The Sweet Ingredient To Take Your Steak Fajitas To The Next Level

Fajitas are considered a staple of the U.S.'s Mexican restaurant scene, but did you know this much-beloved meal was actually invented in America? According to The Local Palate, the almighty fajita was created by Mexican vaqueros and ranchers in 1930s Texas. These cowboys found that roasting and stuffing the undesirable cattle cuts they were given as compensation for their work in tortillas made for a delicious meal. And so the fajita was born. But today, it's very rare for the now popular Tex-Mex favorite to be prepared with the skirts of steaks (per The Austin Chronicle). Instead, chicken, shrimp, or other meats are more frequently featured.

Still, many die-hard fajita fans would be the first to tell you that fajitas piled high with steak, no matter the quality of the cut, is the only real way to truly enjoy this cowboy tried and true dish. However, even if you're a dedicated fajita advocate, there is a way to bring even more flavor to this ranchers' classic. 

If you think that sweet-tasting ingredients and steak should stay far away from each other, this cooking hack is sure to change your mind (per America's Test Kitchen).

Add brown sugar to your steak fajitas' seasoning for a taste of cowboy heaven

You may know brown sugar as the key ingredient in classic desserts like snickerdoodle cookies, but it's no stranger to the world of savory foods. In fact, brown sugar is often used to bring a tasty wow factor to baked beans, another meat-based dish hailing from the West that's colloquially known as cowboy beans (per Delicious Table). And America's Test Kitchen urges steak fajita lovers to mix brown sugar into their meat's spice rub.

So what's with the obsession with combining meat and brown sugar? Well, according to America's Test Kitchen, brown sugar brings out your steak's smoke-infused flavor and helps its caramelization process at the same time. And Bon Appétit notes that adding any type of sugar to your meats will also make classic dishes like turkey and (in this case) steak extra tender. So it's obvious why adding the sweet ingredient to your steak rub is a no-brainer. 

To make an enhanced homemade fajita rub, America's Test Kitchen reports that you only need to add a teaspoon of brown sugar to your usual chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt oregano, onion powder, and cumin mix. Then you can rub the mixture on your steak, make your recipe as normal, and dig into delightfully browned and flavorful steak fajitas.