Sweet And Sour Ground Jerky Recipe

I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, and I’m paraphrasing. “Why the hell are you adding moisture to the jerky meat batter when the idea is to dry it out?” My usual response is something like, “So it’s going to take a little longer, who’s counting?” If you like things sweet and sour, you might want to try this recipe.

5 lbs lean beef or venison (2.27 kg)
2 1/2 tbsp pickling salt (48.8 g)
1 tsp Prague Powder #1 (5.7 g)
2 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (12.5 ml)*
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder (7.75 g)
5 tsp onion powder (18 g)
5 tsp dry mustard powder (11.5 g)
5 tsp ground black pepper (12.5 g)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (110 g)
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk (125 g)*
1 1/4 cup ketchup (300 g)
1 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (300 ml)

1. Chill beef or venison to 34°F (1°C), grind once through a 3/16” (5mm) plate.
2. Combine ground meat with remaining ingredients in a non-reactive container, mix well until mixture is sticky and batter like.
3. Form freshly mixed batter into jerky shapes or strips, refrigerate overnight to cure.
4. Arrange jerky shapes on oiled screens in a single layer, leaving enough space between the pieces to allow sufficient air flow.
5. Dry meat strips at 145°F (63°C) in usual manner until meat is dried to about 40-50% of its original weight (green weight)*.
6. Properly dried jerky will keep up to 2 weeks in a sealed container or vacuum seal and freeze up to 6 months.

*To test for doneness, remove one piece of jerky from drying device and allow it to cool slightly. Bend the test piece into the shape of a horseshoe. If it bends or cracks but doesn’t break, it’s dry enough and ready to eat.

*It’s all but impossible to accurately measure 0.20 teaspoon of curing salt, so I use the metric/volume measurement of 1.14 gram s of Prague Powder #1 when I make one pound of ground jerky or smoked and cooked sausage.

*You may use soy-protein concentrate in place of non-fat dry milk.

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