Friday, February 21, 2014

Recipe: Beef Jerky

My household has been on an "eat clean" diet lately, and it wasn't quite a New Years resolution, but more of a, "lets loose ten pounds by spring because our pants are kinda tight and we will be ready for wedding season", revelation.

I live by an 80/20 rule, where diet doesn't relate to the latest food lifestyle craze, but what my diet is composed of. 

The husband has decided to let me help him with a meal plan, and so far diet has contributed to his weight loss of 5 lbs in 2 weeks (it's so frustrating how men see faster results than women sometimes...)

So when faced with an upcoming road trip, and our usual minimal pit-stop pace and McDonald's chicken nugget frenzied eating, we decided to pack clean foods and not be tempted by the convenience of fast food on our travels. 

Enter the decision to make our own beef jerky.  We followed this recipe for cooking and marinade instructions but when it came to seasoning, made our own blends. The first batch was plain, with just the vinegar, salt and pepper marinade that the above recipe describes.


Second tray was a blend of Big Cock Ranch's Special Shit, kosher salt, pepper grounds, finely ground pepper and water.

The last tray was a little more Special Shit, Hickory BBQ sauce, cumin, and cayenne pepper.

The key is cooking low and slow. We decided to line cookie sheets with foil, and lay the meat on cookie cooling racks to bake. We baked these delicious morsels at 170 degrees, the lowest the oven would go, for 6-7 hours total, checking after the first 4 hours and removing the fully dried pieces as needed.  The trick is propping your oven open with a wooden spoon, it helps so much!

The result is clean, home made jerky, seasoned to your preference with no yucky preservatives.

Its a nice recipe for a lazy Sunday afternoon and easy to do with a Netflix Marathon of House of Cards going. The yield is more jerky at a lower cost than what you would find at a grocery store too. The Husband has exclaimed that this is something we are going to do every weekend. I can live with that. And I am a big fan of Beef Jerky with Wine (what snacks don't go with wine, really?)

We are road trip ready! Happy Snacking.

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