Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One Reason to Be a Jerk: Mexican Lime Beef Jerky

It’s like a thinly sliced, dried, portable steak. Once I perfect this recipe it shall be a staple for camping and hiking adventures to come [or maybe just cheap dates? hehe]. Either way this chewy, salty meat packs a punch and makes you work for your lunch.
I used this recipe from my June 2010 Food and Wine, which I did happen to enjoy, but it didn’t have that packaged appeal. For once, I wanted that! With so many recipes and variations, it seems that jerky is an art of trial and error. So I will try more attempts, using different methods and such, and will report back once I’m there.
Mexican Lime Jerky [Food and Wine June 2010]
2 large jalapenos, halved, 1 seeded
1 c fresh lime juice
32 oz light Mexican beer [I used Corona]
½ c soy sauce
Coarse salt, for sprinkling before drying
1. Take about 2 lbs trimmed beef top round or bottom round, about 1½ in thick, and cut into ¼ in-thick slices, either with or against the grain.
2. In a mini food processor, puree the seeded jalapeno with ¼ c lime juice. Transfer puree into large bowl, stir in beer, soy sauce and unseeded jalapeno and remaining ¾ c lime juice.
3. Add beef to marinade; stir well to coat each slice.
4. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 200˚.
6. Set 3 large wire racks on top of 3 large rimmed baking sheets.
7. Remove beef from marinade and pat dry.
8. Arrange beef on the racks, about ¼ in apart.
9. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
10. Bake for 4 hours or until jerky is firm and almost completely dry but still chewy.
11. Let cool completely. Store in airtight container in fridge for us to 6 weeks.
Makes about ¾ lb.

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