Thursday, June 29, 2017

Asian-licious Jerky

What inspired me to make another Jerky? I had eaten some Asian food the other night so while sleeping and dreaming of food of course (normal for me) I came up with this new crazy concoction. And I love to make Jerky too. Coming up with different flavors is lots of fun. 

Food Safety is also important too. Click HERE if you want to learn how to make Jerky the safe way. I have several more recipes HERE too. 

I have used several cuts of meat for Jerky and I find that top round is my favorite. As you know fat is not a friend to jerky and top round doesn't seem to have that much. And it's really easy to slice too. Another thing that inspires me to make Jerky is when I see a nice hunk of meat in the food case. 

Sometimes I have a urge to make Jerky but the quality of the Top-Round (London Broil) sitting there in the food case is sub-par so my inspiration quickly disappears. I'm always on the look out for minimal connective tissues and fat. 

Today I got lucky!!!! Almost 9 lbs of Top-Round!!!!

As you can see there's not much fat and what is there will be trimmed up. The picture to the right is the meat sitting in the freezer. I will flip them several times until they are semi frozen. Partially frozen meat is easier to trim and slice

The meat was sliced on my Berkel at 3/8 of an inch.

I'll admit some of the ingredients are unique. Why Cure # 1? I like the taste and as an added bonus it provides some extra level of safety against botulism. It also helps with Beef Fat. Hard to explain but Beef fat can go rancid pretty fast and Cure # 1 prevents this. Galangal powder might be new to you too. It's an amazing ingredient and a must try. The fresh stuff is amazing. I first came across Galangal in a marvelous soup at a Thai restaurant. Very similar to ginger. The picture to the right is that of a Chinese Long Pepper!!! It's very pungent and a must. Use your spice mill to grind these babies up as well as the sesame seeds. Don't use sesame seed oil in place of the seeds. I have tried sesame seed oil in my Jerky's before and did not like the oily feel. 

How to use Cure # 1 with Jerky? Click HERE! It's very simple though. Weigh everything and make sure to use grams. If the meat and marinade weighed 9 lb. I would convert 9 lb. to grams which is 4082 grams. You would multiply 4082 X .25% (.0025) = 10.25 grams... You would need 10.25 grams of Cure #1. If you want a huge amount of detail click the link above.

Whip up the sauce and pour it over the meat. Massage the meat making sure it is completely covered and submerged. I elevated the meat a bit to take a photo. After 2-3 days of curing the Jerky will be ready to be dehydrated. I will turn it over once or twice before I dehydrate the Jerky. I would suggest wearing Food Grade gloves while handling. One last thing I want to mention before moving on. This recipe is hodgepodge of ingredients so I would suggest sampling as you build the sauce. You might want to add this or that or completely change things up. 

Prepping the Jerky for the dehydrator is easy. Lay out your trays/screens and as an option sprinkle on just a touch of Garlic, And if you really one to kick it up add some Cayenne (I did not... kids will not like this), Some Black and White Sesame Seeds and finally dehydrated Chives. And if you want to get creative add additional stuff. Maybe some dehydrated pineapple powder if you want to increase that flavor.

These stainless steel racks are 15" X 15" and they told a lot of meat. Here are 8 of them. My unit can hold 10 trays. I would suggest buying a good dehydrator from Excalibur!!! I purchased the Excalibur 10 tray version. 

Now it's up to to determine what times and temps are appropriate. Every-time I make Jerky the times vary. I always start to with 135 f for about 2 hours and drop it down to 110 f for a few more, than finish at 95-100 depending on texture. If you can bend the Jerky and the fibers just start to split apart it's all done. This part is very subjective and is based on personal preference. I like softer Jerky that won't break my teeth. After the dehydration process I will SV to pasteurize.   

ALL DONE- This Jerky came out amazing. This is a work of art. This will go down as one of my favorites.  One of the best Jerky's I've ever made. I can see using this marinade on some chicken with tweak or to. 


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Brown Sugar Bourbon Bacon

There lived a Prince with an insatiable Bacon craving. His subjects called him The Mad Mad Bacon Prince. His Dad was know in the land as the Mad, Mad Pastrami King.This Prince had grown tired of traditional Bacon and always sought out the unique and unusual. One day while ascending the tower he stopped motionless midway and cloaked himself in silence while he pondered what might be a new Bacon. He said to himself...Hmm What if? In solitude he stared at the wall while his mind raced and finally like a bolt of lightning and a flash a new Bacon was born. I present you with Brown Sugar Bourbon Bacon. 

Over the years I have made so many bacons (and many posts too) and this is no different so with that I am not going to provide a ton of details here. Here is a link if you want a lot more information.....Link
Big old beef Belly aka Navel

Combine the Salt, Cure #1 and Bacon Booster in a bowl and mix well. Coat meat getting it into every nook and cranny. Bacon Booster is optional and certainly not required. check out my curing notes HERE. Bacon Booster HERE.
Cover in Brown Sugar
Place everything in the vac bag and pour in the Bourbon. Place in refrigerator for 15-21 days and flip over everyday. 
It's been about 15 days and since this one was a smaller belly that's all it needed. Going 21 days would have been fine too. It was taken out of the Vac bag and rinsed and dried. 
I poured on some more Brown Sugar Bourbon and using my hands I smeared it all over the Bacon. You can never have enough of this stuff on your Bacon. Now spread over the Navel some more brown sugar.
  I cold smoked the bacon for about 10 hrs. As summer is approaching and days are getting warmer I chose to cold smoke at 10 Pm. I used the A-Maze-N Cold Smoker which uses pellets. 
Before I started slicing the Bacon on my berkel I stuck it in the freezer for 2 hours. As we all know slicing partially frozen meat is much easier. 
Just a pretty picture
One more
Packaging the Bacon. I used 12 x 10 inch parchment paper to separate the Bacon. 3 slices to every piece of paper. If you don't do it this way they will stick together and they will be hard to separate. 

Review- The Bacon came out great. If you like Brown Sugar Bourbon this is a must try. But truth be told I still prefer my Maple Bacon recipe. My Maple Bacon Recipe is my go to for everyday Bacon. If you want to try a Bacon try the Maple version. This basic recipe and be modified. You could add bayleaf, pepper or garlic. Only limited to your imagination. 

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