My Truths #112 (jerky)

by Stephanie

Store bought beef jerky pales in comparison to the jerky you can make at home. I bought a frozen pastured roast of beef at Farmer Dave’s recently. The price was reduced because it was frozen (left over from the week before). The fact that it was frozen actually worked to my advantage for making jerky.  I brought it home and let it thaw enough so I could slice it. Because it was still partially frozen I could easily slice it in to thin strips. I then tossed it all in a large zip lock bag and marinated it for 24 hours using the recipe in the link below. I  laid it out on a foil lined cookie sheet in a low oven for several hours. The recipe calls for a 250F oven but I used 170F (the lowest temp possible with my oven). The cookie sheet was a little crowded so as the thinner smaller pieces dried out I removed them from the pan. It’s a lengthy process but worth the effort!

I put the finished product in a clean zip-lock baggie with a little silica pack that I had saved from something else (you know the ones that say “DO NOT EAT”). The silica helps to keep the jerky dry and prevent spoilage. If done properly you can store in the cupboard but just to be safe I prefer to store my homemade jerky in the fridge.  One of the keys to making jerky that will preserve well is to choose a lean cut of meat…in this case a fatty marbled piece of meat is not desirable.

My 15 year old son tried it and was amazed. He said it tasted like store bought. He said “I though you needed a smoker to make authentic jerky”. I guess that’s a compliment! Little did he know that what he was eating lacked the high sodium, nitrates, antibiotics and hormones of the “Jack Links” he was comparing it to…