So I'm keeping to a lean budget these days but I still want to eat well - and homemade. I won't skimp on ingredients so I've found one of the best ways to extend my dollars is by making everything from scratch, even those items that you'd never imagine making at home. Crackers, bread, jam, all of those items we're so used to buying from our favorite store brands are great, but nothing compares to making it yourself.
One of the "luxury" items I'm keeping out of the grocery cart these days is beef jerky. I love the store bought kind but I only buy the best brands (organic, grass fed beef), hence the luxury. In order to make this at home (which I've done a few times before) I looked up several recipes and built the one that suited my tastes and wallet, and best replicated my favorite packaged brands.
Since I live near LA's Korea town, I'm apt to visit the ethnic grocery stores in the area and one thing the Koreans do very well is beef. Top quality and perfectly cut for Korean BBQ cooking, these neat little cuts of meat are perfect for producing great tasting (and looking) homemade jerky.
In my research, I found many recommended using beef eye of round or top round for jerky. For today's batch I chose an eye of round pre-cut in a neat 5 inch by 7 inch rectangle. It's so pretty! And don't you love the "FRESH" sticker, as if that's the signifier for quality? Love it.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire
3 tablespoons ponzu sauce (I swear, I could drink this stuff it's so good)
Juice of one lime
2 cups water (enough to cover the meat once added, add a little more if needed)
Few cranks of black pepper
Once I added the meat, I weighed it down with a plate and put in the refrigerator. Depending on the flavor you want, I recommend anywhere from a few hours to a day. I'll probably leave my in until the morning (I put it in the fridge around noon today).
I can't wait to get my meat on!