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#1 mongrel

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 05:08 PM

So, about a week into my quit, I decided that I could NOT have a Jolly Rancher in my mouth every second of every day. I was putting on weight, and just didn't want all that high fructose corn syrup coursing through my veins.

 

Don't remember who, but someone suggested that I try beef jerky. Now, I have always liked the stuff well enough, but never enough to try making it myself. After spending $1.99 on the little packages of Jack Links for a few days (a two-link-a-day habit), I decided to experiment.

 

The result is a darn tasty jerky that is now my standard--not too mild, not too sweet, not too spicy. I plan to experiment more with new flavors like Chipotle & Lime now that I have the basic recipe down. When I finally get my commercial kitchen license, I plan on selling this locally.

 

Enjoy!

 

Mongrel's Beef Jerky

 

You will need to be able to keep the drying beef at a steady temperature of 145–165 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be done with:

 

a food dehydrator that allows you to set the temperature (Excalibur is one such dehydrator. I wish I owned one).

 

OR a food dehydrator that you can verify, using a food thermometer, holds a steady temp between 145°–165°F (mine has only one temperature, which happens to be 150°F; this is my method).

 

OR an electric smoker that allows you to set the temperature, or holds a steady temp between 145°–165°F.

 

OR a gas or electric oven that can be trusted to hold the temp between 145°–165°F.

 

I have a hard time keeping my wood fired smoker at a constant temp, so I don't recommend them for this. A rack of ribs is more forgiving than steak sliced to an eight of an inch.

 

OKAY, so what we're looking to do is create a baseline Beef Jerky that anyone will probably like. From there, y'all can modify the recipe to suit your individual tastes.

 

The most important thing here is creating a "Shelf-Stable" dried meat product; in other words, jerky that won't go bad at room temperature and exposed to air. I would refrigerate any jerky I wasn't planning to eat within a week if it was made without nitrates or other preservatives, just to be on the safe side.

 

Obviously, since we're starting with raw meat, food safety has to be our number one goal. Remember the two magic numbers in food storage and preparation, and you'll usually be alright: Keep cold foods below 40°F and keep hot foods above 140°F.

 

Acquire one pound of lean beef (you don't want a lot of fat—fat doesn't dry well and also goes rancid at room temperature after a few days). I have had the best luck with either sirloin or top round steak cut to about an inch thick. Don't spend a lot of money; if bottom round is on sale for $2.99/ lb. go for that. Many supermarkets have "Manager's Specials" on beef that is about to go past the Sell-By date. Save yourself some money any give that a try, since you're only going to be drying the ever-loving hell out of it anyway.

 

Throw it in the freezer for about an hour and a half to get it firm enough to cut without it being all wobbly when you slice it.

 

 

In a medium bowl, mix the following: 

 

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp malt vinegar (apple cider vinegar is just as good)
4 tsp Kentucky bourbon (this is optional—the alcohol evaporates during the cooking. Still, if you're trying to lay off the sauce, you may want to skip the Bourbon altogether)
2 tsp soy sauce
6 tbsp BBQ sauce (This is a short cut—equal parts molasses and tomato paste would do about the same job.)

4 tbsp maple syrup (or brown sugar)
2 tbsp salt (I don't recommend using less—salt is one of things keeping your jerky from spoiling.)
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp onion powder
2 tsp black pepper (or more or less depending on how spicy you like your jerky)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more or less depending on how spicy you like your jerky)

 

Take it out and trim off the excess fat around the edges.

 

Some people suggest slicing the beef into 1/4 inch strips that you pound with a tenderizing mallet until the strips are 1/8 inch thick. I tried that, and it worked fine, but I like my jerky a little tougher. The tenderized beef melted in my mouth instead of hanging out for a while between my cheek and gum.

 

I recommend very carefully slicing it against the grain into 1/8 strips with a VERY SHARP knife.

 

Place the sliced beef into the bowl of marinade, cover, and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight (remember that vinegar and alcohol will cause the beef to break down after about 12 hours. You don't want to leave thin strips in the marinade for much more than 12 hours).

 

This marinade recipe should cover one pound of beef in a medium bowl. If not, you could add more of any of the liquid ingredients until it does. OR you could mix the beef around in the bowl every couple of hours to make sure all the strips get covered will the marinade.

 

After 8–12 hours, remove beef from the refrigerator and place strips on dehydrator trays. Do not overlap. Leave a tiny bit of space around each piece.

 

If you are using an oven or a smoker, you will have to improvise a makeshift tray with maybe a hibachi / BBQ grill or something so that the beef gets air around it. Even a broiler pan would probably work.

 

The beef WILL DRIP as it dries. Take precautions not to let the juices ruin whatever you're doing the dehydrating in. Aluminum foil. Parchment paper. Something.

 

Discard marinade. Seems a damn shame to waste all those good ingredients, but I'm told that it's just not safe to re-use. What are you gonna do, right?

 

If you are using a portable dehydrator that doesn't let you set the temperature, DO NOT place in a cold garage or something due to the strong aroma of the drying jerky. The cold ambient air will LOWER the temperature of the dehydrating chamber to an unsafe range! If my vegetarian wife can put up with the smell of drying jerky, your family can deal with it too.

 

Dry the jerky at 145°F–155°F for at least four hours.

 

Remove the dried strips of jerky and place them on a tray in an oven that has been pre-heated to 275°F for 10 minutes (NO longer). This step is to increase the likelihood that all pathogens have been destroyed. Is the step necessary? I don't skip it.
 
Remove the jerky from the oven and allow to cool. When cool, place in a paper bag.
 
Break yourself off some and chew whenever you need a little something. Enjoy!
 
NOTE: After three weeks of chewing jerky, I am not convinced that it's a good idea to replace Copenhagen with jerky. The mouth habit is not broken, and the taste is surprisingly similar to Copenhagen. I may actually take a break from the jerky for a while until the mouth habit fades a bit.


#2 chill

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 02:56 PM

SPAM



QUOTE (Ohioman1972 @ Jan 7 2011, 10:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (steve50 @ Jan 6 2011, 02:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (chill @ Jan 5 2011, 11:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I hereby confess that I have been to the Spam Festival in Austin, Minnesota--and had a good time.


I love Spam

Spam Spam, eggs and Spam!


#3 Ohioman1972

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:01 AM

QUOTE (steve50 @ Jan 6 2011, 02:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (chill @ Jan 5 2011, 11:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I hereby confess that I have been to the Spam Festival in Austin, Minnesota--and had a good time.


I love Spam

Spam Spam, eggs and Spam!

#4 steve50

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE (chill @ Jan 5 2011, 11:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I hereby confess that I have been to the Spam Festival in Austin, Minnesota--and had a good time.


I love Spam

#5 chill

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 10:12 PM

I hereby confess that I have been to the Spam Festival in Austin, Minnesota--and had a good time.

Edited by chill, 05 January 2011 - 10:13 PM.


#6 Tim W

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 01:05 PM

I hate spaghettio's!

#7 Ohioman1972

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 05:46 AM

Ever had "Brontasaurus" beef ribs? amazing



Yes, but please reference the goodness of pork ribs, devoid of any nutritional value!!

#8 Phil

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 05:41 AM

Being a college student, i dont get a lot of quality food at school. This weekend, however, i went home to take care of some things and had two AMAZING meals...

FRIDAY:
(remember that it's lent)
Dover Sole with ritz cracker crust and lobster bisque sauce
Sweet potato
Broccoli

SATURDAY:
(this is the good one)
Del Montico Steak cooked medium rare with sauteed mushrooms on the top
Double Baked Mashed potatoes with bacon, scalions and cheese
Grilled red peppers
Grilled Asparigus


Oh that sounds pretty good too. But I'm talkin ribs. From a pig. Lots o' fat, calories, and cholesterol. The only nutritional value is protein. Might as well put some gravy and lard on the side.
Good stuff!


Ever had "Brontasaurus" beef ribs? amazing

#9 Ohioman1972

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 05:25 AM

Being a college student, i dont get a lot of quality food at school. This weekend, however, i went home to take care of some things and had two AMAZING meals...

FRIDAY:
(remember that it's lent)
Dover Sole with ritz cracker crust and lobster bisque sauce
Sweet potato
Broccoli

SATURDAY:
(this is the good one)
Del Montico Steak cooked medium rare with sauteed mushrooms on the top
Double Baked Mashed potatoes with bacon, scalions and cheese
Grilled red peppers
Grilled Asparigus


Oh that sounds pretty good too. But I'm talkin ribs. From a pig. Lots o' fat, calories, and cholesterol. The only nutritional value is protein. Might as well put some gravy and lard on the side.
Good stuff!

#10 Phil

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:16 AM

Being a college student, i dont get a lot of quality food at school. This weekend, however, i went home to take care of some things and had two AMAZING meals...

FRIDAY:
(remember that it's lent)
Dover Sole with ritz cracker crust and lobster bisque sauce
Sweet potato
Broccoli

SATURDAY:
(this is the good one)
Del Montico Steak cooked medium rare with sauteed mushrooms on the top
Double Baked Mashed potatoes with bacon, scalions and cheese
Grilled red peppers
Grilled Asparigus

#11 Ohioman1972

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 06:31 PM

I want some ribs. Country ribs - no sauce, just a good rub. Grilled then smoked. Wow, I am hungry now!

#12 imskratty

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 10:38 AM

I'm making ribs this weekend. We're having a group over and I get to go all out. I'm going to go with my super secret rub, roast in the oven 3 hrs, then to smoker for 1/2 hr, looking at apple, cherry, & touch of hickory. Then, some sauce for the last 15 mins. The wife we'll be making corn bread, beans, & slaw. I've been looking forward to this meal for two weeks.

Basically, it is a good excuse to drink beer all day. I think I'll start with the obligatory Buds for the first hour, then Guiness for the second and third, then Red Stripe for the last hour. Maybe some Blue Moon to wash the ribs down. B)

When do you want us to show up? Thats only 4 hours, I bet we can bring some dessert beer!


You know PD, I am really not that far away. I would even let you gloat about your Cubs to me.

#13 pdriver

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:36 AM

I'm making ribs this weekend. We're having a group over and I get to go all out. I'm going to go with my super secret rub, roast in the oven 3 hrs, then to smoker for 1/2 hr, looking at apple, cherry, & touch of hickory. Then, some sauce for the last 15 mins. The wife we'll be making corn bread, beans, & slaw. I've been looking forward to this meal for two weeks.

Basically, it is a good excuse to drink beer all day. I think I'll start with the obligatory Buds for the first hour, then Guiness for the second and third, then Red Stripe for the last hour. Maybe some Blue Moon to wash the ribs down. B)

When do you want us to show up? Thats only 4 hours, I bet we can bring some dessert beer!


Note: 4 hours of drinking beer while cooking. That is just to get ready for beer with the meal and the post meal cocktails. Likely rasberry vodka martinis for the gals and either gin or scotch for the gents. The big boys only get ice or neat.

Oh, for your white russian, go with equal parts vodka to kahlua. I'd go with 1/2 & 1/2. I think it mixes better and gives it a nice appearance. Think of garnish with those sticks with chocolate in the middle (I can't remember what they are, but they are long and skinny). But, I've always thought of it as a late fall/winter drink. This time of year I like to serve my lady a cosmo or martini.

#14 kojak58

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:30 AM

I'm making ribs this weekend. We're having a group over and I get to go all out. I'm going to go with my super secret rub, roast in the oven 3 hrs, then to smoker for 1/2 hr, looking at apple, cherry, & touch of hickory. Then, some sauce for the last 15 mins. The wife we'll be making corn bread, beans, & slaw. I've been looking forward to this meal for two weeks.

Basically, it is a good excuse to drink beer all day. I think I'll start with the obligatory Buds for the first hour, then Guiness for the second and third, then Red Stripe for the last hour. Maybe some Blue Moon to wash the ribs down. B)

When do you want us to show up? Thats only 4 hours, I bet we can bring some dessert beer!

#15 pdriver

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 09:18 AM

I'm making ribs this weekend. We're having a group over and I get to go all out. I'm going to go with my super secret rub, roast in the oven 3 hrs, then to smoker for 1/2 hr, looking at apple, cherry, & touch of hickory. Then, some sauce for the last 15 mins. The wife we'll be making corn bread, beans, & slaw. I've been looking forward to this meal for two weeks.

Basically, it is a good excuse to drink beer all day. I think I'll start with the obligatory Buds for the first hour, then Guiness for the second and third, then Red Stripe for the last hour. Maybe some Blue Moon to wash the ribs down. B)

#16 kojak58

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 01:24 PM

Anyone know how to make the drink "white russian"? My wife likes them and I like her to have one or two ! B)


vodka, coffee liquor, milk product (half and half, whole milk, or even skim milk), ice.

They work well for my wife too. Heh.

Equal portions? I am guessing a shot of vodka, shot of kahlua, and fill the rest with the milk?

#17 synergicity

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 11:27 AM

Anyone know how to make the drink "white russian"? My wife likes them and I like her to have one or two ! B)


vodka, coffee liquor, milk product (half and half, whole milk, or even skim milk), ice.

They work well for my wife too. Heh.

#18 kojak58

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 05:31 PM

Anyone know how to make the drink "white russian"? My wife likes them and I like her to have one or two ! B)

#19 Big Red

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 03:54 PM

I'm happy to say that Health Guru didn't cave. He posted up today but got dropped by dos who posted at the same time. I added him back to the role. Stay strong HG!


Well that is good news...I'm tired of all the drop off in the October group!


Big Red

#20 synergicity

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 10:26 AM

I'm happy to say that Health Guru didn't cave. He posted up today but got dropped by dos who posted at the same time. I added him back to the role. Stay strong HG!