When the early settlers arrived in Quebec, the native Indians who lived here likely taught them to make jerky. There was no other way to store meat at that time.
Homemade jerky is fun to make, delicious, and costs a fraction of what commercial jerky costs. You don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients – just pop it in the oven and cook at a low temperature for several hours.
It’s a great snack for kids who do a lot of sports (as my kids do). It’s nutritious, filling and super yummy.
You can put almost anything in the marinade for jerky. This recipe has maple syrup for that authentic French-Canadian flavour. To learn more about making jerky of all kinds, visit Jerkyholic.
Homemade Maple Jerky
- 1 pound beef. Buy whatever is on sale, the leaner the better
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup soya sauce
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp cayenne
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- Pepper to taste
Trim all the fat from the beef. The fat is what makes the meat go rancid, so be careful with this step.
Once you’ve cleaned the meat, put in the freezer for an hour or two to harden up. It will be easier to slice.
While the meat is in the freezer, combine the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl.
Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼” strips against the grain. Cut with the grain for a chewier jerky.
Put meat slices in a large Ziploc and pour the marinade over top. Massage the marinade into the meat through the bag to make sure it’s evenly distributed. If you don’t want leaks in the fridge, put a second Ziploc over top. Place the Ziploc on a plate and refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn the bag over every time you remember – at least 7-8 times.
After the meat has finished marinating, remove the racks from your oven. Wash one rack and set the other one aside.
Place the clean rack back in the oven at its highest mount. Cover the bottom of the oven with tinfoil. You can also put a few sheets of tinfoil on the inside of the oven door to protect it when you’re hanging the meat.
Preheat oven to its lowest setting (for me, that’s 170).
While the oven is heating up, thread 6-8 slices of meat from the end of the slices onto long skewers, spacing them evenly on the skewer.
When the oven has finished preheating, slide the oven rack halfway out, and hang the skewers between the rung of the oven rack.
Close the oven door, but leave it open a crack to allow the moisture escape by jamming the handle of a wooden spoon in the gap.
Bake 6-7 hours until done, depending on the thickness of your slices.
The jerky is finished when it bends but doesn’t break in half.
Store in the fridge. It will keep 1-2 months – but if your family is anything like mine, it will gone in a few days, guaranteed!