I make a batch of these once a week to keep in the freezer. You can bring it out with you so you have something portable to eat. It’s really satisfying.
Ingredients/ stuff you need:
Dehydrator (worth it) – Canadian link – currently on sale, American link. I can’t find the one I have, but with these you can control the temperature! (Dehydrators are also available at Walmart, but I don’t think you’ll find a better deal than Amazon).
Pepper – Canadian link, American link – I use the Canadian link. It seems to be the most inexpensive and the cheapest in Canada. I buy a couple of pounds at a time. Shipping is pricey, but if you buy a bunch there (turmeric too) the price is still worth it. Pepper and turmeric are expensive in lower quantities. And this pepper is much tastier than anything I’ve found at the grocery store.
Non fatty beef – rouladen cut or bulgogi, or a cheap steak cut really thin, less than 1/4 of an inch – as thin as possible. If you could find a German grocery store, they’d probably have it too. I get my meat from Mennonites at a farmer’s market. It’s antibiotic and hormone free and generally, grass fed. It’s cut for rouladen (a German dish). It’s already precut, so very easy. If you can find pre-cut meat (ask for a rouladen or bulgogi cut from the butcher), it removes most of the work. It only takes about 10 minutes to do this if you have the meat pre-cut. Otherwise look around for Mennonites if you’re in North America. They’re at farmer’s markets often and can probably cut you some rouladen meat. I pay 9.99 a pound, which is a pretty good deal here. If you get rouladen, I can fit about 2 pounds of it on my dehydrator in one go. It doesn’t stay very well in the fridge so you have to make it within 2 days of buying it. I also find it tastes a lot worse if it’s frozen.
1. If you can get your hands on rouladen or bulgogi, skip to number 2. Otherwise find a cut of meat (can be a cheap steak), and slice it as thin as possible. It’s easiest if you put it in the freezer for 15 minutes then slice. It’s wayyyy easier if you get a butcher to do it, but again, trying to find someone who sells rouladen will save you a lot of work. So this step is to slice your meat after 10-15 minutes in the freezer.
2. Lay your rouladen or sliced meat on the dehydrator. Mine have space in between the peices, but you can cram it full, as long as it doesn’t overlap.
(If you just want to dry the meat, to make the fake bacon recipe, skip the spices and head to step 4)
3. Sprinkle generously with turmeric, salt, and pepper. You can put on way more than you think you need. I’ve only over salted it once. It’s much easier to under salt and spice than to over salt and spice. You only need to do this on one side of it.
4. Turn the machine on. Mine doesn’t have a timer or a temperature gauge, and I usually do it for at least 12 hours. My parents have a timer and they only do it for 9 hours at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can check it after 9 hours and see what you think. I wait until mine is as dry as a cracker.
5. Store in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Eat whenever. If you don’t freeze it, it will get stale. You can easily eat it frozen, it’s dried anyways.
This is a great source of protein, and very easy to carry around. I take some out with me pretty much wherever I go, just so I have a snack. I do this every Saturday. Pick up the meat, and buy 4 pounds of rouladen. It makes 2 large freezer bags full of jerky per week.
I haven’t been able to find a jerky that I can safely eat. Most of them have soy, and if not soy, sugar. It’s not health food. Doing this is really quick, if the meat is pre-cut. Either way it’s worth it when you don’t want to cook and need a snack.