Monday, November 26, 2012

Grass-Fed Beef Jerky

Simple Jerky

This jerky seems really boring, but properly salted it is actually very good and almost a little too addictive! The key is a lot of high quality sea salt. The first time I tried it I didn't salt it enough and it basically just tasted like dried meat. The next time I put so much on that I thought I was over salting it, and it turned out perfect! I don't know how to quantify the amount because I didn't measure it, so you might have to do some experimenting on your own.

1 lb. very lean round steak or London Broil (100% grass-fed)
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Cut out all visible fat (you can save it for use elsewhere).
Slice the meat into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
Lay the strips on the dehydrator trays.
Liberally salt and pepper the strips, then flip them all the salt and pepper the other side.
Dry in the dehydrator for about 6 hours at 155 degrees (F). Check them after 6 hours, and if still moist and raw-seeming in the center, add an hour or two at a time until they're dried.
When cool, store in Ziploc bags in the refrigerator or freezer* until your trip.

Spicy Jerky

1 lb. very lean round steak or London Broil (100% grass-fed)
3 TB gluten-free tamari, or coconut aminos
1 TB chili powder
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB white wine (optional - I like it with, my partner likes it without)

Cut out all visible fat (you can save it for use elsewhere).
Slice the meat into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
Mix the other ingredients together in a large shallow baking dish.
Add the meat strips and stir to coat.
Marinate for an hour or more.
Oil the mesh dehydrator trays and lay the strips directly on the trays.
Dehydrate for 6 hours at 155 F. Check them after 6 hours, and if still moist and raw-seeming in the center, add an hour or two at a time until they're dried.
When cool, store in Ziploc bags in the refrigerator or freezer* until your trip.

*Although some jerkys from the store can last long periods of time outside of the fridge, they most likely have some preservative added. We tried storing some of this homemade jerky unrefrigerated for a month and it grew mold. It will be fine for the length of your trip, but any extended storage time should probably be spent in the fridge or freezer.

Variations:
There are a million different ways you can change this up, so experiment at will! There are also a million recipes out there on other paleo blogs. My favorite that I've found so far (and recently I've been making this one more than the spicy recipe above because it's so good) is Robb Wolf's Maple-Sage Beef Jerky.

Maple-Sage Jerky in the making.

Here are some links to other ones that sound great, although I haven't personally tried any of them yet:

Paleo-Friendly Beef Jerky on Brian's Backpacking Blog
Beef Jerky on The Food Lover's Kitchen
A Really Tasty Beef Jerky on Jen's Gone Paleo

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