Monday, June 8, 2015

Lissa's Beef Jerky

When the weather is sunny it's the perfect time for a road trip.  There's nothing like having good snacks prepared for a long journey.  One snack that I recommend is our recipe for beef jerky.  This recipe is superb in every way.  There is a burst of flavor in every bite.  This same recipe can be used to flavor tofu jerky, and so if you prefer vegan foods, there are alternatives to this recipe.

Lissa's Beef Jerky

Lissa's Beef Jerky 

2 lbs Thinly Sliced Flank Steak (at Smith's)
1/2 cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Lea & Perrin's All Natural Worcester Sauce
3 Tbs Raw Honey (We bought local Cache Valley, Utah raw honey.)
1 Tbs Courvoisier Cognac 
2 tsp Hickory Flavored Liquid Smoke
2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
2 tsp Kosher salt
Crushed Red Pepper to season (optional, and for the kids, I never put this on their beef jerky.)

The Ingredients

I started off with the Worcester sauce.  

After that, it was time to add some Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

My sister bought us 100% Raw Cashe Valley, Utah Honey.  She had ordered it online from Etsy.

One of my favorite French spirit is called Courvoisier Fine Cognac "The Cognac of Napoleon." I am an affectionado of Courvoisier because it is one of the finest Parisian cognacs ever made. It's flavor and affect is unmatched.  Courvoisier was a favorite drink of Napoleon I, and a war ration to his French soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars.  A taste of Courvoisier, and it might become your favorite too. This particular bottle came from Jarnac, France.  It is reasonably priced compared to other brands of Courvoisier sold in the United States. I will use Courvoisier in this beef jerky recipe to increase the flavor.

Each person dries their beef jerky differently.  Some people slow roast it over charbroil grill. Some people bake beef jerky in their oven.  I used a meat dehydrator.  My dehydrator has only two buttons on and off so there's really nothing to it.  There are four racks that come apart.  The beef jerky meat is loaded onto separate racks.  I only used three of the four racks when I made beef jerky this time.

There are several different ways to cut the meat.  One way is with the grain of the meat, and another way is against the grain of the meat.  If you cut with the grain of meat, the beef jerky will be extra tough to chew, and some prefer this, but if you like to have beef jerky that is easier to chew cut against the grain of meat, and it will fall right apart.  We debated what to do with our meat.  The butcher gave us an extra long strip of flank steak.  We decided to cut it into thirds.  Two-thirds of the flank steak would be long strips of jerky, and the other one-third would be beef jerky bites.  The portion on the right would be the jerky bites, and the portion on the left would be the jerky strips. After this vertical cut, everything else was cut with the grain.  We will have to chew extra hard to enjoy this flavorful beef jerky.

In preparing the meat, many people will pre-freeze the meat so that it slices more thinly.  My refrigerator gets quite cold, and I wanted the meat to be fresh, not frozen.  I did NOT freeze this meat. It is fresh.  I thought about it.  I can handle thicker slices of meat, but I can't handle frozen meat. The other part of preparing meat is that if you have fat, it is important to trim it away.  What fat does to your jerky is it fails to cure.  Sure the fatty parts taste amazingly sweet when dehydrated into jerky, but they also rot quickly.  So unless you're planning on eating your jerky in the next week or two, it's important to trim away the fat.  Did I do it?  Do you see much fat on this? No, the cut I had from the butcher was for the most part a nice clean fat free cut.  Knowing this and knowing my own house, the way kids run in and out of my house, there's no way 2 lb. of beef jerky will last more than a few days so I left the fat on.

This is me chopping the beef with the grain.  They aren't as thin as bacon, but they're still thin slices.


This is what the slices of beef jerky looked like when we first placed the meat in the marinade. I added the salt, pepper, and liquid smoke at this time.

How long do you marinade beef jerky?  Is there a correct answer?  Well, after about an hour in the refrigerator, the meat soaked up virtually all of the sauce.  Most of the meat had turned brown, the same color as the sauce.  I smelled the meat, and it smelled very much like the flavoring.  Sure, I could have left it longer in the marinade, but I decided that I liked the way it smelled, and so I was ready to put the beef into the dehydrator.

Here are the jerky strips.

I placed the jerky strips that I wanted to be spicy jerky with red pepper flakes at the bottom rack to separate them.  Once the strips were set on the rack, I placed the red pepper flakes on them.  After that, I placed the next rack on top with the plain jerky with no red pepper flakes higher up so that the kid's beef jerky would not have any red pepper spice.  I wanted the kid's beef jerky to taste more neutral, nothing too hot or spicy.

The red pepper jerky came out great.  The nice thin strips were cut with the grain and came out chewy and flavorful.  Each bite into this and your mouth will have an explosion of savory sweet and spicy beef flavors.

Beef Jerky with Red Pepper Flakes

The Kid's Beef Jerky

The kid's beef jerky had no red pepper flakes.  I did not remove any of the fat.  As I looked at it, the fat for some reason was located in the center of the meat.  The only way I could cut out that particular slice of fat would be to cut the meat in half.  All in all, this flank steak was mostly a great cut of beef. The jerky turned out wonderfully.  I recommend that everyone try this.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment