Fall

Sunday, December 2, 2012

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Jerkey

 Deer season is our favorite time of year because of the wonderful jerky that we make.  There is nothing better than the sweet aroma of jerky curing floating through the house on a cool fall day.  Mouths water in anticipation, and parents scramble to find new hiding places for the fresh snacks so that they last more than a couple days!
 Some people use a dry rub jerky seasoning.  I prefer soaking my meat in a marinade before jerking it. My mixture consists approximately the following ingredients:
1 1/2 cups worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
2 tsp or so liquid smoke
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper

I lay my pieces out in the Tupperware Season-Server container. I have THREE of these and use them all! Of course I've had mine for 20+  years, but I see that they still have them.  Well worth the investment!!  The meat needs to soak overnight.  When my dehydrator is full, some of the meat stays soaking in the fridge for a couple days.  I then spread the meat out on my dehydrator trays. I have the Ronco 7 tray food dehydrator and sometimes I borrow my mother's dehydrator so that I can make my jerky in 1/2 the time.  Yes, I make that much! If my mom did not own a dehydrator that I could borrow, I would definitely invest in a 2nd one for myself.
Once the meat is spread out on the trays, I sprinkle different seasons on the jerky pieces before drying.  This varies depending on what I have on hand, but includes the following:
  • My homemade cajun seasoning 
  • Tony's
  • white pepper
  • lemon pepper
  • black pepper
  • taco seasoning
  •  Chili seasoning
  • BBQ seasoning
  • McMormick's steak rub
  • Italian seasoning
  • store bought cajun seasoning
  • french fry seasing
 As you can see, I use whatever I have on hand and whatever strikes my fancy.  I like them all!  My family's favorites are the taco flavored, lemon pepper, Italian (they call it the jerky with the 'grass' on it) seasoning, and cajun flavored.

This year I have started putting each of the trays in little jars. I liked mixing the flavors up, but my daughter wanted to keep the flavors separate.  Another reason why I put in jars is because last year, my kids left the jerky container in reach of the dogs; dogs can open Tupperware!! Who Knew??? 
So.. individual jars it is!! Plus, it makes it easier to hide the small jars: we just put a few of them up for later.

I have tried different jerky recipes over the years, but this is my tried and true favorite.

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