Grilling: Mole-Crusted Fajitas


[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

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I have been a diehard fan of Alton Brown's skirt steak recipe for fajitas—that tangy and beefy skirt is near perfection. But I wanted to try a new recipe for mole-crusted fajitas* that I saw in Robb Walsh's The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook when digging for Cinco de Mayo inspiration.

Though I love this mole poblano recipe, I didn't have the two days required to make it from scratch, so I went with the Dona Maria off-the-shelf version for this recipe (as Walsh recommended). The mole sauce is mixed with peanut butter, garlic, and oil, plus I threw in a chopped chipotle in adobo for a little extra heat and depth. The mole mixture is then slathered on a piece of skirt and grilled over high heat until medium-rare.

You can't really go wrong with skirt if you cook it right, so I was bound to like this by default. The mole seemed to burn off more than bake in, but there was a faint earthy crust on the outside that was a tad too subtle to hold up against the big beefy flavor of the steak. It didn't reach the heights of the Alton Brown recipe I hold so dear, but when paired with this ancho-raisin sauce, the whole fajita really came together and was something special in its own right.

*The original recipe called for flank steak, but skirt > flank, so I made that substitution.