Favorite jerky recipes.
June 3, 2011 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Render unto me your favorite jerky meats, marinades and recipes.

So I have a dehydrator and I've gotten pretty good with it. I've made beef, tuna and salmon jerky so far and I want more, more, more. What do I put in there and what do I marinade it in, beforehand? I can get quite literally any ingredient you can think of and I love experiencing new foods, so the wilder the better.

However, I cannot stomach even the slightest amount of capsaicin-based spice. So, unless hot peppers can be taken out of the recipe with no love lost, I can't eat it. (Also, I'm really lactose intolerant.)

Vegetarian/vegan jerky -- not just dried fruit/veg -- recipes are welcome!
posted by griphus to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
My mom makes the best beef jerky. We are also a can't-handle-the-spicy family, so it's very friendly in that regard. Here is her recipe:

3 lbs. round steak, cut about ½” thick
1-1½ Tbl. salt
⅓ to ½ cup warm water
⅓ to ½ cup soy sauce
⅓ to ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. coarse-ground pepper
garlic powder to taste

Wash and dry meat. Cut meat into ½” to ¾” wide strips (with the grain is the preferred cut). Dissolve salt in warm water and add the remaining ingredients. Soak meat in above mixture about two hours, turning the strips of meat frequently so that each piece is drenched with the mixture. Place the strips of meat on racks on a baking sheet, making sure that the pieces do no touch each other. Give another quick dusting of pepper and garlic powder, if desired. Turn the oven heat on to 120° to 130°. Cook at this temperature for 8-9 hours with the oven door only slightly cracked open (a couple of wooden spoons work well for this purpose). After cooking, turn off the heat, open the oven door a bit more and let air dry for about 8 hours more. Package the jerky in bags or jars. You won’t need to worry about shelf life – it won’t be around that long.

Obviously, since you have a dehydrator, you would follow the instructions for that rather than her oven directions.

Simple and delicious.
posted by phunniemee at 8:44 AM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]

Cambodian ginger cured beef from The Elephant Walk Cookbook.

"1 pound boneless top round, sliced 1/8 inch thick across the grain
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons peeled finely chopped ginger
2 teaspoons salt

Combine the meat with the sugar, ginger and salt in a bowl and stir to coat thoroughly. Lay the pieces out on a rack and place in a warm spot to cure for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. The meat will turn purplish red, with a light sheen to it, and will feel somewhat leathery."

In Cambodia, the resulting jerky would usually be fried or grilled before eating, but I kind of like it raw.
posted by Ahab at 9:11 AM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Pad Prik King Jerky
~3 lbs. round steak, cut about ½” thick (milanesa cut)
1 can Red Curry Paste (I like Maes Ri)
⅓ to ½ cup fish sauce
3 to 5 Tbsp sugar
water to thin if paste is too thick

Cut beef into strips of desired width.
Marinate overnight.
Dry to desired texture.

Chipotle Jerky
~3 lbs. round steak, cut about ½” thick (milanesa cut)
1 can of Chiles Chipotle en Adobo (or rehydrate dry ones, blend and spice to taste)
3-5 Tbsp sugar
⅓ to ½ cup soy sauce
water to thin if paste is too thick

Cut beef into strips of desired width.
Marinate overnight.
Dry to desired texture.
posted by Seamus at 10:55 AM on June 3, 2011

I wish I could read, sorry for those recipes above. i guess archived for future readers.

So, here's another.

Pepper Jerky (I like spice)
~3 lbs. round steak, cut about ½” thick (milanesa cut)
½ cup pepper corns crushed (not ground fine)
3 Tbsp sugar
⅓ cup soy sauce
⅓ cup worcestershire sauce
⅓ cup ketchup/catsup
water to thin if paste is too thick

Cut beef into strips of desired width.
Marinate overnight.
Dry to desired texture.

Still might be a little too much for a delicate stomach, so you could adjust the pepper accordingly.

I know you asked for meat, but some fruits work too.
My kid loves chile/lime dried fruit, so I do a lot of that.
Bananas make a great jerky. They can take any marinade meat can, however, they end up with a super concentrated banana undertone. No marinating; coat and then dry immediately.

Banana Jerky (sweet)
~3 lbs. of bananas, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
½ cup lime or lemon juice
3 Tbsp sugar
(or avoid the honey and add chile powder and water to thin, other readers)

Toss bananas with mixture and put immediately in the dryer.
Dry overnight until leathery.

Banana Peanut Butter Fruit leather
6 bananas
1 cup peanut butter
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon

Blend together
Spread on a silicon sheet.
Dry until leathery
Cut into strips. Eat like jerky

Most commercial fruit leathers start with an apple base. Raw apple puree always dries crispy for me. It requires cooking into applesauce (to dissolve the pectin?) in order to make a good leathery fruit leather. I always puree with the skins, so that may have some effect there. Bananas make the perfect fruit leather base. Puree with any other fruit (kiwi and strawberry are good) and/or any spice combination for an amazing variety.
Pumpkin/Butternut Squash puree also makes a good base for leathers both sweet and savory. Here is a sweet one.

Pumpkin Pie Leather
1 lb. pureed steamed pumpkin or butternut squash
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp.ground ginger
1/4 tsp.ground cloves
~1/2 can evaporated Milk

Mix together puree, sweeteners, salt and spices. Thin with evaporated milk to a spreadable thickness. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Spread on a silicon sheet. Dry until leathery.
Cut into strips.

Vegetable leathers (other than steamed butternut squash based ones) are possible, but I have always had to cook them to get them to lose water and not turn into powder. Sometimes they turn crispy and make good chips, other times they turn out leathery. The earthy, vegetable flavors are magnified, so they are not for everyone. They easily dissolve in hot water, so they make a great portable soup base for camping. The soup base idea is what influence me to make these with miso. Try other vegetables and spice routines.

Veggie Leather

Vegetable leather (or Chips or Dehydrated Soup Base, depending on your final product)
3-4 pounds zucchini or yellow squash (other vegetables work too)
10 cloves garlic (or to taste)
1/4 cup miso paste (or to taste)

Puree all ingredients together. Pour into a sauce pan and cook until thickened.
Spread on a silicon sheet and dry until leather (or crispy).
Eat as is or dissolve in hot water for soup
posted by Seamus at 11:27 AM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Once again, my failure to comprehend what I read hurts me.

Thin the pumpkin puree leather with any nut/bean/grain milk in the place of evaporated milk.
posted by Seamus at 11:29 AM on June 3, 2011

I had one tiny taste of goose jerky a few months ago and would do almost anything to get more. So if you find a goose (I suspect they could be hunted with pliers), jerk it!
posted by cyndigo at 11:47 AM on June 3, 2011

Alton Brown's take on jerky.
posted by Splunge at 10:43 PM on June 3, 2011

This recipe for watermelon "prosciutto" popped up on thekitchn today. Looks interesting.
posted by phunniemee at 10:57 AM on June 7, 2011

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