||[Apr. 7th, 2007|03:29 pm]
Slice the beef, between 1/8" and 1/4". Add 1/2 cup per pound of soy sauce; this has enough salt to cure the beef. Add about 1oz brown sugar per pound of beef, and 1/2 cup red wine per pound of beef. (I like ravenwood, becuase, you know, ravens. Plus, the wine seems to my untrained palate to be a good, kinda cheap wine. $8-10 a bottle on sale is "cheap" for wine, I think.)
Then a good healthy glop of Tiger Sauce. How much? Well... you know, a good glop. About a half bottle for four pounds, I guess.
You can add worcestershire if you didn't toss your worcestershire when your refrigerator died, or if you've bought some since then. And a good healthy glug of cider vinegar, because I don't quite trust the tenderizing potential of the red wine.
Put all this into a well sealed plastic container; it's good if you can pick up the whole container to shake it up for mixing. Every few hours, giving it a good shake makes sure that all the meat is covered.
Then, after at least 24 hours have passed, smoke the meat over a low heat - 200-250 degrees - with hickory (or a mixture of hickory and alderwood - that's all I have), for at least three hours. If you can keep the smoke low (to avoid creosote buildup), and the heat controlled, you can go a lot longer, but I try not to go more than six hours, before moving to the dehydrator.
Dehydrate until you've rendered out most of the fat that will go liquid, and until the meat is dry. The tricky thing here is that there's a lot of fat that can render out. You want the beef to splinter when bent, not to snap, but you can keep drying it when it splinters, if there's still a coating of liquid fat on it.
I tend to store it in a plastic bag; if I'm mailing it (or transporting it) I add rice as a dessicant. Generally, I store it in the refrigerator. Properly cured and dried, beef jerky's biggest enemy is mold; it'll last a year or more in an airtight container, but I'm never sure if I've cured and dried it properly.
This batch should be done sometime this coming week. If anyone from alt.poly would like a small sample, I can accomodate a few folks... I promised I'd make some for Orlando if I had the chance, and I did, so I'm making it, but I still feel kinda funny making it for me and just one other person... the old "don't eat it unless you've brought enough to share" from grade school, you know?