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A Frugal Snack – Jerky

February 23rd, 2008 1 comment

One present I recieved over the holidays this year was a box of jerky cure.  It’s been sitting in the pantry for the last couple of months, just taking up space.

This past weekend, I decided to go ahead and give it a try, and the results were pretty good.

First, I just had to cut up the larger pieces of meat into strips no larger than 1/4 inch.  Next, I mixed the meat, the cure, and the spices and set in the fridge for over 24 hours.  The final step was to put it on racks and cook it at 200 degrees for around 2 hours with the oven door propped open.

The jerky I got out of this was enough for me to snack on for the entire week.  I did also share some with co-workers who were pretty impressed that I made it.

The most interesting thing out of the whole process though, was the look on their face when I told them it was caribou meat.  Last winter, I took a trip to Northern Quebec and went caribou hunting.  It was a blast.  We went snow-mobile riding throught the middle of nowhere, went ice fishing, and brought back 8 caribou.  This was the last of the meat, and I figured it was about to get past the point where freezer burn would set in, so making jerky out of it was ideal.

While it might be really expensive to eat store bought beef jerky, if you hunt, there is no reason why you can’t make it for dirt cheap.  If you count the cost of my trip to Quebec, this could quite possibly be the most expensive jerky ever, but if you used venison from your local area, it would definitely make financial sense.  While the seasoning and cure are the most predominant taste, there is still the taste of the meat.  This means that if you don’t like the gamey taste of wild animals, you probably won’t like jerky made with it either.   I grew up on the stuff, so it works out just great for me.

Check out the pic of the jerky cooking in the stove.  Notice how red the caribou meat is, and pay no attention to the oven that needs a cleaning:)

Caribou Jerky

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