Cure for All Seasons

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October ushers in cooler weather, Halloween and, to a hunter’s delight, deer season. While there are countless ways to prepare venison, making jerky is an easy, affordable and versatile option.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website, deer season begins Oct. 1 for archery, Oct. 25 for muzzleloader and Nov. 22 for other hunting guns and rifles. A license is required to hunt in Oklahoma, and they can be purchased at www.wildlifedepartment.com. Regulations and other information can be found there, too.

What you won’t find there, however, are a ton of recipes for preparing venison. While everyone has their own ideas of the choice cuts to use for deer jerky, many sources and online forum users tend to recommend the rump roast, cut against the grain and well-seasoned.

With the rise in popularity of stand-alone food dehydrators over the last few years, making jerky at home has become a trend. However, you don’t necessarily need a dedicated contraption to make great jerky. Slowly baking the strips of meat in the oven on low heat is another method.

For an easy, tasty recipe, check out this adaptable version.

Venison Jerky

  • 1-1 1/2 lb. lean deer steak or roast, boneless
  • 4 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 tbs. liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 12-oz. can of beer (optional)

Slice venison into long strips. Strips should measure approximately one-inch wide and 1/8-inch thick. Combine the liquid and dry ingredients together in a large, resealable plastic bag before placing meat strips inside. Seal the bag and gently work the marinade so that it coats all around each meat strip. Refrigerate for about 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Place a large pan below oven racks to catch the drippings. Place strips onto a clean oven rack or on a metal screen about 1/8 inch apart. Do not overlap strips. Bake for six to seven hours, checking hourly on progress. When jerky has reached desired consistency, remove and allow strips to cool to room temperature.

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