Hello and welcome to the blog! It seems like a person never has enough snacks on hand while camping. One of the favorite lower carb foods that fills the belly is beef jerky. Unfortunately it is pretty doggoned expensive! I made some this last weekend and was pretty happy with the results… enough to share the recipe with the blog friends.
There are a number of cuts of beef that work well such as eye of round, top or bottom round, flank, etc. I chose to use some slices of shoulder blade roast. Why? Because it was dirt cheap on clearance. Shoulder meat (yellow area on the chart) is not the best for jerky because it does have some fat (which makes the jerky spoil faster) but the dried meat will be kept cool and will be eaten promptly and let’s face it — fat does add flavor! In actuality, shoulder meat is pretty tender, too!
The meat had been purchased a couple weeks ago during the Anamosa Pumpkinfest. It was frozen. Partially thawing the blade roast worked great for prepping. The silver skin (membrane) was removed because it is tough to chew. The excess fat (really not that much) was trimmed off (saving it for frying my eggs and potatoes in the morning). The meat was cut into 1/4 inch strips with a super sharp fillet knife. Who needs kitchen knives with a fisherman in the house?
The sliced meat went into the dehydrator for about 4 hours. I set the machine to the maximum temperature of 165 degrees F. If using a conventional oven, set it to around 175 degrees. The icing on the cake was having the machine turn off right before the beginning of Battlestar Galactica. (By design, of course! What a snack!)
Here is the recipe. I’ve seen a number of versions online, all tweaked and claimed by a number of people. This recipe is not that much different and contains a lot of salty goodness… just a lot less sugar. Future versions will include more spice such as some hot sauce. The final product was pretty delicious! I might add a bit more sugar or pineapple juice the next time but as-is, this homemade jerky tasted fresher and better than the store bought stuff.
Teriyake Beef Jerky for the Road
2-2.5 pounds beef blade roast, cut against the grain to 1/4 inch thick slices.
Round, eye of round, flank would work great.
3/4 cup inexpensive teriyaki marinade (i.e. Kikkoman, LaChoy, store brand, etc.)
2T dark brown sugar
1T onion powder
1t garlic powder
1.5T Worcestershire sauce
1t liquid smoke
Combine all the ingredients into a gallon freezer bag. Add the meat slices and mix periodically. Marinate 12 to 24 hours. Place the meat slices on racks in a dehydrator and set to 165 degrees. Dry for 4 hours or to the desired consistency (longer time yields thinner, tougher jerky). No dehydrator? Put the marinated meat slices on a baking rack in the oven, set the temperature to 175 and watch the strips for doneness. The jerky should come out just fine!
I would recommend refrigerating jerky when made with the more marbled cuts such as blade roast. Fat can turn rancid and ruin the flavor. This meat can stay for weeks in the fridge. UPDATE — I had it eaten in two days. 🙂
There are more tweaks to try but one of the co-workers loved the dried meat when I tried it on her today. It will be fun to make some batches for work camping in the coming weeks…
By the way, there is some news about the job. I ran out of work! Our group of contractors finished up the temporary job way too early. But having done a good job with perfect attendance, the door was kept open and now I have a long term, open-ended assignment at the same company doing nearly the same type of work. It should eventually lead to permanent employment rather than this temping stuff. The work is a good fit and reason to be excited! It’s also been possible to save a lot of money in short order. As an old friend once advised in the 1980s, “Liquidity is freedom!”
Jenny is up to her old tricks. She took me for a walk and hike the other night. We climbed about 20 feet up a steep embankment at the nearby concrete company. Well, sort of. She saw a rabbit and pulled the leash out of my hand and I had to go after her. Pleading with her, she patiently sat at the top of the very steep hill watching Daddy struggle to reach her, climbing and sliding down a pile of loose gravel. Once at the top, I picked up the leash and we went strolling and climbing about, exploring together. It was a reversal. She showed me where SHE likes to play when she gets out.
That’s about it for now. I’m planning an out of town trip this weekend. They are stocking trout at a pond in southeast Iowa just 2 blocks from buddy Johnnie. It’s too tempting not to go! Jenny may or may not ride along; I’m not certain yet. But it will be a fun time in any case and there will, of course, be pictures! Not to beat a dead horse but I didn’t realize how life was passing me by while working every weekend at the fast food job. Time to make up for lost time! It’s been a wonderful end to the summer and beginning to a memorable autumn season.
Take care and thanks for visiting! Happy and safe camping travels always!
Brad, Jenny, and… maybe a new edition soon?
Jones County and Linn County, Iowa