This is something that, 10 years ago, you couldn’t’ve paid me to eat. Now jerky is one of my favorite on-the-go snacks; it’s lean and loaded with protein, perfect for an emergency pick-me-up. It’s also incredibly easy to make, which is great news considering all the crap that’s in even the headiest jerkies on the market.
Jerky is best made with leanest possible cuts, as any fat can cause the final product to go rancid more quickly. Eye or top round are good choices, as is sirloin tip side steak, and I always recommend grass-fed, which is 100% better for you (and the beef industry), and also tends to be leaner than grain-fed.
This recipe is for 1 lb of meat. To make slicing the meat easier, pop it in the freezer for an hour before you get started. When it’s nice and firm, slice evenly into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick. Now pound the strips to even width until they are quite thin. Place the meat in a mixing bowl and add:
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 t paprika
- 1/4 t cayenne
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 1/4 c Braggs amino or tamari sauce
- 2 t brown sugar or sucanat
- 1 t molasses
Toss everything together so the meat is evenly coated, then lay out on dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 115 until dry and bendy; this should take several hours, but don’t dry so much that the jerky cracks or shatters when bent. If you don’t have a dehydrator you could either do this in your oven on the lowest setting - it will dry much faster as most ovens don’t go below 170, OR rig up a cold dehydrator by sandwiching the meat between racks and then sandwiching that between two box fans on low.
Store dried jerky in an airtight container; for extended storage you can keep bigger batches in the freezer and thaw them as needed.
meat preservation…something I like to try this winter