There was never beef jerky in my house when I was growing up. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted beef jerky.
So why was I so curious to try this recipe?
It’s amazing how a food dehydrator can kindle the experimental spirit.
My version looks nothing like the original. In fact, it’s definitely far uglier. But I’m sure it tastes the same – as what I ended up with was a chewy, flavourful, bold and smoky snack.
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. It’s mostly spices, and you can leave some of them out if they’re not your thing. The one spice I’d reduce next time is the dried fennel, as it stood out a little too much for my liking.
No dehydrator? No problem. There’s also instructions below for baking these in the oven.
Are you a beef jerky fan? What makes it so compelling?
From Diet, Dessert and Dogs
1 medium beet, peeled and cut in chunks
1 large carrot, cut in chunks
½ small onion, cut in chunks
1 large clove garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Bragg’s, tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp finely ground flax seeds
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp liquid smoke (optional)
2 tbsp gluten-free rolled oats
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp dried fennel
¼ tsp dried mustard
½ tsp dried sage
¼ tsp paprika (or smoked paprika, if you don’t use liquid smoke)
¼ tsp sea salt, or less, to your taste
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth. It will take some time, about 5 minutes, and you will have to scrape the sides several times, but eventually the veggies will release their juices and it will come together in a paste.
If using a dehydrator, spread in a 9 x 9 square on a Teflex sheet and dehydrate at 105 degrees until dry.
If using an oven, line a 9 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper, then spread the paste over the parchment, taking care not to extend the mixture beyond the edges of the parchment. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is dry. Remove from oven and lower heat to 325 degrees F.
Invert a wooden (or other heatproof) cutting board over the pan and flip the jerky and parchment onto it. Peel off the parchment and cut the square into strips about one inch wide. Place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and return to the oven for about 30 more minutes, until the strips are dried out but still flexible.
If some of the strips dry out faster than others, remove those first and allow the rest to keep baking until they all reach the desired texture. Cool completely before eating. Store, covered in the refrigerator, up to three days. Makes about 8 strips.