We’re currently vacationing in Orlando this week (and consulting my Disney guide from time to time). The weather is perfect, the crowds are terrible (as expected), and our son Oliver is having a great time relaxing and getting away from the stresses of kindergarten. In preparation for our trip, I decided to revisit one of the first recipes I posted on this blog, beef jerky.
It’s amazing how jerky has endured as one of my all-time favorite foods since childhood. The word “jerky” itself is borrow from the word ch’arki, which translates to “dried, salted meat” in the Quechua language (spoken in the Andes region of South America).
Sometimes, the best way to apply a marinate is to just get in there and do it. Please forgive my old man hands.
Beef Jerky - Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free
~2 lbs eye of round roast
1/4 cup tamari (or 1/3 cup coconut aminos)
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp coarse-ground black pepper (fresh-ground okay)
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1. Slice the beef as thinly as possible. Your local butcher will often be happy to slice the beef for you on the spot. If slicing by hand or with a home slicer, freeze the meat for 10 minutes beforehand to make it easier to slice. We were gifted a food slicer by our friends Paleo Parents last year, which we love and used for this recipe.
2. Combine the marinade ingredients and stir until well-mixed, then combine with the meat. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and marinate overnight.
3. Lay the beef pieces out on your dehydrator in a single layer. Set to 155F (some models use 160F, either is fine) and dehydrate until firm (aka “no longer squishy”), between 2 and 5 hours depending on how the thickness of your jerky. Once finished, turn off the dehydrator and allow the beef to cool for 30 minutes before storing in plastic bags lined with paper towels (to capture any remaining moisture). You can remove the paper towels after a day or so.
** The jerky will keep for several months in the fridge, or about a month on the shelf, depending on the fattiness of your meat – fatty meat spoils faster than lean meat.
** Feel free to scale up or down as you see fit – 3 lbs of meat will yield about 1 lb of jerky.
** Jerky can be make in the oven, at 170F with the oven door cracked open.
** You can slice the beef across the grain like in this recipe, to make sheets, or slice it along the grain to make strips. Both are delicious and it’s fun to play around with the two different textures.
We’ve been using this square dehydrator since day one, and we like it a lot. There are higher-end dehydrators out there, like this Excalibur model, which I’ve heard great things about. With our current dehydrator, we rotate the trays every couple of hours to ensure everything cooks evenly.