One piece! One tiny little piece of homemade Chinese-style beef jerky remained in the bowl. In the quick ten minutes it took me to wash the dishes, the entire contents (minus one piece, of course) had been devoured by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named! Noting the digestive-inhalation that just occurred, I considered my first foray into making beef jerky a success!
Adapted from a recipe by Rhoda Yee
1 lb flank steak
2 tsp salt
4 tsp sherry
8 tsp honey
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp each of: ketchup, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce
1. Rinse meat and blot dry. Place completely flat in zip-type plastic bag and freeze for about 45 minutes.
2. Make the marinade with the remaining ingredients. Set aside.
3. Remove meat from the freezer and take out of bag. On a cutting board slice the meat into wide strips across the grain and put into a large bowl. The pieces should be no thicker than 1/8th-inch thick.
4. Pour the marinade into the meat bowl. With your hands, carefully mix the two, making sure that all sides of the meat slices are evenly coated with the marinade. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one day.
5. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
6. Cover baking pans with foil. Place either broiling racks or cooling racks into the baking pans. This allows air to flow around the meat. Spray racks with a vegetable spray and place slices of meat in a single layer on the racks. The slices can touch, but should not overlap.
7. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
8. Store in an airtight container.
1. Chinese-style beef jerky is a little sweeter and stickier than conventional western beef jerky.
2. The best prices for flank steak were at Sam’s Club, Winco, and Costco – in that order.
3. These are optional procedures – Halfway through the baking time I removed the baking sheets from the oven and poured off the meat juices that had collected in the bottom. I wanted the meat to bake and not steam. At this point I also turned the slices of meat over.
3. Because I like my beef jerky peppery, I sprinkled some freshly ground black pepper over the raw meat slices prior to baking and again at the halfway point after flipping them over.
4. How to tell when meat is done: The slices will shrink by about 50%. The color should be dark brown and should be evenly colored, but not burnt! You’ll know when you see them.
5. After reviewing many other beef jerky recipes, I found this one to be relatively easy. So easy, in fact, that I made three batches in over two days!