I was thinking of what to make for Fathers’ Day, the actual DAY OF, because I’m a horrible daughter and procrastinated. Since we were taking him out to dinner anyway, and he insisted that he didn’t want any gifts, I still felt guilty that I didn’t do something. I’ve got issues. With the whole guilt thing.
The previous weekend we had a friend up who suggested that we try to make our own beef jerky. He said that it was super easy, and a great gift. His idea was in the back of my mind for the week. I mean…I had a block of London Broil (a really lean, tough cut of meat) in the freezer, and I’m also ridden with guilt for Fathers’ Day, the 3rd most commercial Hallmark holiday of the year (Valentines’ Day being the first, followed by Mothers’ Day). These are holidays someone made up to make loved ones fight.
There are people who use the excuse that everyday should be a holiday, therefore why celebrate at all? While the concept makes sense, most of those people piss off their loved ones since it always looks like a cop out on a gift.
Therefore, I still had to make a gift.
I made beef jerky and an apple tart, because I couldn’t decide which one was good enough, so I made both. Recipe for apple tart coming soon.
Beef Jerky (no serving size, since I really wouldn’t know how much you’d eat)
Baking time – approx. 4 hours, but it varies according to your oven temperatures
- 1 1/2 pounds lean meat (London broil, sirloin, round eye, etc.)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can of cooking spray
*Please, feel free to use your own marinade or play with mine a bit. This was a first for me, and I would love to hear your suggestions.
Freeze the meat for around 30 minutes before you attempt to cut it. That way it isn’t squishing around when you try to carve thin pieces.
Remove any excess fat.
Slice the block of meat against the grain, thinly. Most recipes say to slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices.
Mine might have been a little too thin. Do as I say, NOT AS I DO! :)
Mix all ingredients (all ingredients listed above, excluding first and last) for marinade in a large bowl.
Fully cover meat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate between 3 to 6 hours.
I’m guessing the thinner the slices, the shorter marinating time. Mine were marinated for 3 1/2 hours, though it could’ve been a bit shorter. It depends on how salty you want your jerky.
Find metal racks to place over baking pans with a rim, like below. You need air to circulate top to bottom.
Spray the racks with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Place strips of meat on racks, and try not to let them overlap (or they will stick together and not cook consistently).
*I only showed a picture of 1 rack, but I had to use 3 for all the meat I sliced. You might need 2 or 3.
Heat the oven on the lowest temperature possible. Mine goes down to 170 degrees.
Place jerky in the oven, and leave the door open a crack if possible. This will ensure proper ventilation and release the excess moisture from the meat.
Bake jerky until it is fully dried (can crack if bent, but not be able to snap in half).
I drizzled some honey on it towards the end of the baking process. But just because I like honey.
Let it cool fully before storing them in air-tight containers.