29 Jun Beef Jerky for our ‘Gutsy Adventure’
Preparation has begun!
Food for the road, food that’s nourishing, but not just any food… I have a few criteria both from a quality and practicality viewpoint:
- shelf stable
- wholefoods / unprocessed
I want to be able to take foods that any of the family can nibble on without polluting their beautiful growing bodies with processed high sugar chemically laden foods.
1kg lean beef (rump works well)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp liquid smoke
honey to taste (about 1-2tsp)
To turn this beautiful slab of fresh grass fed lean beef into a long-term shelf stable chewy, tasty piece of jerky, you will need a few pieces of kitchen equipment:
- A dehydrator
- A good size sharp knife
- 2 stainless steel bowls – one large and one small
The trick here is to place your piece of beef in the freezer. Now you don’t want it fully frozen, only partially frozen (we don’t want it to fully freeze and then defrost losing all those beautiful juices). Place your meat in a freezer-proof container or bag and place it in the freezer for around 3 hours.
While you’re waiting – make your marinade. This one’s pretty easy: You simply mix all your ingredients in a bowl and your marinade is done. You can mix it up a bit here, curry powder, ginger powder, mustard powder, cinnamon, smokey paprika.
Now that your marinade is done and it’s been three hours (or as long as you need for the beef to be firming up and semi-frozen), pull your beef out of the freezer. You’ll want it thick enough to make a good size piece of jerky but not so thick it’s hard to cut through. Slice the beef with your sharp knife as thinly as you can. Slice with the grain, it’s easier to handle and more fun to chew on that way.
With all your beef sliced, add it to the marinade and combine well. Pop it in the fridge for 4-5 hours to allow the flavors to infuse. When it comes time to dry your jerky you will need to spread it out thinly on the dehydrator tray.
I like to dry the beef at the warmest setting on the dehydrator. I’m not going for raw food here, I’m after dehydrated meat, and it’s quicker at the warmer temperature. You can also use an oven that has a low-temperature setting like 50 degrees.
Nothing says 'trekking through the outback' like a piece of beef jerky
Now I have my super durable, transportable and semi preserved jerky, I can pop it in an airtight container. I’ve made enough jerky to last us the whole 3 months, given that we will only eat small amounts at a time.
Now, you’ll see above, I’ve popped in a picture of the liquid smoke. This particular one has caramel color in it which is not ideal. There are other liquid smokes on the market so just make sure that when you get one it fits in with your food choices.
Dehydrators are available from many places and range from quite inexpensive to – ‘it was the dehydrator or a new car’. Choose what fits in with your life.
You may be wondering what else you can use a dehydrator for… well hang on to your hats because in the next blog I’m going to be making emergency soup packs for those times when all I have is some water and a billy.
May you always shop the perimeter