Who doesn’t like Jerky? Deer, beef, fish, turkey, moose, beef, pork, you name it, it can be Jerked! Jerky is basically dried and salted meat. Native peoples and Pioneers smoked and dried meat so that it would not rot and last longer. Dried meat could be eaten as is or rehydrated in a stew or soup.
If a huge Buffalo was harvested, large roasts were soon sliced, dried, and stored. Fresh parts such as entrails, eyes, and vitals were eaten first. Large bones were baked and cracked open to get at the marrow. All these cuts were dried and mixed with nuts and berries to make Pemmican, the pioneers granola bars.
Recently my son bought a new smoker pellet grill. The first thing he cooked was Jerky! We are Jerky fanatics and know what great jerky is. Back in the day a meat shop in Ennis called Restvedts, made amazing Jerky. That is our standard. Today the same meat shop is called Deemos and is still darn good, but a tad pricy.
Kyle used a beef Flank steak for his first attempt. Using a filet knife, he cut thick ¼ inch strips. He had placed the meat in the freezer first to make for easier cutting.
Create your sauce in a glass bowl. You will need ½ cup Soy Sauce, ½ cup of beer, cola, or water, ¼ cup of Worcestershire Sauce, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of Onion Powder, 1 teaspoon of Fresh ground black pepper. This mix is perfect for about 2 pounds of trimmed beef.
You can use Flank steak, bottom round, top round, or sirloin tip. Normally, you select rougher and tougher cuts to make jerky. Be sure to trim off any silver skin, excess fat, or connective tissue. Place the trimmed meat into a glass bowl or sealable bag and add the mix of spices. This can be refrigerated for a week or at least several hours. The mix will tenderize and flavor the trimmed jerky.
When you are ready to cook the Jerky, start up your Smoker grill. On a Traeger, or similar pellet stove, 4-5 minutes will get the smoke going. Hickory, Oak, and Pecan pellets add a wonderful flavor.
Place the soaked meat strips onto paper towels and dry off the cuts. Place them on the grill grate and allow space between each slice. Smoke for 4-5 hours. The low, slow smoke will do the trick. The Jerky should bend but not break.
Once the jerky is done to your liking, transfer it into a plastic bag while it is still warm. Allow it to rest for an hour or become room temperature. Squeeze any air out of the bag and seal tight. This Jerky will store for several weeks in your refrigerator. Jerky makes a wonderful gift!
The biggest problem with great jerky is that it never gets stored for very long.
For more Montana Grant find him chewing jerky at www.montanagrantfishing.com.