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Paul Mercurio’s home made beef jerky

May 27, 2016
Paul Mercurio

Paul Mercurio

I’m not quite sure why it has taken me this long to forward this recipe for (hopefully) the eating pleasure of Brews News Readers? Maybe I have been concentrating on seasonal type fare for this site or maybe because I have taken a beer style and matched my recipe to that – I am not really sure.

What I am sure about is whilst I carefully matched beers and dishes I usually had some homemade jerky close to hand to be chewed and washed down with whatever beer I felt like at the time – it didn’t really matter what the beer was because any beer goes great with jerky and jerky goes great with any beer any time, any day, any month or season. So time to throw caution to the wind and make what I think is the ultimate beer accompaniment!

Image from Cooking with Beer by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books

Image from Cooking with Beer by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books

Home Made Beef Jerky
½ cup of soy sauce or you prefer salt reduced Tamari
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Wild Turkey bourbon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1teaspoon smokey paprika powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon of chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
1 tablespoon of honey
1 piece of corned silverside

When you buy a piece of corned silver side from your butcher, it is usually in a vacuum sealed packet and often weighing in anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 kilos. The amount of salt in the brine can also vary from butcher to butcher depending on their recipe. As there is a fair amount of salt coming from the soy sauce you don’t really want the meat to be too salty. Unfortunately the only way to find out how salty the meat will be is to buy it and try it. Once you find a butcher who makes silverside to your liking do two things – tell him you like it and give him some of your jerky. A good relationship with your butcher is an important part of your culinary journey.

Buy a good lean piece of silverside and then trim away all the fat and any skin membrane left on it. Cut the silverside across the grain into 3cm thick steaks. Put the steaks into the freezer until they are part frozen then remove one from the freezer. Having the steaks part frozen makes it easier to cut nice even thin strips of meat. Lay a steak down with what was the top of the silverside facing the right side if you are right handed or to the left if you are left handed. With a very sharp knife cut 2 – 3mm thick slices from the steak. Cutting along from what was the top of the silverside means you are cutting along the grain or with the grain which will help to keep the jerky tender. Once you have cut one steak you can then remove another from the freezer and cut that one. This quantity of marinade is good for about 650g of the thinly cut silverside. You should end up with lovely long strips of meat about 3cm wide, 2-3 mm thick and with varying lengths. Put the unused steaks into freezer bags and save for another day.

In a glass bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Put the strips of silver side into the marinade cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for three days.

Recipe and Image from Cooking with Beer by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books.

Recipe and Image from Cooking with Beer by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books.

Remove the meat from the bowl and lay the pieces flat on several layers of paper towel. Place more layers of paper towel on top and press firmly to soak up excess marinade from the meat. The flavour is in the meat now and you do not want the meat wet when you put it in the oven to dry as it may steam the meat and make it tough. Lay the meat out on wire racks evenly spaced and not touching each other. Put in an oven that is set to 75°- 80°c with the fan on and leave the oven door ajar so that the air can circulate around the oven. It will take around 3 or so hours for the meat to dry depending on how thick you actually

ended up cutting the meat, what the temperature is outside and how your oven works. You don’t want to dry it out so much that it crumbles into dust when you take a bite. The meat should be dry but pliable and you should be able to tear it in half with your hands.

NOTE: You will quickly work out there really is no point just making a single batch as set out above although if you are a first timer following this recipe once or twice is a good idea. Once you have the hang of it though you will realize it just doesn’t last so my recommendation is to double the marinade quantity and use the whole 2 kilo corned beef trimmed and sliced – it still won’t be enough but you should really give your arteries a rest between batches.

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