By Mark Kenyon
Just about a week and a half ago, I bundled myself up eskimo style, pulled on some snow boots, and trudged across my arctic backyard to the old red barn. Once there, I sat down to take on the age old job of turning an animal into meat. In this case, it was the doe I killed on New Years Eve. Unfortunately, given prior commitments, I wasn’t able to skin and butcher this deer until several days after hanging her up. The result? A deersicle.
As I hacked, sawed, and hammered away at the rock solid meat (and this is after attempting to thaw her), I began to realize I was ending up with a lot more small pieces of meat than I really wanted. Some of this would go to hamburger, but the rest would need a new plan. And for that, I came to rest on the idea of jerky. Home made venison jerky.
I had no special jerky injector, no dehydrator and no other fancy gizmos for making jerky. Luckily, none of that is needed. That said, here’s the very simple recipe I ended up using to turn the leftover strips of frozen venison from my doe into a tasty venison jerky treat.
– About 1 lb thin strips of venison, no thicker than 1/2 inch thick. Length of your choice.
– 1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
– 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
– 1 tbsp Brown sugar
– 1 tsp Garlic powder
– Wooden kabob skewers
1. First, remove as much silver skin, fat, and connective tissue as possible from the venison strips.
2. Now place all the venison in a large ziploc freezer bag, and add the worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic powder. Seal the bag and work the marinade into the meat by flipping the bag over several times and kneading the ingredients.
3. Place the bag in the refrigerator and let it sit at least 8 hours (or however long you can manage). Flipping the bag over several times during this time to ensure even distribution of marinade.
4. Soak the wooden kabob skewers in water for 20 minutes.
5. Next you’ll remove the venison strips from the bag, and skewer these evenly on to the wooden skewers.
6. Move your oven rack to the highest level, and then place a cookie pan on a second rack at the bottom of the oven.
7. Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature setting available, for our oven that was 200 degrees.
8. Now hang the venison on the skewers across this top rack, above the cookie sheet (which will catch the drippings).
9. Let the venison cook on the lowest setting until dry, for us that took about 5 hours. You’ll know the jerky is done when there is no juicy meat in the middle anymore, only the dark red jerky that you’re used to seeing.
(I must give credit to the authors of Gut It, Cut It, Cook It for the basic idea for this recipe, which I then worked from and adjusted)