Thursday, February 25, 2010

Beef Jerky

When I was younger, my dad used to make homemade beef jerky. And I LOVED it. Recently I've been bugging him to make it again. Like, nagging him all the time. Well last week, the grocery store paper came in the mail. We were glancing through it and he pointed at some steaks and said they were good for making beef jerky. (The key is to wait until the meat goes on sale.) So Tuesday, I went and got some. I got a little father-daughter bonding time as my dad shared his trick of the trade with me. It's his own little recipe he made up years and years ago.

First off, you're going to need a dehydrator. We've had ours for years and years- and it still works!

Get a couple of pounds of a good, thin steak... whatever is on sale- I used Top Round Steak (it was $1.97 a pound and I got about 3.5 pounds). Make sure it can all fit in your dehydrator.

Toss the steaks in the freezer for a little bit to freeze a little if they're defrosted. It makes it easier to cut. Using a good, sharp knife, trim off as much of the fat as you can. A little won't hurt but it doesn't dehydrate well. Slice the steaks- WITH THE GRAIN (not against)- into thin slices (depending on how thin you like your beef jerky). See how thin it is? Some pieces were even thinner

In a bowl large enough to hold all the meat, mix equal parts of Worcestershire sauce and Soy sauce. Add a little spicy seasoning (I used Tony's Seasoning Salt- it's a Louisiana thing). I also added a little garlic powder and onion powder for kicks and giggles. My family calls me the seasoning queen because I LOVE adding flavors. Add whatever seasoning you'd like. Mix this all together and then add the meat. Let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure most of the meat is covered by the marinade. I had to add a little more of the sauces.

In the morning, layer the meats in your dehydrator. I was lucky and able to get it all in one round. You may have to cook it in 2 separate batches.

... It looks and smells so good already!

Turn the dehydrator on and let it do it's magic for several hours. I started it around 7:30 in the morning and turned it off at 4:00 when I got home that afternoon. 8 and a half hours. Although, you may want to adjust the time depending on your dehydrator and how thick or thin you cut your meat. Mine turned out a little overdone, but still tastes really good. My brother ate almost an entire row by himself that afternoon. It doesn't look to pretty but it sure tastes DELICIOUS!!

Well I hope you enjoyed this recipe and remember to keep it not so homemade!


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