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Posted By: Joe Ames In Response To: Venison Jerky advice (Aaron Chapman)
Date: Friday, December 21, 2001 at 8:49 a.m.
In Response To: Venison Jerky advice (Aaron Chapman)
Using these basic instructions, you can also add various flavors to the Jerky brine. There are many Jerky recipes available on the Web, some right here on this site.
Hope this helps
Much of the wild game harvested annually that reaches the sportsman’s table is of low quality and off flavor. The primary cause of low quality, off flavor, taint or actual spoilage of wild game is due to improper field dressing. Chilling and handling, Wild game is highly perishable and as soon as an animal or bird has been felled by shot or arrow the natural bacteria in the blood and flesh start to multiply. These bacteria like to be comfortably warm. Given the right temperature they develop and multiply at a rapid pace and taint or spoil the meal . . . chilled and kept cold their action is almost stopped.
It is self evident then that obtaining high quality meat from wild game. as from domestic animals. is actually a race between the time the animal is killed. properly cleaned and thoroughly chilled before curing and or cooking.
“JERKING” is a quick and practical way to preserve Venison, Moose, Antelope, Caribou, Bear Elk, Buffalo as well as Beef. The end product is known as “JERKY.’’ Jerky can he kept without refrigeration. It can be eaten uncooked or cut into paper-thin slices and creamed as one would cream chipped beef. There are several ways of making jerky
PREPARING THE MEAT
Cut chilled (35 - 40 degrees F. muscle meat lengthwise of the grain Cut the meat into strips approximately one-inch thick and about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Make the strips as long as you can.
Rub each strip of meat generously with Tender-Quick. In three or four hours repeat the process and pack the strips in a stone crock, wood barrel, or wood curing box or non-metallic container for curing. Sprinkle a light covering of Tender-Quick over each layer of strips as they are packed.
At the end of two days, overhaul the strips, repack, and again sprinkle a small amount of Tender-Quick on each layer. Allow to cure for another 48 hours, when the curing time is finished, brush off the surplus cure, or lightly wash each piece in tepid water and let the meat dry thoroughly. After the pieces are thoroughly dry, wrap them in parchment paper and hang away in the driest, coolest best-ventilated place available, If the meat is damp when hung away, or kept in a damp, warm place, it will mold much faster than if it is kept dry and cool and in a well-ventilated place. A little mold, however, does not hurt the meal as it can easily be washed off with vinegar or trimmed off when the meat is used
Pack the strips of muscle meal in a stone crock or clean, well-scalded wooden barrel. Then mix a Tender-Quick curing pickle at the rate of 2 lbs. Tender-Quick per gallon of water. The water should he previously boiled and allowed to cool. Stir the curing pickle until the Tender-Quick is completely dissolved. Pour the curing pickle over the meal until the meal pack begins to shift; then weight the meal down with a clean stone or other weight on a large plate or board and pour in enough additional curing pickle so that. the top layer of meat is a few inches below the pickle. Leave the strips of meat in the curing pickle for about five days.
The meal should be overhauled and the position of the pieces changed when the curing time is about (inc-half up. When overhauling. it is best to remove the pickle; then change the position of the pieces by repacking, and pour back the pickle. After the curing time is up, let each strip dry thoroughly and follow storage instructions as for dry cure jerky.
“HOT” SWEET-PICKLE CURED JERKY
Cut chilled muscle meat lengthwise of the grain. Cut the meat into strips approximately 3/8 inch by 3/8 th inch and as long as possible. Prepare a curing pickle by adding two pounds of Tender-Quick to ten cups of water. Bring the curing pickle to a near boil and dip each strip into the hot sweet pickle until they turn nearly white. Dry each strip and handle for storage the same as for dry-cure jerky.
Attach a cord to one end of each strip and hang up in a cool, dry place until thoroughly dry. Do not allow the strips to touch each other during the drying process. Protect the meat from dirt and insects with a clean, light cloth shroud.
As long as jerky is exposed to air it will continue to dry. After each strip is dry, wrap in parchment as instructed for storage.
SMOKING JERKY will add much to the flavor and help preserve the meat.
Remove the cured-strips of cured jerky from the dry and./or sweet pickle cure or hot sweet pickle cure and rinse in tepid water. Wipe dry and hang the strips in the smoke house. Be careful that the strips do not touch each other.
Use non-resinous woods for smoking. Apple, cherry and hickory woods are preferred; however peeled willow and alder can also be used..
Start a fire in the smoke house with the ventilators open and no smoke but temperature at 120 degrees for approximately two hours and/or until the strips are thoroughly dry.
After this drying period, start the smoke, close drafts and reduce temperature to approximately 100 degrees for a cool smoke.
ALTERNATE; If the jerky strips have been hung and allowed to thoroughly dry (24 hours or more) the aforesaid ‘drying period” at 120 degrees may he omitted. Cool smoke at 100 degrees may be started at. once.
Smoke at 100 degrees until the desired degree of smoke has been reached.
After smoking, wrap in parchment paper and store in a dry, cool. well-aired place . . . and not in direct light.
LARGE GAME cutting and curing
After the carcass of antelope, deer, elk and. other large game has been chilled and skinned out, cut in convenient sized pieces similar to cutting up beef or lamb.
Because most wild game have a high percentage of lean meat, it tends to become hard when cured. Wild game needs a special curing salt and Tender-Quick fits this need exactly.
To Dry Cure or Sweet Pickle Cure different cuts of wild game, follow the same general curing directions as for beef.
Quail, pheasant. duck, squirrels, rabbits, etc. should he cleaned and washed as soon. as convenient after they are killed, and then hung a short time, if weather is cool, to chill.
For curing small game, ducks. etc. it is best to use the sweet pickle cure, except when it is necessary to put the game in cure quite a distance from home or camp. Under these circumstances the dry cure is preferable because it is easier to use and handle without the added weight of water or a watertight container.
For the sweet pickle cure make a pickle of 2 lbs. Tender-Quick per gallon of water. Pack the game in a stone crock and cover with the pickle. For the dry cure apply Tender-Quick to the game, rubbing it in, and using at the rate of about 6 to 7 lbs. Tender-Quick per 100 lbs. of meat.
It is not advisable to cure different types of game in the same pickle. However, squirrels and rabbits may be cured together, also ducks and geese. Quail, pheasant and various kinds of game birds may be cured together. Leave the meat in the pickle until it is used.
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