My dump-it-in cooking tendencies totally disappeared when it came to making jerky for the very first time. When backpacking or day hiking, I don’t want a meal of partially raw, slightly spoiled meat. Experiencing a stomach ache, or worse, on the trail is not a pleasant thought.
Out of fear, this dump-it-in cook actually BOUGHT a box of jerky seasoning. But even this sat in our pantry for six months before I mustered up the courage to use it.
However, the old adage holds true – nothing ventured, nothing gained. I purchased a three pound beef roast.
Per the instructions on the jerky box, I sliced the raw roast into thin slices. Next I dissolved the jerky seasoning in water, exactly according to the instructions. Extreme self-control here. Then I stirred the meat and water mixture together until the jerky seasoning coated all the beef strips.
Next step, according to the directions: Place mixture in a gallon plastic bag to marinate in the refrigerator until no red appeared anywhere on the meat. To be on the safe side, I left the beef marinate for several days.
When finally convinced the jerky seasoning had invaded every last molecule of the now brown beef, I loaded it onto the dehydrator trays and flipped the ON switch. Eight hours later we had scrumptious jerky.
After that successful batch, I’m now ready to try a few homemade recipes. Although I’ll use exact amounts for the preserving ingredients – salt and sugar – there’s plenty of room for experimenting by dumping in the flavor-only seasonings.