Well, those cowboys were no dummies. They knew they needed protein on their long rides away from home but they also knew that protein wouldn’t always be fresh and ready to cook. The solution was beef jerky: fresh beef, slow cooked at a low temperature.
Unlike fresh raw meat, beef jerky will keep for days without refrigeration. That’s because the long cooking at a low temperature draws out all of the moisture. You can see why this was a benefit for cowboys out on long rides for days on end. But it’s great for us city-folk (or wherever you live) too, especially those of us who know the power of protein and want to have it in every meal and snack, no matter where we are. It’s a perfect Paleo food.
This recipe takes a bit of time and effort. So why not just buy your jerky? Easy answer: homemade, like this recipe, is much healthier. Store bought brands often use nitrates and other preservatives to make their jerky. When you use this recipe, you know exactly what is in it: good, wholesome, high quality beef, salt, honey, and spices – that’s it! It’s easy to eat Paleo when you know exactly what’s going into your food.
I love this beef jerky for a snack. I toss a few pieces in a ziplock bag and chuck it in my purse or gym bag and I’m ready for the day. It’s about as easy as you get for snack making, once you’ve transformed your beef into jerky form.
Not only is it easy, it gives me the protein my body craves, especially after a workout. And when I have this as an afternoon snack the days I’m in the office, I feel like I’m getting a really filling, satisfying snack that I know will keep me full until dinner and keep me from munching on carb-loaded snack machine eats.
I like to have a few berries – usually blueberries – with my jerky. This jerky is made with honey so it has a little sweetness to it, but the blueberries provide a little extra sweetness and bright vitamin C flavor to the snack. It would probably be great with raspberries too. And if you’ve made your fruit into fruit leather – that’s the equivalent of jerky for fruit. So you could have a full jerky snack!
So whether you’re sitting around the campfire with your coffee in a tin, gazing at a sky full of stars, with your trusty horse at your side, or you’re in the conference room listening to your boss detail last quarter’s earnings, grab some beef jerky and have a snack. It will fill you up with wholesome protein, keep your muscles repaired after a workout, and keep you going until you’re ready for your next ride.
- 1 pound lean beef brisket
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp smoked sweet paprika or regular paprika
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Put the meat in the freezer for two hours to make slicing easier.
- Slice the meat into long thin strips 1/8 inch thick.
- In a small bowl combine the salt, black pepper, smoked sweet paprika, chili flakes, onion powder and garlic powder.
- Add the meat slices and toss to coat.
- Drizzle with honey and gently toss.
- Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
- Place the cooling racks on the prepared baking sheets.
- Arrange the meat strips side-by-side across the racks, leaving at least 1/4-inch of space between strips.
- Set oven to convection mode and preheat to 160 F.
- Place the meat in the oven and cook until completely dry about 2 hours.
- The jerky is ready when it is darker in color, dry and breaks gently when bent. Leave the meat out in the air to cool. Store the jerky in a zip lock bags or airtight containers.
|Vitamin A||4.9 µg|
|Vitamin C||0.4 mg|
|Folic Acid (B9)||7.3 µg|