Whisky Jerk

Mmm, I don’t know about you, but I love beef jerky. Unfortunately, the pre-packaged stuff is usually loaded with sugar or high fructose corn syrup.. so you know I took matters into my own hands!

Beef jerky is actually pretty easy to make, but it does take a while, so don’t try to make this the same day you want to eat it.

Note: I did use whisky in my marinade, but the sugar content of 3 tbsp for all that meat is negligible so don’t worry about violating your slow carb rules. For the Paleo cats, a friend of mine (who runs PaleoTrail) said that Scotch is a perfectly acceptable boozy ingredient for marinade, but that whisky should be avoided. Perhaps I will try this recipe with Scotch next time.

Ingredients: 
1.5 lbs london broil, trimmed of all fat
3 tbsp high quality whiskey/whisky (I used Maker’s Mark)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp salt (I love the Himalayan pink stuff)
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Combine all marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl (everything but the meat). Mix well and adjust seasoning to personal taste preference – don’t freak out if it’s too salty or alcoholic-smelling, both tastes will level out in the cooking process. Make sure ALL fat is removed from the meat, or it will rot in the lengthy drying process. Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice the london broil into strips cutting across the grain. Combine the meat strips with the marinade in a large Ziploc bag and shake to coat well. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours (overnight is good too).

Pre-heat oven to 230*F. Cover a cookie sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil to help make clean-up go a bit faster. I used a roasting rack to make sure my jerky dried out on all sides, but if you don’t have one you can still make delicious jerky – just make sure to flip all the strips about half way through cooking. Place jerky strips onto the rack or sheet, spread apart evenly, and place in the oven for three hours. I would recommend keeping the oven slightly cracked open for about half of this time (first hour and last half-hour) – my oven evidently has great hinges and will just stay open an in inch, but a crushed soda can will do the trick. The reason for this is to help facilitate the drying of the meat, rather than just cooking it.

Goin' in!

Goin’ in!

Lower your oven temperature to 170*F. Dry the jerky for another hour or so and then remove from the oven. If you are using a roasting rack, remove jerky from the rack and place on a flat surface (the pan is just fine). If you are just using a cookie sheet, you can skip that step. If the jerky is done, it will be completely dried out and dark in color (if it’s not done yet, turn off your oven, and leave the tray in for a few more hours to dry). When your jerky looks done, leave it out to completely cool and continue drying for a few more hours. Keep in an airtight container – you probably don’t *need* to refrigerate, but I do just in case.

Beef jerky is complete! So delicious.

Beef jerky is complete! So delicious.

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