Catching Points - a food blog

Monday, August 14, 2006


Once upon a time (two weeks ago to be more exact) I had a terrible pms. In my pms attacks I crave salty, meaty things and it's not that easy to throw a huge steak on the grill and chew on it the entire day. It's not really healthy or convenient. I was on the verge to go out and buy myself some beef jerky but thinking about how little was in a jerky bag and the cost I decided on something else (acctually more expensive, but not in the long run). I made my own.
When it comes to making jerky there are a few things to think about...
Buy a piece of meat with as little fat in it as possible (this means that entrecote is the wrong choice to go) the fat will go rancid after time, ruining your jerky. A good choice is top round steak. But you don't have to use beef, try anything firm as turkey or venison.
Decide on the taste of your jerky. Since this was my first time I went with an easy choice but later decided that next time I'll make it more peppery and spicy as my jerky became a bit sweet.
Make sure to cut your meat with the grains, that's the nice lines you see in the meat and usually when you cut a piece of steak you cut against the grain, but doing that now will make the meat fall apart a bit.

Cut the meat as thin as you can (I got my butcher to do it). I used 2 kg of meat, and that's alot of jerky. But when doing this, since the meat has to dry for about 12 hours, why not make alot?
1,5 dl soysauce
1,5 dl worcestersauce
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
in a big bowl or ziplockbag for the marinade and put the meat in it. Make sure it's all covered.

Let the meat rest in the fridge over night, turning it in the marinade a couple of times.
The next day, after having my meat in the fridge all night, I got up really early. Excited. I had even thought up a rack system to dry my meat in the oven on. I was going to use my ovenbars, and wooden bbq sticks, thread the meat on two sticks at a time and then let it hang between the bars on the ovenbar. It was easiest to set it up by removing the bar from the oven and create the racks...

And guess what? It worked perfectly!
The oven should be on the lowest temperature, and slightly open. My oven has no "slightly" open feature, so I put a metallic spoon in between. Too much open and my dog would've finished of all meat before I could have a taste.
Here's when I got unpatient. The hours it take for this lushious meat to dry, it's unbearable. The entire appartment smelt of salty delicious jerky and i just wanted a taste, so I was attneding to my meat alot, just checking if any piece was drier than the other so I could nibble a bit.

Lucky for me I'd gotten an end cut from the butcher so some piece were smaller and ofcourse dried up so much quicker. MMMM. It all just reminded me o living at home and mum drying liver in the oven for my dog. Just like back then he'd changed his permanent sleeping place to right in front of the oven even though he dislikes heat. He just couldn't bear the thought on someone getting treats without him.

After 7 hours in the oven I removed the racks and cut the meat up in smaller more desired pieces. I let them dry for a couple of hours more and then I suddenly had a heap of yummy jerky. I still have alot left, but is it weird that I want to finish it quickly so I can do the whole process once again, with a different flavour? Maybe try that liquid smoke I've heard so much about?
Considering the amount of money jerky cost (here atleast) this was all I thought it would be and more. It was easy and I'll be doing it again real soon!


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