It’s cold here in north central Montana. In fact the coldest/snowyest February on record! Which makes ranching very difficult. Most ranchers are calving now. I know that sounds crazy. However, very often January and February are nicer than March. Many ranchers have cattle and do a lot of farming of grain or other commodities. They need to be done calving to get into the fields to farm.
Sooo, with my family uber busy down at the ranch, (and to justify staying in the house instead of trudging around through the snow and freezing my tail off) I take lunch to the crew. Today, I took fajitas and homemade tortillas.
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons lard
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup very hot water
I change this recipe up in many ways to make a varitiy of tortillas. You can add other spices, flours, even black beans. Just make sure that the moisture to flour ratio stays relatively the same.
I also use lard. I render my own lard and store it in this container. We’ll talk about that later! You can purchase it at most grocery stores
Place flour, salt, and lard in mixer with dough hook. Mix until the consistency of peas. Add hot water and continue mixing until dough forms a ball. You may need to add a little more flour, but don’t make dough too dry.
Form 6-12 balls depending on the size tortilla you want to make. I usually make 6 or 7. Cover them with plastic wrap and let set for 30 mins.
While the balls are resting, heat the tortilla press. Mine is a CucinaPro. You may want to use a manual press or just roll them out with a rolling pin. But the CucinaPro is pretty cool! I press them the size that I want and then finish cooking them on the griddle on the stove.
Cook until slightly brown. Don’t over cook, they will become brittle. Keep wrapped in a damp towel until finished with the batch. Then seal in zip-lock bags. I make several batches at a time and freeze them.
- Slice beef sirloin steak into strips
- Julianne sliced bell peppers, all colors
- Julianne sliced onion
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Mexican spices; chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste. (or packaged fajita seasoning)
I do not have amounts for these items. We have our own beef so I just start with the amount of beef that I think I need for the people that I am going to feed. Then add as many peppers and onions that are needed to balance the dish 😉
Heat the oil in cast iron frying pan on med-high heat. Saute meat strips until brown but not overcooked. Remove from pan. Add a little more oil to hot frying pan and saute peppers and onions until cooked. Return beef to vegetables. Add spices to taste.
I put the fajita mixture in a large cast iron Dutch Oven and the tortillas in aluminum foil. I keep them warm in the oven until I am ready to leave. Then I wrap them up in old towel and place them in an ice-chest…yep an ice-chest! They keep things hot as well as cold!
I put everything that can be warm, the plates, fajitas, tortillas, and dessert in the ice-chest. Slam the lid down and quickly load it into the pick up. It was -22 at the house when I left that day and -35 at the ranch. My lunch was hot and very welcome for a very cold calving crew!