Picture this: the sun's shining, you've got your grill going, a margarita in one hand and your grill tongs in the other. You're about to grill up some elk steak and veggies to wow your friends or family with some delicious fajitas. You have some warm tortillas and queso ready to wrap up those grilled goodies and take you to Flavortown™. You better have another margarita ready to go because you're going to want one to wash down these beauties.
Why this recipe works:
Fajitas are typically made with beef flank or skirt steak. While these cuts of meat do exist on wild game animals, it's not a cut of meat most people think about saving when trying to decide what to pack out of the woods. But, there are plenty of other steak cuts to make fajitas with!
The flat portion of the bottom round is the perfect cut for fajitas. The muscle fibers run lengthwise down the cut of meat which makes the slices of meat perfectly tender when cut against the grain. It's also a similar thickness (ok maybe a little thicker) than beef skirt steak. Add some citrus marinade and you have yourself some deliciously tender fajita meat!
- Elk Bottom Round: The bottom round usually has a thicker side that is better for roasts and steaks and a flatter side that is perfect for fajitas, carne asada, steak burrito bowls, etc. But, you can use any "flat" (less than 1" thick) steak cut from any animal you choose. The flat iron steak or sirloin cap work great as well. Elk, moose, venison, antelope, and even beef can be used for this recipe!
- Bell Peppers: I like to use 3 different colors of bell peppers to add some variety but if you have a favorite color, use that one!
- Red Onion: I prefer the flavor and color of red onions for fajitas but white or yellow onions work just as well.
- Queso: Cheese is not a common ingredient for fajitas but if you're going to put cheese on them, you might as well use some melty, gooey, delicious queso. That being said, queso is not a necessary ingredient and you can add whatever cheese you'd like or no cheese at all!
- Grill: I use a wood pellet grill which typically cooks at lower temperatures than a gas grill. You can certainly use a gas grill at a higher temperature for this recipe but your cooking time will need to be shortened. You can also cook the steak on a grill pan inside and roast the veggies in your oven if you don't have a grill!
- Grill Basket: Grill baskets are super handy for cooking veggies on the grill. If you don't have one, you can still cook your veggies on the grill on a small foil-lined sheet pan. You can also roast them in the oven if that works better for you!
How to cook elk steak for fajitas:
The magic of fajita steak is in the marinade. Apart from the grill flavor, the marinade is your opportunity to add as much flavor to your meat as you can! This marinade is heavy on the acid from citrus juice and red wine vinegar. Some extra flavor is added with cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, and ancho chile powder.
When it comes to marinating steak with acid, you can have too much of a good thing. Marinate your meat for 2 hours or less. Any more than that and the meat can become tough and mealy which is the opposite of what you want! If you're looking for a steak with a longer marinating time, try this grilled elk steak with Asian marinade.
How to make fajita veggies:
The best fajita veggies have a generous amount of seasoning and are cooked on the grill! Sure they're good with just salt and pepper but adding spices like cumin, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano take them to the next level. Add some grill flavor and they're so delicious! Follow the instructions below for making the best fajita veggies:
How to assemble fajitas:
Once you have your grilled meat and veggies, assembly is pretty simple! Warm up your tortillas, add the grilled veggies and slices of meat, top with some queso (if desired) and serve with lime wedges. I highly recommend a margarita to wash them down. Best eaten with fellow taco enthusiasts. Enjoy!
Fajitas usually consist of grilled meat, peppers and onions wrapped up in a tortilla. Beef or chicken are typically used for the meat.
Beef flank or skirt steak are commonly used for fajitas. For wild game, bottom round, flat iron, or sirloin cap work great.
Cheese is not a typical ingredient for fajitas. But, queso, cotija, or quesadilla cheese are a great addition!
If meat isn't cooked properly, it can become tough. A lot of fajita recipes will have you slice the meat and cook it in a pan which can easily overcook and become tough. If you cook the piece of meat whole and don't cook it past medium-rare, it will be tender and delicious!
Other recipes you might like:
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Grilled Elk Steak Fajitas
Meat + Marinade:
- 1.5 lb elk bottom round (or venison, moose, antelope, etc.)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- 1 orange, juiced
- ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
Peppers and Onions:
- 3 bell peppers, sliced (any color)
- 1 red onion, sliced vertically (from root to tip)
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 18 6" flour tortillas
- queso (optional)
- lime wedges (optional)
- Mix together all marinade ingredients in a glass container. Add in meat. Marinate for 2 hours before cooking. Don't marinate for longer than 2 hours or meat will become tough and mealy.
- Toss peppers and onions with spices and olive oil until well-coated.
- Preheat grill to 350°F. Place grill basket on grill while preheating.
- Add seasoned vegetables to grill basket. Cook for 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and slightly charred.
- When vegetables have cooked for 15-20 minutes, cook steak.
- Place steak on grill and cook for 6-8 minutes or until grill marks are seen. Flip and cook an additional 6-8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 120°F for medium rare. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- After steak has rested, slice into ¼" slices, against the grain.
- Warm tortillas and queso (if desired).
- Add veggies and steak slices to warm tortillas and drizzle with queso. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!
- I used the flat part of an elk bottom round roast but any flat steak (1 inch thick or less) will work. The flat iron steak or sirloin cap work great as well.
- I used a pellet smoker but if you are using a gas grill, you can grill at a higher temperature.
- Queso is not a necessary ingredient but it adds an extra level of deliciousness to your fajitas. Try it and you won't be disappointed!
- If you don't have a grill, you can cook the meat on a grill pan on the stove and the veggies can be roasted in the oven.