Saturday, April 24, 2010
Hands Off My Jerky...Turkey!
Normally I would not be talking about a recipe that requires any special equipment but this is an exception. Summer is coming and with it comes all sorts of outdoorsy activities that may require you to pack light. Jerky might be the perfect food for those wanting a source of low fat protein that weighs next to nothing and is virtually indestructible. As long as you keep it dry and as air tight as possible it will keep for a very long time, years actually. But as I said this will require a small purchase of special equipment...a food dehydrator. These are not very expensive, 40 bucks will do ya. And if you have any qualms about shelling out $40 for something just to make jerky think of it this way. Jerky sells in the store for about $30/lb. You can make your own for about $5-6/lb. Pretty easy to figure out just how quickly you could pay for the dehydrator! (I'm pretty sure anyway....I am really bad at math)
Use inside round for best results. The meat is lean and well grained and cheap! Freeze the roast for about an hour. This will make the meat easier to slice. Using your sharpest knife slice the meat as thin as you can. The thinner the better for faster drying. Remove any fat that the can see or your jerky will end up greasy. Marinading the beef strips in a plastic bag in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to 8 will give you the best flavor results.
Your choices of flavors for jerky are endless. I have made everything from plain hickory smoked flavors to sesame teryaki, sweet thai chili, maple mesquite and honey red hot. I will show you a very basic recipe that you can play with at your leisure.
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion or garlic powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon chili flakes if you want some kick!
This marinade will work with 2 to 2.5 pounds of any red meat.
After marinading for 3-8 hours remove meat and place on cooling racks to drain off excess marinade. Place meat in the dehydrator and leave until desired texture is reached. The drier is gets the longer it will keep. Remove from machine and let cool on paper towels before placing in zip top bags for storage. You will have to pay some attention to your dehydrator as some of the have spots that seem to take longer than others. Shift your jerky strips around now and then and remove any pieces that have gotten to the dryness that you like.
So change up the spices! Change up the liquids! I really don't think it's possible to screw this one up! (OK, sure it is but I take absolutely no responsibility for someone who marinades this in cream soda and hot sauce). Let me know if you come up with anything brilliant that I can steal for myself!