Slip into a Slim Jim! {or not}

No thanks. I know there are people out there that could live on Slim Jim's. I may or may not have dated a guy that would eat one for breakfast every day on the way to school. Oh high school. Because of that unfortunate experience, you can understand why I was completely grossed out when my college roommate decided to make her own jerky in our apartment. I kept picturing Slim Jim's everywhere. She laughed at me when I told her about that image. She got some old food dehydrator and some meat from the 24 hour grocery store and got to work. Oh yeah - nothing like making jerky at 2am. Oh college. I have to tell you though, it was good. It was the first time I had eaten "real" beef jerky. I've had some since then from the farmer's market and places like that, but I had no idea you could make it at home without a food dehydrator. Well, that's not completely true. I saw an episode of Good Eats once where good ol' Alton Brown made some in his bathtub with box fans and air filters... not for me.

A few days ago I stumbled onto a pin about making your own beef jerky from Neo-Homesteading and shockingly enough, she didn't even use box fans or air filters! After some careful thought (and london broil being on sale this week), I decided to give it a try.

I need to stop right here and tell you I was skeptical so maybe that's the reason for my amazement, but seriously - this took me like 10 minute of prep and it is GOOD. I popped my london broil in the freezer for about an hour or so to make it easier to cut. Cut the entire piece (about 1.5 lbs) into thin strips and then made a basic marinade in a ziploc bag. Dump the meat in the bag. Dump the bag in the fridge. Go to bed. That part's optional, but it does need to marinade overnight. The next day just lay the meat out on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet. I didn't line the cookie sheets with foil and I so wish I had. Learn from my mistake, line the cookie sheets with foil and then cook the meat for 4-6 hours on 175. I did mine for 5 hours and its perfect. I was on g-chat with Miranda when I pulled it out of the oven (yup, that's how we have "blog meetings") so she is my witness when I say I was astonished at their goodness. I had to immediately stick the jerky in a ziploc bag and hide it from myself. 

Looks good right???

When Allen got home from work I gave him a piece against my better judgment. He wanted to eat the entire bag. Now I have to hide it from him too! Do you want to make some? Here's the real recipe.

Beef Jerky - Adapted from Neo-Homesteading
printable version

1.5 pounds beef
3/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup hot sauce (I used sriracha)
1/4 cup fish sauce
LOTS of black pepper, fresh grated ginger, and garlic

Slice meat into thin strips. (As thin as possible.) Combine tamari, hot sauce and fish sauce. Add the spices you've chosen. Marinate overnight in the fridge. Remove beef from liquid and place onto an even layer on a baking tray lined with a drying rack. Sprinkle with additional black pepper and place into a 175 degree oven for 4-6 hours or until dried. The cooking time really depends on how thin the meat was sliced and how chewy you want your jerky.

Way better than a Slim Jim.