Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beef Jerky

Guest Post from the Hubby:
I love beef jerky and I have always wanted to try making it myself, but I don’t have a food dehydrator. I recently saw Alton Brown make it using a fan and some household air filters. I made two batches of this delicious jerky. The first time I made it according to the directions and the second batch I added some bourbon to the marinade. Both were delicious and chewy. The only thing I did differently was to cook the jerky for half an hour or so at my oven’s lowest temperature. I did this because I was a little nervous about not cooking the meat. This worked great, the only problem I had was that some of the smaller thinner pieces ended up a little too dry, so next time I make it I probably will not dry the jerky as long in the fan.

Beef Jerky

1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Special Equipment: 1 box fan, 4 paper air-conditioning filters, and 2 bungee cords

Trim the flank steak of any excess fat, place in a zip-top bag, and place it in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours in order to firm up. Remove the steak from the freezer and thinly slice the meat with the grain, into long strips.

Place the strips of meat along with all of the remaining ingredients into a large, 1-gallon plastic zip-top bag and move around to evenly distribute all of the ingredients. Place the bag into the refrigerator for 3 to 6 hours.

Remove the meat from the brine and pat dry. Evenly distribute the strips of meat onto 3 of the air filters, laying them in the grooves and then stacking the filters on top of one another. Top these with 1 empty filter. Next, lay the box fan on its side and lay the filters on top of it. Strap the filters to the fan with 2 bungee cords. Stand the fan upright, plug in and set to medium. Allow the meat dry for 8 to 12 hours. If using a commercial dehydrator, follow the manufacturer's directions. Once dry, store in a cool dry place, in an airtight container for 2 to 3 months.

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