One thing that the people in this house love to snack on is beef jerky. Since I find it pretty expensive to buy, I choose to make it instead. When London Broil is on sale at the grocery store I pick it up and I ask the butcher to cut it into “jerky slices” before I leave the store. London Broil is not actually a cut of meat but is instead an umbrella term for Round Steak or Flank steak. It is typically a pretty lean cut of meat, which is super important when making beef jerky because even after dehydrating, any remaining fat on the meat can go rancid. Yuck.
I have many jerky recipes that are tried and true but I have been playing with this one for a few weeks and after several tweaks and changes, the family and the neighbors (my unofficial tasting tribe) approve. The original recipe came from ButterForAll and was designed for a lot more beef than I wanted to use. It also included ingredients that were keto friendly and organic that I didn’t have in my pantry. Additionally, we found the jerky to be too salty for our taste on our first trial. So, true to form, I adjusted it.
The marinade for this jerky is a little different than others that I make so I was intrigued by it. Fresh onion, horseradish, herbs, lemon juice, soy sauce and hot sauce all go in to a food processor and are blended until smooth. It kind of resembles a thick sauce once it is all blended.
The thickness and the width of your “jerky strips” will determine the amount of time it will need to spend in the dehydrator to achieve the desired results. The butcher usually cuts the meat into 1/4 inch strips for me. Sometimes, they are too wide (about an inch wide is perfect) so I have to do a little home butchering to get them to the size I want. The size you make them is up to you. You can even cut the meat yourself, partially frozen is the easiest way if you want to do this. I cut it into smaller strips if I want it to dehydrate faster.
The next step is to place the meat into a large ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. I push the meat around from outside of the bag and stir it up to distribute the marinade evenly, thoroughly coating the meat. I like to force the air out of the bag before placing it inside of the refrigerator. The marinade should stay on the meat for 12-18 hours, preferably overnight. I will periodically flip the bag over and push the meat around inside during this time to make sure all the flavor is getting to all of the meat.
After at least 12 hours has passed, the meat should be rinsed under cold water to remove at least half of the marinade. This was the strangest thing to me but I can promise that the meat itself has absorbed the flavor and really, without the rinse, the final product would be way too salty. In my third trial I pretty much removed all of the marinade and it was still awesome.
After rinsing, it is important to get as much moisture off of the meat as possible. This speeds the dehydrating time immensely and results in much more consistent jerky. Over the years I have learned that laying the meat on a double layer of paper towels and then blotting the top with another layer gets this done.
The jerky strips should be spread out flat, leaving space between them on the dehydrator trays, using as many trays as necessary to accommodate the meat.
The amount of time that the jerky will take until it is ready is really determined by the manufacturer of each machine. The highest heat setting should be used – mine is 160 degrees. I rotate the trays about every 45 minutes or so, checking the meat for doneness.
One of the beautiful things about making your own jerky is that you can decide just how dehydrated you want it. I typically check mine by doing a poke test. I like it to bounce back a little when I poke it. I don’t want it completely dried out, I still want a little moisture in there so mine is usually done after 3 – 4 hours in the dehydrator. Smaller pieces will take less time than larger ones and I take individual pieces out as they are done, leaving the bigger pieces in for longer if they need it. Remember the meat will shrink as it dehydrates.
The final result is delicious. This jerky has a real beefy flavor. It is just salty enough, not overly spicy, and one bite definitely leaves you wanting more. Enjoy!
Herbed Beef Jerky
- 2 pounds London Broil sliced into jerky strips, large fat removed
- 1 small onion cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp hot sauce (I used Cholula)
- 1 tbsp horseradish
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- Trim excess fat and connective tissue from jerky strips.
- Place all remaining ingredients into food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Place jerky strips into a large bowl or ziploc bag.
- Pour marinade over jerky strips and stir to distribute the marinade , making sure the meat is coated evenly.
- Refrigerate for 12 – 18 hours, preferably overnight.
- Place jerky strips into colander and rinse with cold water until at least half of the marinade has been removed.
- Lay the jerky strips out on paper towels to remove excess moisture. Blot tops of strips with paper towels, removing as much as possible.
- Lay jerky strips on dehydrator trays with room between for air flow. Use as many trays as necessary.
- Turn dehydrator on to highest setting and allow to dehydrate according to manufacturers directions, rotating trays periodically.
- When jerky has been dehydrated sufficiently, remove from trays and allow to cool.