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Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Dragon Knuckle Beef Jerky Recipe

Don't you hate long blog posts?

Well, I like to write them, just not to read them so I chose to cut the last one short before delivering the punchline.

Yes, I'm on a Beef Jerky Diet. And here's the recipe.

Let's get another thing straight: I don't really believe in recipes. I believe in techniques. Learn how someone else makes something then make it your own.

And I'm still messing with this one. It's getting better and I'm getting smarter. But here are the basic steps.

1. Get a chunk of bottom round. You can make jerky with about any meat and I will work on that theory, but for now I'm using bottom round.

Yeah, that's the stuff.

2. Slice it thin. It works better if it's a bit frozen. So either put it in the freezer for a few hours or, if it's already in there, put it in the fridge for a few. Then get your biggest sharpest knife and make it look like this:

And trim the excess fat:

3. Season it. Oops, I haven't given you the Dragon Knuckle BBQ Rub recipe yet. Actually, it says on the right column that you need to drop me an email to get it. Anyway, use a blend of salt, sugar and spices. Get a good amount on every piece and layer them in a sealable plastic container. 

How much rub? Up to you and your crew. I have to be careful because the rest of my family can't handle the spice I can.

Make it look like this:

4. Liquid. This next step is optional and experimental. I've stopped at step 3. I've added some soy sauce. Last time I added 3 parts Apple Juice and 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar.

Looked like this:

The result was almost too tender. Maybe it was the acid in the vinegar. I like my jerky with some tooth to it.

It's up to you.

5. Wait. Leave it in the fridge overnight at least. A day or two is good. Then you're ready for a little bit of heat.

If you have a dehydrator, sweet. I don't and can't advise you here, but it can't be rocket surgery.

If you have a wire rack that fits in a sheet pan, also sweet. Lay your beef out on that.

I don't have one of those either. (When's my birthday?) But necessity is a mother of an invention. I just take out my oven rack and wrap the bottom in aluminum foil. It catches the drips and works just fine.

I forgot to take a picture of that.

6. If you're using the oven, set it as low as it goes. My lowest setting is 170. Leave the meat in there for at least 6 hours. Probably 8 depending on how thin you cut it. Nibble on your thinnest piece to see how it's going.

Halfway through it will look like this:

7. Eventually it will look like this:

You can cut it into strips and store it in an air-tight container. If you dry it out completely and properly it will last a long time.

How long? I have no idea. My family eats half of it while it's still warm.

Lean meat and lots of vegetables. That's my Beef Jerky Diet.

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