Sunday, September 1, 2013
Well, honest truth, this started as an effort to drop a couple pounds rather than make myself a snack. Store bought beef jerky is overpriced and loaded with sugar and salt. Jerky epitomizes the 'take back the kitchen' part of my cooking philosophy: despite millenia of our ancestors drying meat for preservation (and presumably flavor), we think jerky only comes in little plastic packages. I used two sources to develop a method. A quick internet survey, and many thorough readings -- from highschool on -- of 'Bushcraft'by Richard Graves (founder, Australian Jungle Rescue Detachment in WWII). Regarding jerky, graves says the primary function of smoking meat is keeping flies off until it dries. And you want to avoid fatty meat, which can go rancid easily. So: marinate in a couple kinds of soy sauce, a bit of fish sauce to boost glutamates, spear on skewers (iteration one) or toothpicks (iteration two). dusted well with crushed pepper, put in the oven for five hours (too dried) and eight, when I overslept (way too dried). Chewy, but yummy. And maybe a third of the price per pound.