February 09, 2006

It's Jerky time!

Okay, I have all this free time for the next four days and I thought what the hell am I going to do with it. Then I remembered; my loving wife gave me a food dehydrator and the stuff to make Jerky. Right about now some of you are probably thinking, or screaming: “Contagion, you have some kind of funky eye infection. Do you really think you should be playing with food?”

My answer to you is; grow up and get a pair! No, you do have a valid point. Since I’ve never made jerky before I have no clue what I’m doing. I figured I would start small. A one-pound batch and take it from there. After “cooking” down, that will only make about 1/3 pound of dried meat snacks. That’s just enough for me. There will be no sharing of the first batch.

I started off washing my face thoroughly. Never have I cooked using my face, but I thought “Hey! The crunchy bits my eye is producing might add flavoring.” Actually, I did that because it needed to be done, then after that I washed my hands. Then I used hand sanitizer, and then I washed my hands again. Sure I might not be sharing it, but lets not be dirty about it.

After a scrubbing that would make Adrian Monk proud, I started mixing the seasoning and curing mix. Okay this is easy enough. Again, this is my first time making jerky so I’m going with the ultra cheap method of using ground beef. I know it’s not the same, but if I screw up, at least I’m only out a couple of bucks, even if it is the ultra-lean variety.

I spent 10 minutes in the kitchen kneading the meat, seasonings, and cure mix together. Of course right in the middle of it, who comes to my door? The damn Com-Ed (electric company) man wanting to read my meter, that’s who. Washing my hands, I show him to the meter. After he leaves I go back through the scrubbing ritual and start kneading the meat. After I finished, I went back to mixing the meat, seasoning and cure mix together. I’m kidding… I washed my hands again before I started mixing.

Now I have to let the mix sit and cure for 4 to 24 hours. I’m thinking I’m going to let it cure until tomorrow. Since it’s late in the day, and it’s going to take about 6 hours to dry, I don’t want to be up half the night waiting on it.

Posted by Contagion in General at February 9, 2006 10:49 AM | TrackBack

If this comes out well, and you want to try something different I can send you some chaman, which is the Armenian meat drying spice.

Posted by: caltechgirl at February 9, 2006 02:34 PM

One small hint- You can really over-dehydrate this stuff, especially using ground beef. Not a tasty outcome.
If you want some awesome jerky marinade recipes, give me holler.

Posted by: Raging Mom at February 9, 2006 02:41 PM

Once you perfect the process and spend the big bucks on quality meat, I WANT SOME! :)

Posted by: Larry Morin at February 9, 2006 03:08 PM