This ones for all the fitness folks out there tracking macros, looking to make cheap but tasty lunches for the week.
While I love trying to create some sort of culinary work of art every night for dinner, one of the most frequent questions/comments I get is “that’s all well and good but I’m broke and I need something good to eat every day filled with protein, something I can prepare on sunday and eat all week”. I wanted to share my simple method for making fajita style steak meat out of cheap ass round steak, that you can prepare on a Sunday, and be set on meat for lunch before you workout or after you get home from the gym, or whenever.
You’re going to do this the night before you start eating this stuff, we will be putting it in a marinade so you want it to be able to sit for at least 12 hours.
What you will need
First get your ass to Costco if you can, if you don’t go ahead and go to whatever supermarket you shop at and grab the cheapest hunk of round steak you can find. This piece of meat is from the front side of the leg from hip to knee, its a fairly lean cut of meat. Not the point though, at $3.75 a pound its hard to beat.
So first I will unpack my big ass hunk of meat.
Try to shave off as much of the silver skin and fat as you can, go ahead and toss this stuff. In my experience about a 10% of the meat you just bought will be fat that you trim and discard so it actually ends up being like $4.10 per pound of meat.
Now what we want to do is slice this thing up until much more manageable steaks. I usually go for about 3/4 of an inch.
Now then, if you’ve followed this blog you already read my post on marinating and marinades. I use the same recipe here for the fajita style marinade. Click the link and it will take you to that page so you can make the marinade. If you need to use a store bought one go ahead, just cant vouch for any of them. Go ahead and throw the marinade in with half of your meat.
I SAID HALF.
You don’t need to vacuum seal the other half, I just like to, it really doesn’t matter. Most food safety standards say that meat is safe to leave in the refrigerator for at least 5 days, and can be frozen for months. What I do is freeze half of it for the following week, and I marinade the other half for the current week. This way I’m set up for 2 weeks worth of lunches.
Fast forward 12 hours.
Yawn, ok its the next day now and we are about to go lift in an hour but we’d like to get some of the protein that I promised in. Lets do this.
You’ve got some meat.
Couple ways to approach this
- If you have a sous-vide set up just throw the whole ziplock bag in there and cook it for 2-3 hours at 128 degrees, we want it rare but sterilized. From then on you can just pull out a piece of meat, hit it with a torch or pan sear it and its good to go. I have literally pulled a cold steak out of the fridge that was pre-cooked, held it above the sink with tongs, and hit it with a blowtorch until it was crispy on both sides and eaten it…and it was damn good too.
2. Grab a steak and throw it on a screaming hot pan and sear it. Give it a good 90-120 seconds per side. If you’re like me you’ll hit it with a blowtorch to really get a good black crust.
3. Throw it on the grill and cook it that way if you want to. Not my personal way of doing things, but its an option.
Now that you’ve cooked it up transfer to a cutting board, I like to slice mine up into frites.
Once cut simply transfer to a plate (or just eat standing there if you are starving)
After this its up to you how to proceed. My personal favorite topping is the Afghan Style Chatni Gashneez (Green Sauce), in my opinion its the best topping/condiment for fajita meat.
My wifes favorite is salsa with sour cream…you can find my peach salsa recipe here, you can just remove the peach if you want a standard salsa.
So that’s it, basically I will have a big bag of marinated cheap round steak sitting in the fridge, I can just pull a chunk out (weigh it if I need to count), slap it on the pan or just blow torch it real quick, serve with a tablespoon of Chatni or Salsa or whatever, and I’m good to go.
I’d like to note that in terms of food-safety 5 days is generally accepted as very safe, if its sitting in a marinade or pre-cooked (sous vide) it can probably go 7-8 but I’m not going to openly recommend it because I dont want an angry email from some guy that tried it and blames me. The marinade isnt overly acidic so any issues with meat getting mushy aren’t really a concern.
$40 for two weeks of lunches ain’t so bad.