Aug 26 2010

Hot and Sweet Beef Jerky Recipes

August 26th, 2010 at 4:52 am (AST) by Jake Richter

A couple of weeks ago or so, I wrote about experimenting with a food dehydrator. Since then, we made a few more batches of beef jerky as well as dehydrated lime zest.

Home made Hot & Spicy Indonesian beef jerky

Home made Hot & Spicy Indonesian beef jerky

I came up with two marinades that produced a rather tasty set of jerky, and wanted to share them here.

Both of the marinades below cover 2-3 lbs of lean beef (I used a top round), sliced relatively thin. To give you an idea of what thin means to me in this context, the average slice of beef was about 1/8″ thick, 3″ long, and about 1″ high.

I found that with our dehydrator, it was sufficient to dry the jerky for 3-4 hours at 155°F.

Directions that came with the food dehydrator suggested using paper towels to blot any fat left on the jerky after dehydration to cut down on the chance that the fat would turn rancid after a few days, and then storing the jerky in the refrigerator after it had cooled down. They also suggested using sodium nitrate (saltpeter) to preserve the jerky longer, but we didn’t have any available, and the jerky was great without it.

Here are the two recipes I came up with.

Sweet Chipotle Beef Jerky Marinade

Ingredients
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers with a bit of the sauce from the can (1-2 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (or regular brown sugar if you wish)
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
Place all of the above ingredients in a blender and puree. Then cover sliced beef with contents of blender and let marinade for 3-6 hours (or even overnight) before dehydrating.

Sweet Chipotle marinated beef for jerky

Sweet Chipotle marinated beef for jerky

Hot & Sweet Indonesian Beef Jerky Marinade

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ketjap manis (soy sauce with molasses and sugar)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp sambal oelek (an Indonesian-style chili paste)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • (optional if you want it sweeter) 1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (or regular brown sugar if you wish)

Place all of the above ingredients in a bowl, mix with a spoon or fork until all ingredients are well mixed and distributed. Then cover sliced beef with contents of bowl and let marinade for 3-6 hours (or even overnight) before dehydrating.


Aug 21 2010

Another Birthday Present – Fresh Peppers

August 21st, 2010 at 10:36 am (AST) by Jake Richter

This may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but here on the island of Bonaire we live in near desert conditions. Not much grows here naturally other than hardy, thorny plants. Anything else requires a lot a of water, which in turn is expensive since all of our potable water comes from desalinated ocean water.

So when my family showed up with a fresh pepper sampler (along with a few dried peppers), I was thrilled, since they have to be imported, and usually aren’t too fresh by the time they arrive in our markets on Bonaire.

For my birthday my family got me fresh peppers

For my birthday my family got me fresh peppers

Pictured above are jalapeño peppers, banana peppers, Serrano peppers, Habañero peppers, Poblano (what we were told, but they don’t look like Poblanos to me), and dried Ancho chili peppers.

One of the interesting things I learned about pepper varieties today is that Ancho chili peppers are dried Poblano peppers. They also go by the name “Pasilla” (incorrectly).

There’s a video about dried chili peppers here, which explains that the narrower the pepper and the more seeds, the hotter (spicier) it is. That did not prove to be the case for the narrow banana peppers above, which were flavorful but not at all spicy.