I finally hauled out the huge cut of bison I bought during the final farmers market of the season and sliced off some slivers to make jerky in my dehydrator. I wanted to make jerky completely free of preservatives and found advice on the Internets (thank you, Pinterest). I learned how to trim the meat here and gained inspiration for the marinade recipe by perusing Google.
The whole process was really easy. One of the best tips was to slice the meat while it was still partially frozen. This made it easier to get really, really thin slices.
The marinade contained:
- Chesapeake Old-Style Sauce (I probably could have gotten away with just using this)
- Chili powder
- Chinese mustard powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Crushed red pepper
I eyeballed all of the measurements for the marinade and let the strips of meat marinate in the fridge overnight. I was surprised that most of the recipes said the meat would be dried after only a few hours in the dehydrator. When I dry fruit, it can take 10 hours or more. I guess it makes sense — there’s so much water content in fruit. Sure enough, after only about 2.5 hours in the dehydrator, we had jerky! Nice and spicy too.
Since this recipe has no preservatives, I have to keep the dried jerky in the fridge. I read that mason jars are preferable because they are less likely to trap moisture (as opposed to plastic bags), which could cause the meat to spoil faster. Bison is very lean meat so the lack of fat also will help it keep longer.
The rest of the cut of bison (I can’t remember exactly which cut this was) is now in my crock pot with some wine, stock and veggies. I will be feasting later today and the rest of this week!