This post was prepared earlier this week but because of some technical and soul searching issues, I had to sit on it for a while. Be sure to read the entire post please as I explain in full below.
Last week was a wintry one!
The great thing about being house (and barn) bound is that there’s more time to do creative things, be that crafts or kitchen work. I love both crafting and cooking (or baking) but since I’m feeding a family of 5, extra time usually means experimenting with new stuff to eat.
Enter one of Farmer Hick’s gifts to the family over the holidays.
A brand new jerky maker.
It was a necessary and appreciated gift in my opinion because the whole family loves to eat pepperettes and jerky.
I have two big problems with buying those items at the store:
- the cost of those ridiculously small and overpriced packages
- the ingredients used to make these overpriced items
What’s a mother to do? I believe in eating clean, unadulterated, wholesome foods, increasingly difficult to find in your grocery store.
So we’d better look to preparing more foods ourselves from home-grown produce.
Many readers will remember we butchered our old, beloved cow last autumn and ended up with lots of ground beef, if not you can read about it here. Homestead Butcher Shop
Did you know you can make jerky with ground meats?
I didn’t, so this was welcome news, what a great way to use up our own ground beef.
The jerky gun was bought at Princess Auto and since it was a gift I’m not going to check out how much it costs, but trust Farmer Hick to source out good quality equipment at a reasonable cost. You can check it out yourself.
The jerky gun came with two attachments, a flat one for jerky strips, and a round one for a more pepperette style jerky.
Operating the jerky gun was a piece of cake. If you’ve ever used a cookie press then using a jerky gun will immediately feel familiar. The jerky gun is a bit heavier but just as easy to use.
The night before making the jerky strips you mix up a pound (or more) of ground beef with your favorite jerky ingredients and let that sit, covered, in the fridge overnight.
The internet is full of good jerky recipes to try, I couldn’t believe how many jerky aficionados exist and how very liberal they are at sharing their jerky-making successes. Very helpful if you need some advice.
My favorite spice blend “Southern Chipotle” for one pound of ground beef is as follows:
- 3 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 t sea salt
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1 t black pepper
- 1/2 t chipotle powder
- 2 t liquid smoke
- extra chipotle powder for dusting each jerky strip before dehydrating
Next morning, take the ground beef out of the fridge and stuff it into the jerky gun, the gun will hold exactly one pound of meat and it loads easily.
Screw on the desired tip, I used the flat one for strips, and press the meat onto a dehydrating tray. You have the choice of making long or short strips, whatever suits your fancy.
The first tray went a bit uneven, but as I grew accustomed to using the gun the results were more even.
Turn your dehydrator to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check on the jerky strips every hour or so.
This batch took between 3.5 to 4 hours to dehydrate.
Remove the strips, let cool and package in an air-tight container.
Eager to try my hand at jerky making I prepared a different spice blend as well, this one was favored by the rest of the family, it is a little less hot.
For one pound of ground meat, mix:
- 1 T soy or tamari sauce
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 t sea salt
- 1 t black pepper
- 1 t lemon pepper
- 1 t curry
- 1 t ginger
- 1/4 t coriander
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t onion powder
Follow the instructions above.
Everyone loves these jerky strips, it makes a great snack and I can finally feel good about the quality of the snacks my family consumes. 🙂
While I have some good pictures to show of the finished jerky, it bothers me not to be able to include them in this post. The reason being that WordPress refuses to upload them. Apparently I now have to pay a fee if I want to continue blogging with WordPress.
Because WordPress only keeps track of the number of posts read on a PC I have no idea how popular (or not) this blog is. How many of you are reading blogs on hand-held devices?
Would you please leave me a comment in the comment section below if you’re enjoying this blog or if you’d like me to continue blogging about our homestead and homesteading life? Am I encouraging or entertaining you?
Also, any suggestions for new topics are welcome.
Thank you in advance.
Looking forward to hearing from you and (hopefully) sharing many more posts with you.