It started last fall, I had made some Jerky out of ground pork and beef. And it was a hit and an easy snack for the boys. Even though it wasn’t seasoned very well. Pork and beef will have a lot more grease than venison.
When I started thinking of trip plans and snack foods to take, (we went east last week) this was one of the first to come to mind. I made 6 lbs of ground venison into jerky, which makes about 3 lbs once it’s dried. And we came back with very little left!!
I searched online for a while before finding a recipe I thought we would like. And then added even more things, I love my herbs!!! The link actually has a few different recipes, so you may find something you might like better. And I did not add any sweetener, dry milk, protein, or use curing salt. If it wasn’t something I had I just didn’t use it!! I had seen enough other recipes that didn’t call for it, so I knew it would be ok. And it was.
4 tsp Real Salt
2 tsp Pepper
Some Mustard Seeds -Optional
3 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
The rest I ‘splashed or dumped’ in… I’ll try to give approximate amounts but I really don’t know or remember… sorry. I’m just one of those who ‘dumps and splashes’…
Liquid Smoke – 1-2 TBS
Splash of Worcestershire Sauce -1-2 TBS
Soy Sauce – 1/8 C.
And between 1/2 to 2 tsp each of following herbs:
Cumin – May add more if you want a spicier jerky or add Chili Powder.
After mixing spices, mix into 3 lbs of ground meat thoroughly!!! I then left it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Overnight is recommended, the flavor goes through the meat better. I didn’t have the time. But I will do it next time I make it.
Roll out onto wax paper, you may roll it between two pieces. I used a dehydrator, just a general-run-of-the-mill-from-Walmart-type-of-brand, of the which all my trays have now broken. (It wasn’t new when I got it.)
Then let dry for 10-18hrs. You may also use an oven set at the lowest temp it will go. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will have to next time, due to broken trays. The wax paper helps absorb the grease. About half way through drying flip the jerky to dry more evenly. I even cut off edges as they dried, so they wouldn’t over dry, they dry faster than the center. As I mentioned before, pork and beef will have much more grease and fat to drain away. I didn’t use wax paper that first time and it made a mess in my dehydrator. So you may need to drain it off if using an oven and cookie sheets.
It also helps to cut them about 3/4 the way through the drying, and spread them out. It just helps it all dry better. You will kind of have to be your own judge as to when they are done drying. Some of mine I didn’t get dry enough, so it is all trial and error. But it should still be bendable, and it should look like it has been cooked, no pink. (Unless you are using curing salt.)
Cut into strips. I used my pizza cutter for a quick, easy and fast method.
Store in bags, in fridge or freezer. While on our trip it was not always in our cooler. And it lasted just fine. If you won’t be eating it in a few days, I’d say keep in fridge or freezer. They won’t take long to thaw out when you need a quick snack.