Here is a fun project that you can do with your kids. Make some beef jerky! Prep time is less than half an hour for marinating and prep time to go into the oven is about the same.
What you’ll need:
- 1 bottle of spicy or regular yakitori sauce
- 2 pounds of top round, have your butcher slice it (with the grain) about 1/8 inch thick
- bamboo skewers (6-8)
- small bowl
- ziplock bag
- paper towels
- one small dish towel
- wax paper
- aluminum foil
Pour bottle of yakitori sauce into a small bowl. Take each strip of top round and dunk in bowl to coat both sides well. Place each piece into the ziplock bag as you go. When all the pieces have been coated, pour any excess sauce into the bag. Remove as much air as possible, seal bag and massage in the sauce. Lay bag flat in your refrigerator for 48 hours or more. I turn it over and work in the sauce every 12 hours. When you are ready to dehydrate the meat, lay out paper towels a couple of layers thick. Line bottom of oven with aluminum foil. Remove other racks. Pre-heat oven to 170-180 degrees. Pull strips from bag a lay flat on paper towels. Fold over a handful of paper towels and pat dry, do not rub! Skewer the meat on one end and space about a half inch apart. I like to use two skewers (to keep the meat spread apart).Place about six or seven slices on the skewer and fit between the wires of your oven rack. When you have finished this process, place the rack in the oven on the topmost level.Pry the oven door open about a half inch at the sides by placing a rolled up dish towel inthe top of the door and push the door shut against it until there is the half inch opening at the sides. This will allow for the moisture to escape. I check on the meat at the 4 hour mark. If it still looks and feels too wet, go for a half an hour longer. You shouldn’t have to go past 5 hours, you don’t want it too dry either. When it’s ready, remove from the oven and lay out on wax paper to cool and to air dry a bit further, about 2-4 hours. Place a second sheet of wax paper on top to protect the jerky. At this point I like to take kitchen scissors and cut the strips into pieces. Put the finished jerky in the refrigerator and enjoy!
Note, if you would like hotter jerky, I use hot shot, a combination of red and black pepper, and pat it into the jerky after drying with the paper towels.