Jerky — well-known dry beef meat originally coming from the Americas. Its history goes back to ancient times when indians used to dry bulls' meat in the sun. The aim was to dry the product until it comes stone-like hard. This method permitted to store food for unlimited period of time.
Nowadays food shops and petrol stations in the Americas are full of jerky of all kinds.
In Europe this snack is not so popular, probably due to the fact that here pig breeding is well-developed and naturally the master and commander is Jamon and dried cod.
I often dry beef, testing different spices since this kind of meat is highly dietary and nutritious.
It’s a perfect snack which is stored on the plate out of fridge.
The jerky is cooked in a very simple way
You need a cheap piece of beef, most often part of fillet cut, which is used for cooking steak, minimum membrane and veining. The piece is cut in extremely thin slices by 3−4 mm and then it is marinated and dried in a fruit dryer or in the oven grill at 60C about 6−10 hours, depending on the thickness of the meat. During the drying process the meat undergoes temperature treatment (60C is quite enough for beef).
The dried meat should not crack like chips but it should preserve its springiness.
Now the most important thing: marinade.
There are millions of marinade recipes. Today I’m gonna share the most classic one with certain Spanish-Canadian modifications.
I’m not gonna mention exact proportions, it all depends on the quantity of meat and the size of utensil used for marinating.
Soy sauce — 1 part
Worcestershire sauce — 0,5 part
Teriyaki sauce — 0,2 part
Maple syrup (Canadian aromas) — 0,2 part, it can be replaced by honey
Now dry ground spices:
Mixture of 5 peppers
Paprika (minimum 3 types). I used the smoked sweet, smoked spicy, pimiento de vera, ñora, jalapeño, chili (in Spain the choice is really huge).
The proportion is: approximately half teaspoon of each by 300 gr of liquid. However, you should experiment with tastes. I prefer a little hot and more fragrant.
Attention! I didn’t forget to mention salt. You don’t need it.
All the ingredients should be mixed. The marinade can be warmed a bit to speed the aromas spreading. Then we place the slices of meat in marinade and leave them to saturate for 12−20 hours.
Couple of hours before drying I’d recommend to replace meat in a colander to get rid of extra liquid.
Dry and enjoy!