Lupe Tortilla is an extremely popular chain of Tex-Mex restaurants throughout the greater Houston area (with a few upstart locations in the Texas Hill Country.)
The restaurants are always crowded, and the ambiance is nil, just like a good “hole in the wall Tex-Mex place” should be.
The food is standard fare except for one glorious standout: Lupe’s Beef Fajitas.
Now, at this point in the post, those of you who have been lucky enough to munch on the mana that is the Lupe Tortilla Beef Fajita, know that it is worth the almost $20.00 an 8oz serving that Lupe’s charges. Lupe’s has you by the huevos and have NO PROBLEM dragging you to the bank while they’re at it.
For those readers never given the opportunity to enjoy a batch, let me explain them in- depth. Imagine beef, tenderized and marinated then cooked on deliciously seasoned cast iron and served hotter than a rancher’s crotch in July. The result is melt in your mouth meat mixed with a sucker punch of salty limed goodness.
The lime flavor of these bad boys is something that is so exquisite it can’t truly be put into words.
For years, I’ve paid the sky-high prices for mere moments of beef bliss. Always longing in my heart a deep and compelling urge to make them myself. In the decade since I first had the Beef Fajitas from Lupe Tortillas, I’ve tried to bribe staff for the secret recipe, scoured the internet for Copykat recipes and scrutinized message boards for scorned ex-employees willing to spill the Lupe recipe.
I’ve also tried my own lime-marinade versions and was left with twangy messes. After years of google searches and news alerts, I gave up my quest and resigned myself to retail. Of course, every 6 months I do a quick revisit of my fajita search, merely out of wishful thinking. Yesterday I struck GOLD.
I’ve found it world. I now have the Copykat Lupe Tortilla Beef Fajitas Recipe in all of its glory. Last night I made a test batch, and let me just tell you, I NAILED IT!
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…I give it to you now:
THE GREATEST BEEF FAJITAS IN THE WORLD!
2 lbs. skirt steak (IT MUST be skirt steak to be successful!)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
- 4 tablespoons tequila (yes, really.)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from real limes)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion, sliced into thin crescents (half rings)
- 3 green bell peppers or assorted color bell peppers, cut into strips
- 2 green onions, cleaned and cut down the middle longwise (then cut in half)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (to sauté the veggies at the end)
- Cut the steak into pieces that will fit into your cast iron skillet. MAKE SURE YOU CUT ACROSS THE GRAIN to get tender bites.
- Tenderize with meat mallet
Place the pieces of meat into a Ziploc bag
- Mix the marinade AKA the garlic, lime juice, cumin, tequila, salt, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil. and pour into the meat-filled Ziploc. Push as much air out as possible, seal and knead the meat until it is fully covered with marinade. Place in the fridge for two hours. Yes, this recipe ONLY needs two hours of marinating for perfection!
- Remove the meat from the marinade and grill over hot coals or in a cast iron skillet over med-high heat. You will get a lot of marinade moisture in the pan at the beginning, simply let it cook off (it will, don’t worry!) Remove from heat when cooked to your liking.
- Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. vegetable oil then sauté peppers and onions over med-high heat until they are crisp/tender.
- Serve with flour/ corn tortillas and offer guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheddar cheese on the side as condiments.
Fun Fact: This Recipe makes 2lbs. of beef fajitas, at 8oz a serving that’s 4 servings for about 10 dollars. (AKA $80.00 worth at Lupe Tortilla’s prices!)
The end result, is the closest thing to Lupe’s you’re going to find outside of going to the dang place. I promise you, as long as you follow my simple instructions you’re guaranteed to be the reigning FAJITA CHAMP at every party, cookout, and event you serve these at.
Look, many of you reading this have no flurking clue what a gift this recipe is. It’s not your fault because you’ve never had the originals. But once you make these, you’ll get it.
Texas friends who know just how wonderful I am right now for making this happen, no need to send money or build statues in my honor, just share the magic and pass these on!
Scott, I don’t know your last name, but I if I had you right here with me at this very moment, I’d kiss you full on the mouth. May your name be uttered on the lips of gilded angels for all of eternity.