Often it is hard to find a gift for that special someone in your life. One could make a case for gourmet food as a great gift. It is often very difficult to pick out a gift from the store that shows the level of thoughtfulness it is possible to achieve with something you make, even more so if you personalize it. That’s if you haven’t decided to give away one of our mail order meat box subscriptions. You can easily take a food item, which includes something like, beef jerky, and create a very pleasant and thoughtful gift this way. (Especially if you use Hometown Meat!)
A VERY Brief History of Jerky
Ch’arki Made from Alpaca
Jerky was initially introduced by the South American (Peruvian) native tribe called the Quechua (portion of the ancient Inca Empire) close to the year 1550. The product (Ch’arki), was boned and meat with the fat removed primarily, deer, elk, or buffalo cut in slices and rubbed with salt. This meat was wrapped in the animal’s hide for 10-12 hours and then afterwards sun dried or smoked over fires for several hours.
A Great Beef Jerky Recipe
This beef jerky recipe is a favorite of many beef lovers and lends itself to many variations on the recipe we have here. Your choice of cuts is the ticket here, so if you like Sirloin or London Broil, then go all out. Make certain you pick a lean cut though with as little fat as possible. This helps accelerate drying time. The next thing you would like to do is cut your meat up into very thin, thin strips, about 1/8″ thick. The slices could be thicker, but it will have an effect on the drying time.
Prepare the Meat
Once you prepare to cut the meat, if the butcher didn’t do this for you, slice it with or against the grain. With the grain is way easier to chew, but that depends on you. If you like it REALLY chewy go against the grain. Cut the fat off, as fat does not dry.
The next step is to marinate the meat. You can make your own beef marinade or buy some from the store. Our suggestion is using sea salt (this way it won’t toughen the meat) and cider vinegar for that nice tangy flavor. Feel free to let the meat marinade for just four hours, but we seriously suggest opting for marinating the meat for 24 hours for the very best results.
The majority of the most suitable beef jerky recipes use some sort of marinade, but some people consider marinating optional, because it can make the meat wetter and slow drying, making the jerky considerably stickier. This is a matter of your personal preference, and again is entirely your decision, relying on what you prefer. When this stage is done, coat the meat with the spices you like, spray the racks of your dehydrator with non-stick cooking spray and pop them in with enough room around the pieces to allow the air flow properly. Do your best to not to allow the soon to be “freshly-prepared” jerky to touch while the meat is drying.
There you have it. Now all you need to do is wait about 6 to 12 hours and you will have beef jerky that anyone would be proud to give away as that unique gift to a friend. The technique here is to check it regularly after about 6 hours to test it for the consistency you want. You may have to test cut slices to ensure it isn’t raw inside. It should be a crimson or burgundy color when done.
Beef Jerky is a Great Gift
With companies throughout the world making a wide array of jerky products, sometimes its just as simple and convenient to either buy beef jerky online or purchase through local health food store. However, making your own beef jerky in your home could be a rewarding endeavor and a fun activity to carry out with friends or family members. And of course, never forget to buy fresh organic beef online at Hometown Meat.