by Lena Pearl Hall
For every birthday and some holidays, Nana Esther whipped up this killer Beef Jerky recipe that had the whole family turn to a life of crime. They would steal from each other, lie who did or did not take more than the other, perjure one another and generally lower their collective IQ's. This recipe usually lasts several weeks, but for those jerky crazed folks in the family, it rarely lasted a few days.  Hoarding and sneaking is encouraged.

You will need a dehydrator or know how to use your oven as a dehydrator. If you have a dehydrator, turn it all the way up. If indeed you will use your oven, put it on 120º to 150º and prop ¾’s of a wine cork between the door and the body of the oven. Voila', a dehydrator.

Ingredients-

  • 1 Flank Steak or Tri Tip Roast, cut real thin into 2"-3" wide strips. Cut all of the fat off
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder or 1-2 Tbsp. of real garlic (minced)
  • 1 Small onion minced or 1 tsp. of onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

Mix all of the ingredients together and marinate in a deep-dish pan or bowl overnight. Make sure the meat is submerged in the marinade and/or turn every few hours. Take the meat out of the bowl and place the strips on the heating racks making sure foil or a baking sheet is underneath to catch the excess fluids beforehand.

Dehydrate until done. This can take 6-15 hours depending on what you use. As it is cooking, the house will fill with the perfumed aroma of the marinade, so put all animals (including your men folk) outside so as not to drive them insane.

Once done, hide it all and parcel out small doses as awards and gifts. The jerky pairs great with any robust deep red wine like Petit Sirah, Cabernets, even a smooth Zinfandel or Syrah.