Today I'm sharing a piece of my history. My Mom got this recipe from my uncle Pat long before I can remember. I didn't know him very well, he lived in Texas and as an Air Force family we were always moving around. I do remember his last visit to us, when we lived in Colorado in 1998. I was 13, and he drove up to visit us on his big touring motorcycle. He took us for rides on it, we played games till the cows came home, and I finally felt like I knew my uncle. A few months after he left, he was diagnosed with leukemia, and died after we moved to Missouri in 1999. I've always been grateful that he came to visit us that last time, and that I was old enough to remember him.
This jerky has become legend in our family. My Mom would make a double batch every summer, for our summer vacations to Utah. One batch for us, and one for her brother Kent, her best hiking buddy. We would hoard and fight over every last piece! Occasionally my brother will still ask Mom to make him a batch and mail it to him.
I started making it for my family a few years ago. I even made a batch for a friend as she was leaving on a road trip. (And moving away from me!!) I've made bags of it for The Geologist's college field courses, backpacking trips, and our own camping trips. Someday I'll pass the recipe on to my kids, but it will always be Uncle Pat's Beef Jerky.
Uncle Pat's Homemade Beef Jerky
1 large (2-3 pound) bottom round or eye of round roast
1- 4 oz bottle liquid smoke (I like Hickory best)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce plus 2 Tb
1 Tb seasoned salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Trim any large chunks of fat off the outside of the roast. Slice your roast very thinly, 1/4 inch or less. (Sometimes you can get your butcher to do this for you, which is awesome. Just make sure they know you need it very thin. If slicing yourself, try putting the roast in the freezer for about an hour. This will make it firmer, and easier to slice. And make sure your knife is very sharp.)
Let marinate for about 24 hours. Mix or toss the meat about halfway through (before you go to bed, or when you wake up). If you have a dehydrator, set on the jerky setting (or highest, if you don't have a jerky setting), lay beef out on dehydrator racks, and you're good to go! Although make sure you check it every hour or so. My dehydrator says jerky takes seven hours, but it was done in four.
If you don't have a dehydrator, no worries!! You can make it in the oven! In fact, I like it better this way. All you need is some foil and toothpicks.
Arrange your oven racks with one rack on the very top, and one on the next-to-lowest setting. Spread a piece of foil over the bottom rack, folding the edges up just a bit. You're basically baking a disposable baking sheet.