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Jerky – Some Recipe Refinement

12.11.10

I got an email this morning from Throwback at Trapper Creek regarding my previously posted jerky recipe, which led me to responding with a couple recipe tweaks – one of which is pretty key in my mind, so I figured I should post those thoughts here as well.

First. On my first elk jerky batch of the winter, I had sliced the cow elk round while still mostly frozen. It sliced a dream on my cheap deli slicer. I added the cure ingredients right away. The jerky was enjoyed, but I found it gamier than expected. On this most recent batch, I let the sliced par-frozen meat defrost pre-curing. I was suprised how much blood was released during the defrosting, so I poured it off, and may have even given the meat a quick rinse. Ah. The potential source of gaminess: the blood. The result? Less gamey jerky. I had unknowingly allowed the blood/juices related to defrosting become part of the cure flavors on that first batch. Not a good plan, in my books. So I will forever defrost the sliced meat fully and drain pre-adding the cure ingredients – yields a far cleaner flavor.

Second. Less importantly, I gave onion a go rather than garlic. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of my fridge stinking like meat and garlic – not sure what about that turns me off, but it does. Result with onion is very nice, more subtle/delicate than garlic. Maybe next time, leeks.

Time to take out the next piece of elk round, as this batch won’t last the week.

4 Responses

  1. That makes a lot of sense – draining the blood. Could you thinly slice it first, while frozen, then let it thaw, drain, and cure… so you still get the advantage of the frozen meat to give you the thin slices?
    :)
    Valerie

  2. Valerie – that’s exactly what I did. Sliced frozen, defrosted, then cured.
    Greg – sweet. I feel less alone.

  3. I just started a batch with some onion tonight – can’t wait to try it!

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