Friday, May 14, 2010

Adventures in Making Beef Jerky


Now I understand why beef jerky is so expensive. It takes a lotta meat, sometimes complicated ingredients and patience. The June issue of Food & Wine magazine included an article about 28-year-old New York City baker Rachel Graville (and proprietor of Iris Cafe in Brooklyn) and the beef jerky she's been making for the past couple of years.

I'm a fan of the dried meat and following the article were three beef jerky recipes so I decided to tackle the "Sweet & Spicy Jerky" recipe, which wasn't the simplest recipe, but sat in the middle in complexity of ingredients.

You can follow this link to the Food & Wine website for the recipe. Shopping at Wal-Mart, I found most of the ingredients except whole anise (I purchased anise seeds and used 1/2 teaspoon) and fish sauce.

Yes, the fish sauce for beef jerky sounds disgusting and I substituted oyster sauce. Okay, probably not the best choice because after reading cooking boards, oyster sauce is thicker and sweeter than fish sauce.

Slicing the meat was pretty easy and ended up marinating the meat about an hour more than recommended (recipe called for no more than 8 hours. Since I made this during the week, it soaked for 9). Baking at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours was about an hour short but I'm pleased with the end product, although when I travel to New York next month, I'm planning a visit to Iris Cafe to pick up Graville's real stuff.

Pictured is the final product atop the Food & Wine article.