Okay, the vegans amongst you should probably head over here, instead of reading on. For this is a tale of meat, and almost nothing but.
I spent part of last night, and part of today making jerky. Its been awhile but now I'll finally be able to pay off a bet I made with my brother. The jerky I make is quite good so I thought I'd share the recipe with you.
I'm making caribou jerky. Caribou is probably the ideal meat to make jerky with, as it is so lean. Fat, is the enemy of jerky. If you're going to use beef, flank is a good cut, but what ever cut you use trim the fat from it, a really nice marbled steak wouldn't be a good choice.
Nikku is actually dried caribou without any seasoning, although I believe the word is also used for the flavoured jerky also. Traditionally nikku was made but cutting caribou meat into strips and hanging it in the sun until dry. I enjoy it, and like a lot of people here like to eat it spread with butter, but what I'm making right now is jerky, complete with seasoning.
Start by cutting your meat into thin strips, if you have trouble doing this partially freeze the meat, it will go easier. The caribou I had to work with was sent up from Cape Dorset by Leah's sister, and last night I sliced up two incredibly tender tenderloins. I know, I know. I wanted nothing more than to lightly season them with roast red pepper and garlic and broil them instead, but I had my orders. After slicing it up I had to pause as I was missing a key ingredient, so everything went into a large non-reactive bowl and into the fridge until today.
The marinade is pretty simple. The amount I'm giving you below will do about two to three pounds of meat. I had about twice that so I doubled it. Mix together:
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
a healthy dollop of fresh ground pepper. I guesstimate but probably at least a teaspoon
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 crushed dried chile (more to taste - personally I'd like more but this amount seems to work for everyone else.)
mix the marinade in with the sliced caribou and let sit in the fridge for at least eight hours. Toss it every once in a while.
I use an American Harvest dehydrator, set at 145 F. Lay down the strips on trays in a single layer. It will probably take about eight hours in the dehydrator, you have to judge it for yourself depending on the thickness of the strips. When they are done they can be stored in an airtight container for about 3 months.
In theory anyway, ours never last that long.