By: Mark Fike
Some of my hunting acquaintances often tell me how their spouse gets a bit testy when the freezer supply of meat seems to never dwindle or certain cuts of meat remain in the freezer for nearly a year.
Being told that there is no point in going hunting because there already is plenty of meat in the freezer is one of their fears.
At our house, we eat the game we get in short order but I still occasionally find a piece or two of a roast that got shuffled and mixed up that needs to be used.
Deer or elk roasts are the easiest to make jerky from.
However, goose breasts are also very good to use.
Most of the time I make jerky out of the meat and everyone loves it.
Jerky is easily made from just about any game meat. However, the larger cuts of meat are easier to slice.
Try the following recipe this winter or early spring when you are stuck inside and make everyone happy by using some of that meat in the freezer and filling a gallon bag with a healthy, organic snack that is good eating anywhere.
Slice the meat into 1/8” thick slices.
Layer in a plastic container sprinkling a mixture of Cayenne pepper, Creole Seasoning, and sugar to your taste on the meat before adding the next layer.
Allow to sit overnight.
Place on a dehydrator and run until the meat is pliable but not crispy.
Turn as frequently as possible to get an even finish on the meat.
Most of the time this will take 6-8 hours on a good dehydrator.
I like to start my meat when I get home from work and pull it just before bed or I will run it first thing on the weekend.
An electric slicer is nice if you plan to make jerky regularly. I like to have my meat slightly frozen to keep it firm while slicing and doing so also keeps the liquid mess down.
A good dehydrator beats the oven in convenience too.
Liquid smoke can be added to the meat if you like a smoky or soy taste to your meat.
Italian dressing is good too. I prefer mine sweet so I add a bit more sugar. Tinker with the recipe.
When putting away the jerky place in the gallon Ziploc AFTER cooling the meat to near room temperature.
If the bag steams up after allowing it to cool to room temperature the meat is not dry enough.
If you worry about the jerky not being dried out enough or anything else, simply refrigerate the jerky.
But, never let it get hot again after refrigerating.
Eating jerky that has spoiled can be hazardous to your health. If in doubt, throw it out!
Jerky is a very nutritious snack that is easily tucked into a hunting coat, work coat, fishing jacket or pack.
It keeps well if kept in a moderate climate and can be just enough to give that boost we all need to stay on top of our game while on the water or in the woods.