The successful startup jerky brand SlantShack was founded four years ago in New York City by a bunch of ambitious young college friends. But they make their jerky with grass-fed beef from Vermont and natural ingredients, and this home recipe brags a blend of unexpected flavors, including ginger and garlic as well as jalapeños and honey. "Jerky was [once] just a means to extend the night from a few hours of hanging out to a weekend long gathering of our extended group of friends," says co-founder and CEO David Koretz. "The best part about home-made jerky is that you don't need to be as concerned with cooking to specific levels of humidity and water activity [as commercial makers], so the jerky is inevitably a bit more moist and fatty which means even more deliciousness."
SlantShack DIY Jerky
Meat Selection: Buy two pounds of meat. Leanest cuts are best: head to your local butcher to pick out a piece of brisket, top round, sirloin tip, or any other lean cuts the butcher recommends (turkey breast is also delicious).
Note: 1 lb of raw meat will yield ~1/2 lbs of jerky
1.5 hours before marinating, trim fat and create 1/2 lbs cuts of meat (try to keep long portions if possible), wrap in saran and place in freezer
Prepare Marinade: Lots of options here. A great starter recipe to follow is:
- 1 cup soy sauce
- Medium yellow onion, diced
- Medium jalapeno, diced with seeds
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp cloves
Adjust any of the above quantities based on flavor preferences or marinade taste.
Add fruit juices (i.e. orange juice; pineapple juice, fresh limes) for a sweeter flavor
Add tabasco, select spicier pepper, hot chilies, chili powder, etc. to increase spice. Also try a small amount of ketchup
Slice Meat: When meat is moderately frozen, slice along the long side of the cuts 1/8" – 1/4" strips. Alternate cutting with and against the grain.
Marinade: Place strips of meat and marinade in a ziplock bag, mix around so that meat is sufficiently covered and place in refrigerator overnight, let marinade for a minimum of eight hours; 12 -20 is best
Cooking: Set oven to lowest temperature possible. As oven heats, place meat strips across oven racks. When all the meat is in the oven, prop oven door open with a fork or ball of tinfoil at the bottom of the oven door, let jerky cook for 4-8 hours (cooking time will vary based on width of strips and oven temperature)
Finished Jerky: When the jerky is stiff and browned all the way through you're ready for fresh jerky snacking. Jerky will keep for months in an airtight container/ziplock bag at room temperature.