Monday, April 27, 2015

Beef Jerky

Been thinking about this one for a while.  Beef Jerky is a good traveling food.  I find myself relying on quick snacks more as I have less time to be in the kitchen.  This recipe is relatively simple, marinate the beef then "cook" it with a long, low temperature process.  Easy right?
I'm going to start with a London Broil, which is the Top Round cut of Beef.    This cut has the grain in a longitudinal direction, so I can make the slices across the grain.  The Steak is 1.67 pounds to start.
After I got the Steak home from the store I put it in the freezer for a couple hours to get it nearly frozen.  This helps the slicing process.  I looking to get about a quarter inch slices.
This cut was trimmed nicely by the butcher, and there is little fat within the meat, perfect for Beef Jerky.  Next is the marinade.
I started with a base of Soy Sauce, and Worcestershire Sauce, a half cup of each.  Then for the heat I added a tablespoon of Melinda's Naga Jolokia Sauce, and eight Cayenne Chiles, so this one should be pretty hot.  Then round off the spice with a tablespoon of Honey, and some Black Pepper last.
All the marinade ingredients go into a gallon size ziplock bag.  I ground the Cayenne Chiles with a Coffee grinder.  Then we can start adding the Steak slices.
I coat each slice as it is added to the marinade.  We want to get every piece coated evenly, so none miss out on the fiery marinade.
 Once all the Steak is in the marinade push the extra air out of the bag, and seal it.  This will marinate in the refrigerator for a day.  Then we'll put it in the food dehydrator tomorrow.
I added the strips of Steak in one layer per rack.  I didn't think I would have enough room in the food dehydrator, but I probably could have done twice as much Steak, about three pounds.  I ran the food dehydrator for around 12 hours, until the Steak strips seemed dried to what I think of as Beef Jerky.  Its good, and has a lingering burn of those Naga Jolokia Chiles.  I started with about 26 ounces of fresh Steak, and with finished weight is about 10 ounces, so the Beef lost about a pound of water.

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