, so long as no further heat is applied. Unfortunately, I am still unable to identify the exact cut of beef which the Basics frying steaks are taken from.

So, the night before, prepare the steak by cutting it into bite-size pieces. Marinate overnight with lime juice, pepper and Basics herb mix.

The next day, mince some garlic, and slice some onions and peppers into slivers.

Heat up some oil in a pan, and bring some water to the boil for the pasta. Mix the garlic into the marinating beef.

Begin cooking the pasta. Fry the onions first, then add the beef to the pan. Sear for about 20-30 seconds.

Turn off the heat and add the peppers, letting the whole thing cook off the residual heat from the electric coil. If using a gas stove, just lower to lowest possible setting.

Add the pasta when ready, coat it in the gravy, and serve. The Mexican food purists amongst you would do best to skip the next photo.

Thanks to the quick-cooking nature of the steak, this didn't take too long to produce. Probably not something that you would want to serve your friends for dinner due to the controversy of fusing two distinctly different cuisines together, but it might be fun to cook this for yourself.

Now I have to watch my back; if the mafia don't get me for bringing shame to their country, an angry mariachi mob will for bringing shame to theirs.

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