Category Archives: Recipes

CAJUN JAMBALAYA FROM DEHYDRATED INGREDIENTS USING MINI TRANGIA CAMPING STOVE

In the turn of the millennium, right before Katrina, I spent two years in New Orleans. In the party town I was invited to a number of parties in local households, and according to my experience, there just were no parties without some version of Jambalaya being served. And there are some good reasons for that; Jambalaya is at the same time both simple and sophisticated. Garnished with some fresh herbs, it can be served on your finest silverware, or scooped into disposable cups by your drunken friends from a shared large bowl. It is relatively easy to prepare in large quantities using very limited number of pots and pans, and it tolerates a fair amount of variation in ingredients. And most importantly, most often, despite the variable ingredients, it tastes damn good.

A little while ago, while preparing Chef Emeril Lagasse’s version of Cajun jambalaya (recipe is at the end of this article), I decided to try to develop a hiker/backpacker friendly modification of this wonderful dish.

First thing to do was to dehydrate everything heavy and/or easily spoiled material, ie. veggies and meats. I seasoned thin slices of chicken breast and shrimps with Emeril’s Bayou Blast (recipe below), hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Then I fried the chicken well done (you cannot be over careful with the chicken), chopped it to small cubes, and dehydrated them together with shrimps and tomatoes over night in conventional electric oven. At the same time onions, garlic, celery, and green peppers were dehydrating in my homemade food dehydrator.

The only “wet” ingredient I did not dehydrate was the Chorizo sausage for two reasons; first, Chorizo and other similar kind of sausages are so heavily salted, that they stay good for days, if not weeks, at room temperature, and second, the sausage is pretty dry to begin with, and any attempt to dehydrate it would probably only melt away the delicious fat in the sausage.

The reason why I used Chorizo instead of Andouille of the original recipe was the fact that when you ask for Andouille sausage at the arctic circle, most of the shop keepers just roll their eyes, and the friendliest ones advice you to take a quick 800 km (500 miles) flight to Helsinki, where some small exotic delicacy shop may, or most probably, may not have Andouille available. So, my Andouille is Chorizo. Sorry, chef Lagasse.

Then it was time to test whether it is possible to turn rattling small bits in plastic bags into mouth watering Jambalaya. My original plan was to prepare one portion of Jambalaya using only the Mini Trangia camping stove, but since a friend of mine wanted to join me for a nice day in the forest, and I didn’t want to see him starve, I changed my plan to also test the little Trangia stove’s ability to heat up a larger carbon steel pan packed with enough food for two hungry guys.

So, I started with rehydrating all of the dehydrated stuf in the Trangia pot. After about 30 minutes, I added some chicken broth concentrate (a cube of the same stuff works equally well), and some oil, and let the whole thing simmer for about another 30 minutes. At this point you can add some bay leaves into the pot, but due to the fact that I have never been able to tell any difference between two dishes, one with, and one without bay leaves (maybe something wrong with my taste buds), I skipped the bay leaves. Then I poured the content of the trangia pot into the larger pan, added the rice and chopped Chorizo, and let the Jambalaya simmer till the rice was cooked.

The end result was an absolute success! The only difference to the freshly made Jambalaya was in the texture of the chicken and the shrimp. They were not bad at all, but the truth is that de-, and then rehydrated meat and seafood can never be as tender as freshly cooked ones. However, taste wise it would have been almost impossible to separate the camp site version from the fresh one.

This test also proved that the tiny trangia stove packs enough punch to heat a relatively large carbon steel pan. I wouldn’t try use this combination in the middle of the winter, but at least at above freezing temperatures, it seems to work just well.

And then the recipe for the Cajun Jambalaya, and the spice mix. Unfortunately, the link to the original source of the recipe did not seem to work anymore, but all the credits for the recipe (except the Chorizo part :)) belong to chef Emeril Lagasse and www.foodnetwork.com

CAJUN JAMBALAYA
Ingredients

12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
4 ounces chicken, diced
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, recipe follows
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3/4 cup rice
3 cups chicken stock
5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
Salt and pepper

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Directions

In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken and Creole seasoning, and work in seasoning well. In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery, 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.

Creamy risotto with Mini Trangia

Based on the fact that failure to cook decent risotto seems to be one of the most common reasons of elimination of the competitors from TV shows such as Master Chef, Top Chef, and Hell’s Kitchen, the idea of making risotto in camping conditions, from dehydrated ingredients, with a Mini Trangia stove, must  be doomed from the beginning.
So, of course I had to try it.
To my pleasant surprise, the risotto in the wilderness was a success. I could not notice the difference to the home cooked (from fresh ingredients) risotto, either in the taste or in the texture.
Some one could  of course now say that I’m obviously a damn horrible home cook who only repeats his unfortunate cookings outdoors, but at least this time I have to disagree with that, the risotto was as creamy as it should be, and the taste was excellent.
Well then, how was it done?
Knowing that the perfect risotto requires a perfect ratio between the rice and the liquid, in this case the beef broth, I carefully measured all of the ingredients at home using the same 1.5 dl (5 oz) coffee cup I was about to use out in the field.
To extract every last bit of flavor from my dehydrated ingredients, I used the rehydrating water as a part of the beef broth.
The secret behind the creaminess of the real risotto is to slowly absorb the broth into the rice by adding small portions of the hot broth onto the rice, letting the real risotto rice, in this case the Arborio rice, release the starch into the broth.
The broth should be boiling hot. Therefore, if you don’t have two burners or nearby open fire, this dish is limited to relatively warm weather (say, above 10 C or 50 F).
The rest of the story is pretty straight forward, stir, add broth, repeat. When all of the broth has been absorbed, add half a teaspoon of black pepper, about 40 g (1 oz) of grated parmesan cheese, mix and enjoy.
If you happen to be camping in an area where you can find some wild chives, garnish the dish with it.
And, as I said in the video, if you wish to impress your significant other, or make Gordon Ramsay jealous, replace some of the water with dry white wine.

Creamy risotto

1.5 dl (5 oz)         Risotto Rice (Arborio rice. Liquid to rice ratio may                                                                    vary with other rice variants.)
1 small onion (dehydrated)
Mushrooms (dehydrated)  100g (3 oz) fresh weight
30 ml (1 oz)        Olive oil
40 g (+1 oz)        Grated parmesan
½ teaspoon         Black pepper
1                                Beef bouillon cube
Some                      Chopped wild chives
3 X volume of rice    Water

Rehydrate mushrooms and onions for 15 to 30 minutes.
Prepare broth from rehydrating water, plain water, and a beef bouillon cube (total vol. 450 ml (5 oz)).
Pour the oil and the rice into the pot, and stir for few minutes.
Add mushrooms and onions.
Add some hot broth.
Stir, add broth, repeat till all of the broth is absorbed into the rice.
Season with black pepper.
Add cheese.
Garnish with chives.

Pasta stew from dehydrated ingredients with Mini Trangia

Pasta is one of the best sources of carbohydrates for a camper/hiker/survivalist. It weights next to nothing and stays good for a very long time. If, in a post apocalyptic scenario, I would have to pick a single source of energy, I probably would fill my back pack with dry pasta.
Pasta is also a very good foundation of  a variety of delicious meals in pre apocalyptic situations. In fine dining culinary circles, it may be important to know from which northern Italy river valley the durum wheat of your fresh pasta comes from, and how well it fits to the aroma of black truffles. However, in most of the home cooking, as well as survival situations, pasta is the filling material, and the sauce gives the taste to the whole meal. Therefore, in this excellent camping dish, the pasta part comes from an instant noodle pack. You know, those 39 cent packs of noodles, which contain some very thin curly noodles and a pack of industrial waste bad taste aroma seasoning. But the sauce is made out of pure love. For those of you who do not know what love is, it is:

Dehydrated tomato paste        1 dl (½ cup) Fresh
Dehydrated ground beef           100 g (3 oz) Fresh
Dehydrated mushrooms            30 g (1 oz) Fresh
Dehydrated onions                        ½ Fresh
olive oil                                                  30 ml (1 oz)
Beef bouillon cube                          1
Oregano                                               ½ tsp
Basil                                                        ½ tsp
Black pepper                                      ½ tsp
White pepper                                    ½ tsp
And some water (+some processed cheese, if available)

 

The cooking process is easy:
Pour some boiling water on top of all of the dehydrated ingredients and the spices . Let them rehydrate for 15 to 30 minutes. Add the oil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add 1 pack of Instant noodles (about 50 g (1 ½  oz)), and for the love of God, discard the seasoning pack.
Simmer for about 3 minutes.
Add about 3 tablespoons of processed cheese and mix carefully.
The beef bouillon cube has enough salt for most of the people, but if necessary, now it is time to add salt to your own taste.

This dish passed the ultimate quality test; my kids asked for seconds.

How to make delicious Granola bars

Sugars and fats keep you going. If you don’t go, they make you fat. OK, now the necessary warnings are given, continue reading at your own risk.

In addition to being tasty treats, granola bars are an excellent modern substitute for an ancient survival food pemmican. In practice, granola is pemmican. The main difference between granola and pemmican is that in granola, the main ingredient of pemmican, the meat, is substituted with grain and seeds of various kind (rejoice, vegetarians and vegans!). From survivalists point of view, pemmican is something one would love to have in his/her backpack on a 100 day skiing trip to the south pole and back, where as granola is more like an instant fix to get the hell out of where ever you happen to be, within days or weeks.

More about fats, sugars, and proteins in here.

Anyway, I could not care less whether you are organizing your kids birthday, or in the middle of zombie apocalypse, but here is a basic, easily modifiable recipe to survive in both situations (and anything in between).

Ingredients:

Base: (this is the one that keeps your granola bars in one piece)

Butter                     140 g (5 oz)

Sugar                          85 g (3 oz)

Honey                     2 to 4 tsp

Salt                                       1tsp

Fillings: (final volume is 5 dl (16 fl oz) The ratios can be changed, some dehydrated fruits or berries or various seeds added, some spices, for example cinnamon, suits pretty well to granola, etc. Be creative!)

Rolled oats

(or something like that)      80 g (2.8 oz)

Crushed hazelnuts

(or any other nuts)                70 g (2.5 oz)

Fruit muesli                                80 g (2.8 oz)

Work flow:

Melt the butter in a pot. Add the sugar, honey and salt. Simmer (constantly stirring) on a low temperature till the sugars are melted and the mixture begins to thicken again (about 10 minutes).

Remove the pot from the stove. Add the fillings. Mix carefully.

Line a flat tray with baking paper. Pour your granola mix on to the tray. Flatten it using a spoon or a spatula.

Place the tray into the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 175 C (350 F).

Let the granola cool down to room temperature. Cut the granola into nice size pieces, and if, after the sampling, there is anything left, wrap them in tin foil and store in the fridge (the granola bars stay good for weeks, if not months, at the room temperature, but better to be safe than sorry), and in addition to a longer storage life, the granola bars become nice and crunchy in the low temperature.

If you follow the original recipe, the kilocalory, or the kilojoule content of the whole thing is about 3000 and 12000, respectively.

That amount of calories gives you anything between one to five days to get out of a sticky situation in the middle of nowhere, depending on the other available resources, or, if consumed on the couch, makes you fat.

Keep the base/fillings ratio steady, experiment with different fillings, and find your own favorite granola.

Mini Trangia Apple Pie

OK, you Rambos, Mad Maxes, Conans, and other mother’s little warriors, admit it! Every now and then, after surviving months with only rattle snake soup to eat, and wolverine’s blood to drink, it would be nice to have a piece of sweet, delicious, grand mom’s apple pie.

If you are man enough to admit that, here is the recipe;

First, mix milk powder, salt, and yeast to about 150 ml of +42 C water. Let the yeast wake up for 5 to 10 minutes, and carefully mix the solution with the rest of the dough ingredients in a ziploc bag. Place the bag in a warm place, which, in wilderness, usually is a pocket close to your skin, for one to 4 hours. Properly closed ziploc bag does not disturb your activities too much, and while the yeast is doing its magic, you can hike to the next camp site or continue doing your things at the present one.

Before baking the base of the pie, it is time to prepare the apple jam, or sauce, or what ever you call the stuff on top of the apple pie. After rehydrating dry slices of apple for about 30 minutes, simmer the slices with cinnamon and brown sugar till the apple slices are soft, and the excess water has evaporated.

Then to the baking of the dough; Squeeze a ball of dough onto the frying pan, which in this case is the lid of the Mini Trangia. Flatten it to about 1-2 cm thick disk, and fry each side for about 4 minutes. Unfortunately, this requires some hands-on time. To avoid burning the dough, it is necessary to hold the pan about 10 to 15 cm above the flame, but trust me, the taste of the final product is worth of all the work.

Now, the remaining work is to scoop the apple jam on top of the baked dough, lift your feet up, think of your childhood and grand mom, and enjoy the apple pie. To get even closer to your childhood experiences, you can heat up the apple jam for about two minutes, and properly burn your tongue (just like when you were three years old).

In my honest opinion, the only way to improve the apple pie would be a scoopful of vanilla ice cream on top of the pie. However, due to the fact that preparing ice cream in the middle of nowhere with the Mini Trangia is beyond my expertise, I must say that I’m quite happy with the current product.

Rice pudding with Mini Trangia and improvised water bath

In Nordic countries rice pudding is a very important part of Christmas tradition. Hiking and camping in the middle of nowhere is also quite popular. For some reasons, one rarely sees anyone hiking during the Christmas.

One reason to that probably is a common will to spend Christmas with the family. Another possible reason is that it is so damn difficult to get rice pudding in the wilderness.

Not any more!

When I first decided to try to prepare rice pudding with my Mini Trangia, I took is as a crazy experiment, destined to fail. First of all, even with the regular good quality cooking gear at home, it is quite difficult not to burn and ruin your rice pudding, and additionally, the requirement for slow long simmering in low temperature did not sound like a Trangia job.

Well, what do I have to lose? 10 cents worth of rice, euro worth of fuel, and some wasted time. So, go for it!

Due to the fact that the rice pudding is one of the easiest things to ruin by over heating, I decided to make some kind of a water bath. For that purpose, I happen to have a surplus mess kit from the Czech army. The larger pot of the kit is just big enough to hold the Trangia pot within it (any pot slightly larger than the Trangia pot works as well). To prevent the Trangia pot from over heating or floating on the water, I placed three flat stones on the bottom of the water bath to be.

Then to the cooking itself.

First I heated some liter of water (600 ml for the pudding, and the rest of it for the water bath). Then I mixed 100 ml of rice, 100 ml of water, and about 30 ml of oil (rice pudding is usually made with full milk, therefore the oil). Next part was to boil the ingredients for about 2 minutes to rehydrate the rice. Rehydrating the rice requires constant attention and stirring. When the water is mostly absorbed into the rice, it is time to place the pot into the water bath, add the milk, place the lid on top of the pot, and add water to the water bath.

After stirring the pudding and adding water to the bath every now and then, the stove eventually ran out of fuel. At this point I placed the stove onto the ice on the ground to let it cool down before refilling. (It is not a good idea to fill up a hot stove with flammable alcohol).

After about 45 minutes of cooking, the pudding began to look like pudding, and it was time to add salt (if you don’t want your milk based cookings to curdle, do not cook after adding the salt).

The end result was perfect! Just like the pudding my grandmom used to make!

I must admit that preparing rice pudding with the Mini Trangia is not a hard core survivalist thing. It takes an hour to make, and the fuel consumption is ridiculous (about 250 ml for one large portion of pudding), but, God damn it, it is possible!

So, from now on, if, during the Christmas time, you happen to be in the deepest, darkest arctic, and you get homesick (or if you have to find offerings to the local gnome), by following these instructions, the homesickness can be eased, and the gnome calmed.

Baking bread with Mini Trangia

Dehydrated bread is a good, light weight source of energy for hikers and campers. However, dry bread is dry, and hard, and every now and then it would be nice to smell and taste some freshly baked real thing.
For most of the hikers, especially male hikers, a fresh bread is something magical, that only professional bakers and some rare specimens of rural grandmothers can prepare.
That could not be much further from the truth.
Anyone can prepare bread, and in almost any conditions.
For the simplest, beduin type bread, one needs some flour, preferably some salt, water, and a hot surface to bake the bread. In a lack of pots and pans, a flat rock will do.
For a little more complicated, raised bread, some additional materials, such as milk powder, sugar, oil, and dry yeast is required.
I tried the latter one with my trusty Mini Trangia.
To raise the dough with yeast, especially dry yeast, takes some time and preparation, but with a little bit of planning, it is relatively easy thing to do, even in subzero conditions.
First thing to do is to heat up some water to +42 C, which is optimal temperature for dry yeast. If the water is too cold, it may take unnecessarily long time to wake up the yeast, but on the other hand, if the water is too hot, the yeast will die. Therefore, it is better to be safe than sorry, and use water that is not much warmer than your body temperature.
In addition to the warmth of the water, the yeast also needs some form of carbohydrates to wake up, and for that purpose, it is a good idea to mix the milk powder, sugar, and salt together with the yeast. The yeast does not need the salt, but by melting the salt in to the liquid, one can avoid possible surprise salty spots in the final product.
When the yeast is suspended into the liquid, it is time to carefully mix all of the ingredients into a ziplock bag. (In addition to the basic ingredients, in this recipe I also used some oat meal, which gives some texture to the final product).
To do its magic, the yeast needs some time in a warm environment (anything between 1 and 4 hours), and for that the best place in cold camping or hiking conditions, is a loose pocket close to your skin (remember to seal the ziplock bag!)
After these preparations, you have 1 to 4 hours to hike on, or to do your things around your camp.
If you did not manage to kill the yeast with too hot water, in one to four hours, due to the production of carbon dioxide, the ziplock bag should look like a balloon, and the dough should be ready to meet the pan.
To bake the bread, I usually grease the Mini Trangia lid with some oil. Due to the teflon coating of the lid and the oil in the dough, greasing the pan is probably a bit of an over kill, but I have my old habits. Then I squeeze a child’s fist size piece of dough onto the pan, and pat it to 1 to 2 cm thick cake. The actual baking, or frying, the bread with the Mini Trangia requires some hands on time.
Due to the short distance between the flame and the pot holder, in order to prevent the burning of the bread, instead of placing the pan on its place, one has to hold the pan about 10 to 15 cm above the flame. Holding the pan for 6 to 8 minutes may sound like a long time, but I can guarantee that after tasting the freshly baked self made bread in the middle of nowhere, you cannot wait to begin the next baking session.

Classic arctic reindeer stew with potatoes and lingonberries

 

Traditionally, the reindeer stew was prepared in the deepest darkest Lapland, way above the arctic circle, by the toughest survivors, the Lapps, using frozen pieces of reindeer meat,fried in reindeer fat. The liquid part or the stew came from melted snow, and most probably, the only spice in the stew was salt. I find it hard to believe that the reindeer herding Lapps would have had any exotic spices, such as pimento (all spice) with them. I also doubt that potatoes or onions, not even mentioning milk and butter (essential parts of the mashed potatoes), played any significant part in the every day menu of the Lapps. Therefore, I believe that the the original, or the classic, or the genuine reindeer stew contains reindeer meat, reindeer fat, water, and salt. Add anything else, and you are probably mocking the tradition. However, if you go to any Scandinavian restaurant and order the reindeer stew, you will get mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, and stew, which contains reindeer meat, water, and some, or all, of the following; onions, salt, pimento, black pepper, white pepper, beef bouillon, butter, oil, or even some herbs (Blasphemy!!), and every single one of those restaurants call their stew classic, traditional, genuine, original, or something like that. Shocking secret behind the “ancient, traditional, etc.” reindeer stew is that the best known, and appreciated recipe was, in fact, developed in the kitchen of hotel Pohjanhovi in Rovaniemi, Finland, less than 70 years ago.

Based on the text above, and the fact that I’m 1/64 Lapp :), I dare to call my reindeer stew as classic as any other reindeer stew. If you feel offended about that, feel free to call my reindeer stew anything you want. (I would suggest; “Slowfood survivalist’s intentional insult towards traditional cooking, minorities rights, historical facts, and anything decent.”)

But if you want to have a damn good dinner in the middle of nowhere, I recommend trying my recipe. The reindeer meat in the recipe can be replaced with the meat from deer, red deer, elk, moose, or any other four legged deer like creature, as well as the jam made out of freshly picked lingonberries can be replaced with commercial lingonberry or cranberry jam. Also, the potatoes can be substituted with some commercial dehydrated mashed potato product, but that, IMHO, ruins the taste of the stew.

If you have some more advanced cooking gear, and possibly some butter and cream/milk with you, and the aestheticity of the dish is important to you, prepare the stew and mashed potatoes separately.

(Shepherd’s) Cottage Stew

One of my favourite camping dishes is a stew made out of ground beef and some veggies. Till now, I have called it a Shepherd’s Stew, and I was about to publish it under that name. Fortunately, just in time, a British friend of mine told me that preparing something with any other meat than lamb, and naming it shepherd’s stew, or pie, is equivalent to blasphemy, and if I want to stay in good relationships with shepherds, especially British or Irish ones, I should name my dish correctly.

Therefore, in order to avoid the wrath of the shepherds of the British isles, from now on, the dish will be called Cottage Stew.

Then to the newly named stew itself. There are several reason why I like my basic Cottage Stew so much;

1. All of the ingredients are very easy to dehydrate, and the reductions of weight is significant.

2. The recipe is pretty much fool proof and the required hands on time at the camp site is minimal.

3. The dish can be easily prepared using the most basic, one pot cooking gear, such as Mini Trangia.

4. The recipe is easy to modify. If you don’t have processed cheese with you, the dish is almost as good without it. If you happen to have some extra stuff, such as dehydrated mushrooms or herbs in your backpack, just add them into your stew, and the end result may be better than the original. If your closest friend happens to be a cow, or you have some other reasons to avoid meat, the dish can be converted to vegetarian version by replacing the meat with ground soy protein or equivalent.

5. The stew tastes damn good.

Slowfood Survivalist’s Beef Jerky

I was about to start with instructions of how to dehydrate some basic items for camp site meals, when I realized that the initiating factor leading to my dehydrating hobby was the wonderful taste and structure of genuine beef jerky. So I decided to begin with my favourite basic beef jerky recipe.

Claiming your beef jerky recipe to be the best in the world is stupid. If you do that, the guy next door will do exactly the same, and since neither one of you can afford to organize a world wide poll to solve who’s jerky really is the best, you will probably end up with a life long argument about nothing.

Therefore, I’m not saying my beef jerky is the best. Yours may well be better, and if the perfect beef jerky must be gently smoked with the cedar strips, carved from the keel of the Mayflower, who am I to argue against that.

So, for those who already know the best beef jerky recipe, quit reading this right now.

However, if you are interested in getting familiar with a damn good , highly modifiable basic beef jerky recipe, keep on reading.

My beef jerky preparation begins with the selection of fresh, good quality, low fat, and tendon free meat, such as sirloin steak or equivalent. It is a good idea to place the meat into the freezer for 3 to 4 hours (that is for about 1 to 1.5 kg (2 to 3 pounds) of meat, larger pieces need a bit longer time). Partially frozen meat is a lot easier to cut to thin slices than a piece of fresh meat. To avoid long chewy stretches of fibers in your beef jerky, the cutting should be done against the direction of the muscle fibers.

When the meat is cut to about 5 mm (1/4 in) slices, it is time to marinate it. My basic marinade contains three liquids; soy sauce, which takes care of required saltiness, red wine, which, in addition to tasting good, adds the total volume of the marinade, and keeps the salt level reasonable, (as information to those of you with kids, or an alcohol problem, the alcohol of the wine evaporates during the dehydrating process), and Worchestershire sauce, which just tastes good. To spice up the marinade, I add some onion powder, dried garlic, black pepper, and some hotter pepper product such as Habanero Tabasco.

The ratios of the liquids can be altered to adjust the saltiness, or they can be replaced with something more suitable to your taste buds. For example, a good friend of mine replaced the soy sauce with a teriyaki sauce and didn’t use red wine at all, and, according to him, his beef jerky is better than mine. 🙂

Similarly, it is advisable to try different spices. If you don’t prefer garlic, don’t use it, and Habanero Tabasco can be replaced with any other non- or low-fat hot stuff, such as dried habanero flakes or something like that, and a dash of liquid smoke, or perhaps a teaspoon or two of honey may do the trick for you.

However, if you have not prepared beef jerky before, I honestly believe that my basic recipe is pretty sure thing to begin with.

Anyway, when the meat and the marinade are ready, place them into ziplock bag(s), marinate over night, dehydrate, according to the instructions (recipe), and become the jerky master.

Feel free to experiment with my recipe, and if, one day, you become the undisputed beef jerky king/queen of the world, a link to the humble beginning to your glory, would be greatly appreciated.