Thursday, July 16, 2015

Chianti Beef Jerky

Chianti Beef Jerky

This past January at our annual Super Bowl bash, my son’s fiance brought over a delicious batch of beef jerky.  It was the perfect addition to the rest of the game day fare.  And it was fantastic. 

Jerky can be super hard and if you pick it up at the checkout line of the supermarket, it might not be that fresh.  Instead her variety was a supple, perfectly spiced jerky that she claimed was actually super easy to make.

In place of using strips of meat, her jerky was made with lean ground beef that was mixed with spices and curing salt then dehydrated for a few hours and it was done.  I was pretty surprised to learn that she had picked up her Nesco Jerky X-Press kit for about $35.00 at Amazon.  And the kit contains the dehydrator, extrusion gun, spice packs and everything needed to make the finished product except for the beef itself.

For today’s recipe I actually I didn’t use their seasoning packs since I wanted to make something a little more original.  My chianti beef jerky is a nod to my Italian roots and is flavored more like a salami instead of a jerky.

This dried beef would fit right in on a cheese board next to the other charcuteries and cheeses.         

Chianti Beef Jerky
Prep time: 1 hour
Dehydrating time: 4 hours
Servings: 32

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Video Tutorial: 

  1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well. 
  2. For a better flavored jerky it’s best to refrigerate the mixture for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend before you make the jerky.
  3. To load the meat mixture into the jerky x-press extruder, depress the silver tab and pull the knob all the way back. 
  4. Unscrew the end and load the mixture into the tube then add your desired tip. ..(I used the flat ribbon tip) then press the knob until it pushes against the meat.
  5. Hold the gun over one of the dehydrator trays and squeeze the trigger a few times until you have a length you like then cut it with a scissors or knife.
  6. As each tray is filled stack them on top of each other and once all the meat has been extruded turn the machine on.
  7. It will take between 4-15 hours to dehydrate based on how thick the meat is.
  8. After the first four hours check it every hour until you have a texture that is dry and leathery but not brittle.  Mine took 4 hours.
  9. When it’s done blot the jerky with paper towels to absorb any excess grease.  I had very little since I used such lean meat.  
  10. I stored this refrigerated since I didn't use the jerky cure that contains sodium nitrate which may or may not be necessary.

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