Today is the day I attempt to make jerky for the first time. Well, technically I started yesterday armed with my copy of “Just Jerky, The Complete Guide to Making It”. I began with step 1 – marinating the beef strips. How card could it be? Oh wait; that says strips doesn’t it? Ok, so my first attempt isn’t off to the best start – I did marinate the meat overnight as required, but it was a whole fillet rather than nicely sliced pieces. Whoops.
So here I am today, ready to go with my now sliced eye fillet that has been marinating in strips for about an hour, in addition to the overall marination of the last 18 hours. As I was slicing up the meat, I made sure to not include any bits that were overly fatty or sinewy (there weren’t many of these as I was using eye fillet steaks) – these few pieces were definitely not wasted – I seared them quickly in a hot pan and I can assure you that if Round 1 of the Great Jerky Experiment fails, it won’t be due to poor quality raw ingredients.
This is definitely a day of firsts, as it’s also the first time I’ve attempted to use the food dehydrator my sister got me for Christmas (a Hottop KN-128E). Upon turning it on I realised that the ‘new’ smell would not do my jerky any good, so I let the dehydrator air out for an hour while it was turned on (I’d washed all the trays previously). The extra time gave those strips a few more minutes in the lovely marinade (I decided to go with ‘Kevin and Annie’s Jerky’ – using coconut aminos/sauce instead of soy, salt, chilli flakes, minced garlic, minced ginger and maple syrup).
As per the recommendations of the dehydrator manual, I drained the strips on some paper towel and placed them on a couple of trays, making sure not to overcrowd the trays to allow the air to flow throughout the dehydrator.
The only one in this household more excited than me about making jerky is my Cavalier King Charles, Jade. She has now taken up the position of Great Jerky Experiment Dehydrator Supervisor, ensuring regular trips to the kitchen, just to make sure nothing untoward has happened to the meat, which might require her unsurpassable skill as a garbage disposal unit.
Stay tuned for the conclusion to Round 1.