Beef Jerky

I LOVE beef jerky, I’m been considering making pemmican for a long time, but it takes a little more work than making Jerky.
Maybe the next time I get a bunch of bison I’ll try. I read a lot of recipes online for homemade jerky, but they all had soy sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce and other nasty stuff. I was ecstatic to find Comfy Belly’s Jerky Recipe. First run through I made the recipe exactly as she wrote it. It was pretty good, but using water in a marinade just seems like a waste of an opportunity to add more flavor. At first, I was thinking of apple cider since it’s fall and I can get organic apple cider that has nothing else in it. I still may try that, but the local mega mart has bottles juice that is crap free, so why not cherry. For this recipe, I’m using black cherry juice so there is some sugar, but intend to try this with tart cherry juice as well to lessen the sugar content. Comfy Bellies recipe has an optional teaspoon of the liquid sweetener of your choice. I’ve made the recipe with and without and I couldn’t tell the difference.

Full disclosure and citation of my source, a lot of this recipe is from Comfy Belly, just with my modifications.

Black Pepper Cherry Beef Jerky
Soy free, Gluten free, almost sugar free, but not taste free
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon ground pepper (7 grams or 1/4 ounce)
  2. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  6. 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  7. 1 cup black cherry juice (you can use water, but add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar if you do)
  8. 2 pounds lean beef (I like top or bottom "London broil")
Instructions
  1. Wrap the beef in plastic wrap and partially freeze (about an hour)
  2. Unwrap the beef and slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices (see note)
  3. Place the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk.
  4. Place the sliced beef in the marinade bowl and move the beef around with a fork (I use my hands) to insure that all sides have been covered in the marinade.
  5. Cover and refrigerate (or place in a gallon zip-top bag) the beef to marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is even better.
  6. For the dehydrator method: Lay the beef out on the trays so the pieces are not touching. Set the dehydrator to 140°F (60°C) and dry the beef for 3 to 4 hours, depending on their thickness, turning each piece halfway through (after 1.5 hours).
  7. For the oven method: Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or other non-stick surface and lay the beef out across the sheets so they’re not touching. Set your oven to 140°F (60°C) or as low as it will go (I wouldn’t go any higher than 165°F (74°C). Dry the beef for 3 to 4 hours, or shorter if they oven temperature is higher than recommended.
  8. Cool fully, and store sealed for a few weeks, or in the refrigerator for a few months.
Notes
  1. If you slice the beef against the grain you will get a more tender jerky, with the grain will give you a more chewy texture. I slice diagonally to get a balanced texture
Adapted from Comfy Belly
Adapted from Comfy Belly
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