Red Meat An image of Fajitas, refried beans and salad

Published on March 21st, 2011 | by Gareth


Beef and lime fajitas with refried beans

Mexican food always seems to be a crowd pleaser, especially when it comes to dishes like fajitas tostadas, burritos and tacos.  They are a bit like sandwiches in that you can customise your filling however, I don’t think a ‘sandwich’ themed dinner party would have quite the same impact. Although perhaps after a taxing session leaping around gaily, waving bells and hankies a surly band of Morris dancers would appreciate the sandwich idea.

Back to the Mexican cuisine, I think the attraction is beyond the interactive and social nature of constructing your own fajita. The different textures of things like refried beans, salsa, guacamole and fresh coriander, combined with the warm, spice laden filling are a winner. It’s also fun. You can do away with cutlery, get your fingers in there and get messy, after all Speedy Gonzales has a blast, he’s always laughing, could it be the thought of fajitas or burritos for dinner?

An image of Fajitas, refried beans and salad

Fajita fiesta

As my long term readers have probably guessed, I’m not a fan of packet mixes that adorn the supermarket shelf, so last night I though I would whip up my own beef fajitas with refried beans.  Now on the subject of refried beans, they are not fried twice as the name may suggest.  This is a subject or mistranslation, in Spanish the ‘re’ often prefixes a word to add emphasis, where as in English it implies an action is performed twice. So literally in Spanish it means really fried beans.  Don’t worry though, they are supper healthy. Essentially all you do is soak dried black beans over night, mash them up then heat them with a little oil in a pan to remove as much moisture as possible. Or you can just cheat like I did and buy it in a tin.

Prep time 10-15 minutes (meat is best marinaded overnight)

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (feeds 3-4)

  • 600gm beef or chicken – I used beef blade steak for flavour.
  • 1 tin of refried beans
  • 2 limes
  • 2 chillies (Jalapeno if possible) – finely sliced, seeds added if you like extra heat
  • 3 tomatoes – finely sliced
  • ½ avocado – sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • Cucumber – shredded
  • 1 red capsicum, half diced the other half finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 shots of tequila (or vodka if the margarita fairy has visited)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Tortillas
  • Salt to season


  • Cut the beef or chicken into thin strips
  • Mix the tequila, tomato paste, cumin, a grind of salt, juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of oil and one finely sliced jalepeno in a bowl. This will form the base of the fajita sauce.
  • Add the beef or chicken, cover with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
  • When the meat has marinaded remove from the fridge 20 mins before cooking.
  • While the meat is coming to room temperature take a separate saucepan and heat a teaspoon of oil.
  • Add one of the garlic cloves (crushed to a paste) and lower the heat.
  • Cook until lightly golden then add the remaining jalepeno pepper and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add 1 can of refried beans and the juice of the other lime. Include the zest for a little extra zing. Warm the beans over a low heat but don’t allow to burn.
  • In a separate pan heat the remaining oil and add one crushed clove of garlic, cook for thirty seconds over a low heat.
  • Add ½ of the capsicum (the diced half) and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the beef/chicken and increase the heat to mid range. Cook for about 5 minutes for beef alittle longer for the chicken.
  • Spoon the refried beans into a bowl and likewise with the marinaded cooked beef or chicken.
  • Serve with salsa, guacamole, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, coriander, avocado and assemble away.
pre-wrapped mexican fajita



An image of beef fajita filling

Slightly staged before all diving in.


An image of Mexican fajitas

Reminds me of a 70s cookery card, just need a pair of maracas.

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About the Author

Englishman in Sydney loves a whisky, pies and all things savoury. Digital Marketer by day, cook the rest of the time. Amateur writer, photographer & aspiring anthropologists.

3 Responses to Beef and lime fajitas with refried beans

  1. Great job Gareth and I’m not a packet mix fan either! Especially those powdered flavour sachets. Herbs and spices work just as well or better! And hehe I like your addition of tequila!

  2. Pingback: How to Grow Hydroponic Lettuce | DIYit

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