Tag Archives: Beef

Jerky

Jerky in dehydrator

Jerky in dehydrator.

For great beef jerky one must have a decent marinade. However, the secret ingredient for jerky is not an ingredient at all, but the way it is sliced. DH and I have tried numerous techniques to slice the meat just right. The cut of the meat also has some baring on the procedure too. In the past I always have bought beef brisket, as that cut of meat was the right shape and it had a 1/8″ layer of fat for each slice. We love a touch of fat on the jerky as it has so much more flavor that way. In fact, both DH and I will go though the bag looking for finished jerky with a strip of fat on it.

Unrelated to the process of making jerky: The beef brisket reminded me of a funny story. My FIL (Father-in-Law), would always cook a beef brisket as a pot roast which were always delicious. As a newlywed at the time, I decided that I wanted to make a pot roast to surprise DH. (I might also add, that my DH and his family are Jewish, and I am not). My family, never ever used briskets. So I went to the store and picked out a brisket. Nowadays, I have no idea what I was thinking when I was cooking that pot roast, since if I remember right, I just cooked it in the oven as is, with no liquid. It was a doomed effort from the beginning. Well I roasted that brisket for two-hours, three-hours, four-hours, then I tried broiling it and it never browned. I decided that my oven wasn’t working right. Or was it? It was certainly a puzzle? Well, I finally had to yank it out and see what was up with it? Oh, I was successful in surprising DH, but not as I had imagined. We both looked at the pathetic hunk of meat…that is when DH discovered it was a corned beef brisket! That thing was never going to brown, ever! We both had a good laugh about it!

Back to the jerky… Lately, I have been buying beef chuck roasts, which also have become my favorite cut for pot roast as well. DH and I bought a chuck roast from the local butcher and asked for it to be chipped, and I even told him, we were going to make jerky with it. When we arrived home and I prepared the marinade, the meat was in reality, too thick for what we wanted it for. DH sliced it thinner with difficulty. So we considered that who experience a bust. Finally, I got the idea to semi freeze the meat to make slicing easier. It works to a point, however, the meat is still not uniformly cut, so the drying process takes longer for the thicker pieces. Last night, I was looking for ideas to give DH for Chanukah / Christmas, and up popped a meat slicer. Hmmm? I’ll let you know how that goes…

Mystery of the Vanishing London Broil

London broil

London broil sliced on the bias. Photo by Deborah Kaplan.

From the moment I met DH in high school geography class to present day, he has always played little practical jokes on me. Keeping that thought in mind…Back in 1980, I marinated a 4 pound top of the round London broil in the refrigerator overnight. So the next night at 5 pm when I got home from work, I placed it on the broiling pan, discarded the marinade, and seasoned the meat with garlic. Turned the broiler on which unlike my broiler now was in a drawer underneath the oven. I then placed the broiling pan with the London broil on top into the drawer under the broiler. I then closed the drawer and set the timer for 6 minutes. DH came out of the shower and went in to the kitchen to get a drink. I went into the great room to set up our TV trays so we could watch the news while eating dinner. He came back in and sat down to look at the mail. The timer went off and I opened the drawer and the London broil was gone! I screamed at DH, “WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE LONDON BROIL??” He said, he didn’t do anything with it. I yelled, “YOU DID TOO!!!” DH replied that honestly, he didn’t do anything with it. Of course I didn’t believe him at all. So he finally got up and came in the kitchen to look for it. First he looked in the oven, then the broiler, then like he thought I might be absentminded, he looked in the refrigerator. I told him that I had definitely put it in the broiler and now it was gone! So he took the drawer out completely. He then got a flash light and peered in. Only then did he see that the meat had slid back and fallen down the back, on bottom of the broiler. Apparently it was too thick. It went in fine, but when I opened the drawer, the London broil got caught on the top of the broiler. This caused it to be pushed off the broiling pan landing in the back. DH was able to fish it out. We ended up washing it and cutting off the part that was touching the bottom of the broiler. Back behind the drawer was disgusting! We don’t think it was ever cleaned since it was first installed in that apartment. By cutting off that part, it was just enough to fit in the broiler perfectly. It turned out great.