Monday, July 16, 2007

mango chipotle jerky

I got the dates wrong on the Yosemite trip. It's this weekend, not the following. As per the request of a group member, I will be preparing beef. We may be bringing a bigger stove, but regardless, I did pretty good to keep this close to instant. I think it will need to have boiling water added, let sit for 10 minutes, and then bring to a simmer for two or three more minutes.

Since beef is nearly synonymous with jerky on the trail, I made some at home for the trip. I wanted a tasty jerky for eating on the trail, and a sweet seasoned meat for cooking dinner. I settled on a onion, garlic, and red pepper for eating, and mango-chipotle for cooking. I am planning to make some black beans with caribbean spice to pair with the mango-chipotle beef. On the trail, I'll toast some crushed nuts for topping, or use toasted nuts, and finishing the dish.

Over the weekend I aquired a 3lb london broil and had it sliced 1/4" thick. Half of the meat was put into a mango-chipotle marinade, and half was placed into a garlic, onion, and pepper marinade. The meat was incubated over night in the refridgerator before being dried in my oven at the lowest setting with the door propped open.

I wish I would have taken pictures of the preparation, but I had already put the meat in the marinades before it occurred to me to go get my camera. I hope that as I continue this blog, I will become more familiar with using the camera to document the process.

The mango jerky is awesome in both texture and flavor. Nice chew, soft, an upfront sweetness countered by a soft smoky heat on the palate. If I was making this again, I would add some Cayenne or more chili to boost the heat slightly. I like the subtleness of the smoke flavor.
My roomies both liked it a lot, and appreciated the ginger, mango, and pepper flavors. I think we all found it shockingly good, and a nice start to a dinner this weekend.

I wasn't thinking that the different marinades would affect drying times that much. I had to throw the onion-garlic jerky in the trash. Apparently I managed to only check the mango jerky for dryness. I way over dried the other. I ate a few bites, and wasn't enjoying myself. I wouldn't want that experience on the trail, and I certainly wouldn't want to share that with my friends.

Mango-Chipotle Marinade
2 extra large mangos, diced
two palm fulls of turbinado sugar
4 chipotle cleaned of adobo sauce
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and rough chop
3tsp Salt
Crack black pepper
1/2 tsp fresh ground red chili
a healthy dose of minced ginger
--toss diced mango with sugar to coat
--collect sweet water that is released from the fruit
--add salt, black pepper, chipotle peppers to juice and puree
--add diced onion and garlic, ginger, cayenne and ground red chili

Onion-Garlic-Pepper marinade
two onions diced fine
8 cloves chopped garlic
3Tbls cracked black pepper
1Tbls crushed red pepper
1/2cup soy sauce
a good shaking of the worcestershire sauce
1tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp Salt (optional)

--Mix everything together

Here are some pictures of the jerky preparation

This is the mango-chipotle marinade with the beef in it.

Here is a close up shot of the marinated meat before drying

This is my own idea. By resting the over rack on cans, I can create enough space to dry hanging slices. I use toothpicks to hang the slices.

Here is the dried jerky

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