Around the holidays I give and receive lots of sweets, which is fine, but sometimes you want a little something different. That’s why this year I’ve decided to make some spicy beef jerky for several of our friends.
If you have a food dehydrator (I got mine a few years ago for $5 off Craigslist) and a good butcher, making beef jerky is a cinch. The quantity we usually get (around 2.5 pounds of eye-round) fits perfectly (although snug) on our four, round dehydrator trays.
This recipe is based on ratios, so it doesn’t really matter how big a piece of eye-round you get. My husband says that 2.5 pounds will make about a pound once it’s done. The overpriced packets you get in the store are merely ounces, so depending how many people you are giving this to, you may only have to make a few batches. This particular batch filled 6 sandwich baggies 3/4 of the way full, just to give you an idea.
Here is where you need the good butcher though. You want to have them cut the meat for you, in about 1/8″ thick slices. Let them know you are making jerky, and they should cut it against the grain for you. We always go to Sanders’ Meat in Ballston Spa and we’ve never had a problem with this.
You are going to cut each piece into strips about 3/4″ to 1″ in width. If there is any fat around the outer parts of the meat, you can trim it at this time. Place all cut strips into a large bowl.
Next you will add your salt and seasonings. For this we used garlic and onion powders and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Sometimes we make teriyaki jerky, and then we use this marinade recipe.
RECIPE: SPICY CHIPOTLE BEEF JERKY
For each kilogram of beef you will need
- 50 grams salt
- 5 grams onion powder
- 5 grams garlic powder
- 60 grams chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (look for it in the Hispanic foods section of the grocery)
When everything is in the bowl, use your hands to massage it all in. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight. The next day you will lay the strips flat, in a single layer, on each insert of your dehydrator. Put it on the lowest setting and let it run for about 8 hours. Check it when it’s done, and if it still seems too soft, let it keep going.
That’s it! You only spent about 20 minutes getting it ready and now you are done. Hope that makes your gift giving a bit simpler this year.