Jerky has become a repertoire item around our home – something that reappears over, and over, and over – like bacon. At risk of offending all parties, jerky pleases food snobs, picky eaters, and red necks equally – and I actually don’t quite understand why. Not many foods can transcend those gaping holes in preference, so why does dried raw meat turn people on? How does my daughter spit roast chicken on her plate, yet pound back the uncooked, dried game meat that she’d otherwise never touch? I think it’s largely a texture preference that’s plugged into our DNA, evolution telling us that this is safer to eat. I use this recipe still. Were I to use the exact same ingredients and stir fry the meat, the picky folk, game haters, food snobs, red necks, and children wouldn’t eat it. But dry it, and shabam.
In all honesty, although I enjoy jerky – especially as a portable snack food, I’m not one to get too overly excited about it. I get excited about dry cured sausages, but not this. But so long as others do, and it’s an effective way to get people excited about eating game meats, I’ll keep making it, and they’ll keep eating it as fast as I can make it. One of the great things about game – jerky is obscenely expensive to purchase retail, in the neighborhood of $50-60/kg. When a game animal like this costs you zero, it makes for some pretty fantastic value add. A boon for this cheapass.