Slow Cooked Chili Steak Fajitas

by Andie Mitchell on October 12, 2011


The last five days have meant

Crispy bacon cheeseburgers with frizzled onions, the size of the fullest moon

Ancho chili dusted fries, frenched and dipped in chipotle aioli

Cupcakes in shades of s’mores and carrot cake and red velvet

Buttered buttermilk pancakes

Pumpkin custard pancakes swimming in molasses caramel

Lasagna, saucy and six-layered



Porchetta with white beans and caramelized leeks

The most sincere of Philly cheesesteaks

Chocolate cake wedges, four layers tall and teetering

Berry pie, lattice-topped

Apple pie, double-crusted

anything, everything a la mode

We’re eccentric, my mother and I. Apart and especially together.

This morning she flew from Seattle and headed back home to Boston. It feels as if she stayed only a day. In fact, I can almost still hear her whispering in my ear as we hugged a ferocious ‘hello’ outside of baggage claim, assuring me,

“Francie, we’ll just relax this week. Me and you. Okay, luv luvs?”

And just after she bleached my bathtub, replaced all my light bulbs to a new, more lovable wattage, disinfected and de-dust bunnied the surface above my fridge, insisted on higher quality, softer toilet paper, and asked me when I was going to transition to better jewelry,

the sun began to dry the sidewalks and

we did relax.

I clung to her, 5’9” of me glomming onto 5’7” of her.

We laughed.

We ate.

And ate.

And so…

I’m full.

Happy and full and still digesting the deliciousness that was, and always is, my mother.


Without a moment of lamenting just how much food we loved and just how much we adored every sticky finger, every stain and stomach ache, 

I’m going back to simple and wholesome and

shacking up with my slow cooker and every vegetable I know and love.

These fajitas are super easy, soft and tender, and perfectly spiced. They make for a fresh, filling dinner without any fuss or fancy.

Two of them made my first day without her sweet Boston accent more bearable.


Slow Cooked Chili Steak Fajitas


  • 1 lb beef flank steak 
  • 1 medium onion, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup medium salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips
  • Flour tortillas, fresh salsa, fresh cilantro, finely chopped lettuce, grated cheese, sour cream, and sliced avocado


  1. Thinly slice the flank steak and place it along with the sliced onion in the base of a slow cooker.
  2. Mix the salsa, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt in a small bowl and pour over to evenly cover. Cook on the lowest setting for 10 hours.
  3. One hour before the beef is done cooking, add the sliced bell peppers to the slow cooker so that they may soften slightly.
  4. Serve the beef, onion, and peppers in warmed flour tortillas with any toppings you like.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Leigh October 13, 2011 at 2:05 am

Your mother sounds a little bit like mine. Glad you had a fun week with her!


johnny October 13, 2011 at 2:49 am

I wish I could sit in front of you and hear you tell it. Family is so rewarding and when they part from us or us from them there is always an emptiness to fill. The slow cooked chili steak fajitas looks like the perfect filler! :)


Nicole October 13, 2011 at 3:39 am

Such a beautiful post… And I’ll take a sampling of every single one of those foods, please. :)


Erika - The Teenage Taste October 13, 2011 at 4:14 am

I’ve been craving Mexican food like crazy for the last few days! These fajitas look so yummy – like something right off a restaurant menu! :-)


Emma @ La Vie en Ginger October 13, 2011 at 4:45 am

The first half of this is complete literary food erotica. I want it ALL. RIGHT NOW (6:45am). Don’t even get me started on the fajitas.

Seriously though, aren’t parents the best? My dad is visiting me this weekend in Chicago (from DC) and I’m so freaking excited. Also freaking out about the fact that I need to scour my apartment to prove that I’m a proper adult, but you know. Your relationship with your mom seems so special. I’m glad you two got the chance to spend some time together!


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh October 13, 2011 at 4:53 am

Aww, it sounds like you had a wonderful time with your mama! Just as it should be.

Hmm, I think I might have to sub the pork roast I have leftover right now but I’m bookmarking it for future yumminess!


Katie G October 13, 2011 at 6:06 am

Okay, I have a question regarding this post. When you have visits like this where you really enjoy eating all kinds of everything, do you feel “guilty” afterwards? Are you already so entrenched in life habits that it’s simple to get back to eating healthy again? These are the situations that I sort of fear. I’m still losing weight and not at goal yet, but when I do get there, I worry that situations like this–family visits, vacations, etc.–might be enough to rattle my focus. Is that something you still deal with after several years of maintaining? Or do you find it easier now?

I’m honestly curious!


Kristin Murdock October 13, 2011 at 9:14 am

I love these questions Katie! I totally agree. I’m still in the middle of the mental game. I would love your insights, too, Andie! :)


HootieMcBoob October 13, 2011 at 8:47 am

Oh man, those look good! I’m loving the slow cooker recipes!!!!


sarah October 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

I love it when you talk about your mamma!


Shawna October 13, 2011 at 10:22 am

Haha! i love the part about ‘when are you going to transition to nicer jewelry?’ that is awesome. :)


Megan (Braise The Roof) October 13, 2011 at 10:22 am

The fact that your mom calls you Francie is enough to make me love this post, but damn, you girls ate well! :) Glad you had a great visit with her!


Heather (Heather's Dish) October 14, 2011 at 5:15 am

yes please, i’ll take these fajitas any day! sounds delicious!


Amanda October 17, 2011 at 9:14 am

This is looks fantastic but I have one question… I add the jalapeno in with the bell peppers or do they go in at the beginning?


Joy October 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Can’t wait to make these! I just got a slow cooker for my bridal shower, but my silly fiance wants us to wait to use all our gifts till we are actually married (Dec 10) and in the same apartment, so he can use them too. I guess that means December will be full of crock pot meals like this!


Christina October 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Loved this recipe, we’ve had leftovers for days now and they keep getting better. Thanks for sharing!


Nikki March 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Can you cook these on high for 4-5 hours instead of low for 10 hours?


Andie March 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Hey Nikki,

Yes, you can. 4-5 hours will work just fine.



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