I wanted to share this amazingly easy, healthy, and unbelievably delicious homemade beef jerky recipe I made the other day. MrsTemple found the recipe in Clean Eating magazine. Despite its suspiciously ‘health-conscious’ approach, the mag is surprisingly full of delicious recipes. I’d recommend it, as it is for food-lovers, not weight-losers.
Spicy Oven-Dried Beef Jerky
Makes 12 oz (about 50 pieces). Hands-on time: 1 hour. Total time: 10 hours.
Nutrients per serving (2 large strips): Calories: 27, Total Fat: 1 g, Sat. Fat: 0 g, Carbs: 1 g, Fiber:0 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 4g. Sodium: 92 mg, Cholesterol: 8 mg
• 2 lb eye of round beef roast, flank steak or London broil, trimmed of visible fat
• 2/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2/3 cup 1/6 cup low-sodium Worcestershire sauce (1:1 worcestershire to soy is way too much, use 1/4 of the amount of low-sodium soy, and it’s delicious.)
1 tbsp raw honey (Rather than honey, I used the same amount of brown sugar.)
• 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp smoked paprika or liquid smoke, optional (I used smoked paprika)
ONE: If using a large roast or steak, slice beef into 2 or 3 equal pieces. Wrap beef in plastic wrap and place in freezer for about 1 hour to ease slicing. Remove from freezer and transfer to a cutting board. Using only the tip of a chef’s knife, slice beef along the grain into equal 1/8-inch-thick strips.
TWO: Meanwhile, prepare marinade. In a 2-cup measure, whisk remaining ingredients and, if desired, paprika, until smooth.
THREE: Transfer beef to a large, heavy-duty zip-top bag. Pour marinade into bag, seal tightly and turn
to coat beef. Lay flat in refrigerator and marinate for 3 to 6 hours, turning bag 1 to 2 times (NOTE: Do not exceed 6 hours).
FOUR: Line a large baking sheet with 2 sheets paper towel. Remove beef from bag, shaking or gently wringing each strip to remove excess marinade. Transfer to baking sheet and cover with additional 2 sheets paper towel. Press down through towel to flatten strips and absorb as much marinade as possible. Remove oven racks and place a foil drip pan in bottom of oven, or line bottom with foil. Preheat oven to lowest setting, 140 to 170°F.
FIVE: Thread skewers through 1 end of strips, leaving 1 inch between each strip. Lay skewers horizontally across 1 oven rack. Transfer rack to highest position in oven, allowing strips to hang without touching oven walls. Close oven, propping door open a crack with a small, dry, rolled-up dish towel or a wooden spoon. (NOTE: This is necessary to allow moisture to escape from the oven; the oven temperature is low enough that this is not a fire danger.) Cook for 5 hours.
SIX: Check strips for doneness; remove dry, hard and darkened pieces from skewers and place on a cooling rack. Cook remaining strips for 1 to 2 hours, checking often for doneness. Transfer to cooling racks. When strips are fully cooled, transfer to airtight containers and store upright at room temperature for up to 2 months (NOTE: Do not pack strips tightly). Discard strips that show signs of spoilage (mold or unpleasant odor) over time.
SEVEN: Devour. Then, imagine limitless flavour possibilities. Next time we make this (which will be soon), we’re going to try a curry-spiced variety.
I remember when you could get both seedless and true watermelon. I remember trying the seedless version. It was but a pale shadow of the vibrantly red, beautifully sweet, and deliciously refreshing true seeded wonder-food.
A true watermelon was pure ambrosia for a child. Similar in colour and property to the high-octane hummingbird food which fuels their unbounded energy, a watermelon served as the perfect pit-stop for young racing machines. Whether participating at the Picnic Grand Prix, the Baseball 500, or the Beach Superspeedway, every nanosecond spent on pit-row eating or drinking meant that you were missing out on everything that was going on.
In this way, watermelon seemed as if it were purpose engineered to suit the needs of youth. Not only would it provide both requirements of life, sugar and liquid, but your last piece could be taken on the go, shaving precious moments off your down-time.
That your hands, face, chest, and right forearm from elbow toward wrist would be smeared with stickiness was inconsequential to a kid. It would be washed off by the next plunge, or covered up by a film of dirt, or perhaps neither. To paraphrase a line from Predator: “Ain’t got time to clean”. It’s not that a conscious decision was made by an elite commando to ignore his wound, nor does a kid intentionally ignore the slathering of gluey juice, rather it simply isn’t on the radar of ‘Things That Are Important Right Now’.
Of course, when that final wedge was finished, you were left with a rind of the perfect size and weight that needed to be hucked into the woods/lake/ocean or sometimes onto the roof. It was food after-all, so it wasn’t littering.