Venison fajitas are one of the simplest and tastiest dishes you can make.
The dish is relatively quick with the only time-consuming part being the marinating.
Venison fajitas are made with only a handful of ingredients. The majority of the ingredients required are for the marinade or the sides.
The name fajita comes from the Spanish word faja, which translates to “belt”.
This refers to the cut of meat that is traditionally used for this recipe – the skirt steak.
However, on venison, this isn’t really practical, that cut does not really exist, at least not in a useable sense for steak.
For venison fajitas, the most common cut to use is the flank steak, which is very similar to a skirt steak and has plenty of flavor.
Alternatively, another exceptional cut to use would be the flat iron. This is also a thin cut with a prominent flavor.
One of the most intriguing things about fajitas is how few ingredients are used.
Aside from the meat and marinade, there are two other ingredients, peppers and onions.
The peppers are usually red, green, and either yellow or orange. While this looks aesthetically pleasing it also mixes the flavors as each pepper has varying degrees of sweetness.
As for onion, the typical type is yellow onion. However, I opted for a red onion as I find it pairs better with the sweetness of the venison.
The marinade plays a crucial part in this recipe. The base of the marinade is lime juice.
The lime juice adds a freshness to the dish, but also helps to tenderize the venison.
The cumin will be one of the stronger flavors of the dish and one that highlights the meat.
I like to use ancho chili flakes also, these are not spicy, but rather sweet, again complementing the natural sweetness of the venison.
I use 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper in this recipe also to add a little kick. It’s not strong by any means and is optional.
This recipe is really simple and there are only a few steps.
Slicing the meat
The first step is slicing the meat.
First, lay the flank steak out and remove all silver skin and membrane, this step is important as any silverskin left on will leave the venison chewy and inedible.
Next slice the steak about 1/4 inch thick, but no thicker than a 1/2 inch.
When you are slicing the steak ensure you are slicing against the grain, doing so will make the venison less chewy.
I also like to slice the meat at a 45-degree angle to make the cut larger but not thicker.
To make the marinade, first toast the cumin seeds over a low heat. This will make a huge difference to the dish, and give it that deep smokery charred flavor.
Grind the seeds with a pestle and mortar along with the ancho chili flakes, and salt.
Add them to a bowl along with the cayenne pepper, garlic, paprika, and lime juice.
Finally, add the venison slices to a marinade bag and pour over the marinade mixture.
I prefer to use a vacuum bag as it speeds up the marinade process by removing the air.
If you are using a vacuum bag you need only 1 hour of marinade, but I typically do two.
For a normal bag or container, you should marinate for 2-4 hours.
Venison fajitas are served medium rare, so the cooking is a crucial step of this recipe.
Ideally, you should use a carbon steel or cast iron pan. I like to use a carbon steel wok so I can lay the slices of venison around the outside.
Remove the venison from the marinade, and reserve the remaining marinade.
Allow the venison to dry in a colander or pat dry with some paper towels.
Heat some high-temperature oil, like avocado oil, over high heat.
Lay the venison on the hot pan and cook for about 1 minute per side.
You want to get a nice sear on the outside, but rare – medium rare on the inside when you pull it from the heat.
Set the venison aside, lower the heat to medium, and add the onions.
Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the peppers and cook until just starting to soften.
Return the venison to the pan and toss to mix everything. Pour over the reserved marinade and toss some more.
Remove from heat and serve piping hot.
There are numerous sides you can serve with venison fajitas but for me, it’s always the simple classics.
I like pico de gallo and guacamole.
Serve the fajitas on corn wraps and top with these two sides.
Best Venison Fajitas
- Vacuum machine optional
- Frying pan
- 3 limes Juiced
- 1 tsp cumin toasted
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ancho chili flakes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper Optional
- 1 pound venison Sliced thinly (Note 1)
- 6 wraps
- 3 bell peppers Yellow, red, green
- 1 large onion Red or Yellow, see above
- 1 tbsp high-temperature oil avocado, grapeseed, etc.
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper finely chopped and deseeded
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 lime juiced
Pico De Gallo
- 1/2 pound tomatoes diced
- 1 large shallot finely chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno finely chopped and deseeded
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt ground
- 1/2 tsp black pepper ground
- Juice the limes
- Add cumin, paprika, salt, garlic, and ancho flakes to a mortar and grind. Pour in lime juice and mix
- Pour over venison slices and set in fridge for 1-4 hours
- Peel the avocados, place them in a bowl, and crush
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well
- Cover until later use to prevent discoloration
Pico de Gallo
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix
- Set aside until later use
Making the Fajitas
- Remove venison from fridge and drain over a bowl. Resrve the marinade
- Heat high temperature oil in cast iron or carbon steel pan over high heat
- Fry the venison in batches, about 45 seconds each side. Set aside
- Add onions to the pan and fry for approx 1 minute
- Add the bell peppers and fry for another minute
- Return the venison along with it's juices to the pan and pour over the marinade. Fry for 30 second to 1 minute
- Remove the pan from the heat and mix in cilantro
- Serve in wraps with guacamole and pico de gallo
- The best and original cut of meat for fajitas is flank steak. However, other cuts such as flat iron or backstrap will also work.