Over the years, humans have strived for a method of preserving meat that also retained the flavor. This was achieved with Beef Jerky, which is meat cut into strips with the fat removed.
The next step is to marinate the meat in a salty, spicy or sweet liquid and then it is dried. The drying can be done artificially or by sun drying.
The usual meat used for Beef Jerky recipes is brisket or round or flank steak. The meat does not have to be refrigerated.
Jerky is normally made from beef but alternatives can include turkey, alligator, ostrich, moose, caribou, elk meat and venison. Fish too can be used, such as tuna or salmon.
The smoking or salting preservative methods keep the nutritional value of the food and Beef Jerky recipes are popular with people who are traveling or camping, as they are slow to perish. Commercially produced jerky can be stored for up to a year and home made can be kept for one to two months.
The dishes are most commonly found in the USA, Canada and Europe.
The marinade used makes all the difference to the meat and keen cooks can experiment with their own recipes or buy ready made products. Seasonings are important too and often include cayenne pepper, cheese powder or white pepper.
One of the classic Beef Jerky recipes includes a marinade with brown sugar, seasoning, Teriyaki Sauce and garlic. Other popular flavors are onion powder, Worcestershire Sauce, soy sauce, dark corn syrup, molasses or liquid smoke.
There are regional variations to jerky and some are more spicy than others. Chinese Beef Jerky uses typical Chinese ingredients of dry sherry, honey, ginger, red pepper, soy sauce and white pepper.
Blue Ribbon Beef Jerky is a simple blending of soy sauce and Chinese 5-Spice Powder. There is a whisky jerky recipe with a cup of Jack Daniels, ketchup, onion, chili powder, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, thyme and sage. Wisconsin Beef Jerky uses onion powder, sea salt, ground black pepper corns, soy sauce, Worcestershire Sauce and liquid smoke.
Any taste can be easily accommodated in Beef Jerky recipes. An Indian flavor is attained with ready made curry powder or by blending coriander, turmeric and ground cumin together.
These ingredients are then mixed with chili powder and ginger. Cajun cooking can also be applied to jerky with the addition of Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce.
Jerky is there for all to enjoy!