You know you have strayed far from your days as a vegetarian when you look forward to having Beef Jerky for lunch. We were vegetarians for years and when we camp 95% of the meals are vegetarian. However, a few years ago one of our camping partners introduced us to home made Flank Steak Jerky and we are now hooked.
Place a layer of parchment paper on baking sheet, and flatten steak on the sheet. If one side is more marbled with fat, place the fat side up.
Place in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes.
Mix in a large Ziploc:
3 tbsp soya sauce (NOT low sodium)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp maple syrup
Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper …1/2 tsp +
The marinade will do a lot of steak.
Remove partially frozen steak from the freezer and carefully cut off any excess fat.
Cut the steak across the grain on a 45 degree angle into 1/8″ strips. Place strips into a bowl (or directly into the Ziploc).
Remove out any chunks of fat as you’re cutting.
Place the strips flat on the trays.
You may find that the jerky drips. Our trays stack so we put an extra drying rack and with a fruit tray on the bottom to catch the drippings. Then we place the other racks on top. After about 30 minutes on the dehydrator, we remove the extra rack & drip tray so the heat can circulate evenly.
Dry at 160 degrees for 12 hours.
After 12 hours, the strips will be pliable, and burgundy in colour.
To remove surface oil, place all the meat on sheets of paper towel and pat dry.
This article about making Jerky Safe suggests 10 minutes of additional oven drying at 275 degrees.
If you are doing this, place parchment on cookie sheet and watch closely. You will find for marinated steak, 10 minutes is too long.
The trick is to heat it until the oil starts to bubble on the surface (similar to bacon). Remove the Jerky from the oven and let it cool. Use paper towel to remove additional surface fat.
Place in paper lunch bags before vacuum sealing. The paper bags keep the plastic from being punctured by any sharp pieces. It also helps soak up excess oil. In camp these oil soaked bags make great fire starters.
The Jerky will keep in the freezer for 6 months or 1 – 2 months at room temperature.