Honey Jalapeño Beef Jerky

Honey Jalapeño Beef Jerky

Sometimes things work out the very first time you try them. Or perhaps this is just so super easy to make that it was impossible to stuff up. Either way, it's a cracker that's definitely worth your time.

Yes, it takes a while from start to finish, but most of that is 'passive' time (i.e. you're not standing in the kitchen forever), and jerky lovers are going to loooove the result. 

I made this for my husband as a little birthday surprise - he absolutely adores jerky, but always complains it's too expensive for 'just a snack' (especially if you're getting the clean, grass-fed, organic kind), so I thought I'd spoil him. Our dog, Georgia, supervised me intently throughout the entire process and, once the jerky was done, allowed husband only two pieces before she stole and swallowed the rest of the batch in one swoop! 

It's out of character for Georgia to steal food, but I guess when it comes to dried meats not even she can control herself. Disappointing for the husband, but I take it as a compliment ;-) 

I used a dehydrator for this, like this one, however you can also do this in your oven at 70°C/160°F. Just be sure to keep the door ajar so excess moisture can escape. 

This makes a modest batch - if you're keen on making a whole lot from the get-go, double the ingredients. 

Ingredients

  • 350g grass fed, organic sizzle steak, or very thinly-sliced beef. Aim for as little fat marbling as possible. Trim into whatever sized-pieces you desire (i.e. strips).
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (if you're not too keen on heat, discard the seeds)
  • 1/2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbs good quality salt (I used pink Himalayan)
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

Method

  1. Combine honey, jalapeño, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder salt, and pepper with half a cup of water in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. 
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge to cool completely.
  3. Place sliced beef in a zip-lock bag with the marinade, and massage. Chill overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 70°C/160°F, if using.
  5. Lay beef strips on to a piece of paper towel, and place another paper towel over the top. Press down and soak up any excess moisture. 
  6. Transfer beef strips to dehydrator grates or oven racks in a single layer. Cook following your dehydrator's instructions, or in the oven for 3 hours, until jerky is dark and firm, still pliable although not soft. You should be able to bend the jerky without it breaking. Cooking time will vary depending on how thick your beef strips are, so check often.
  7. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container. To enjoy it at it's best, eat within the week. 
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