I told you back in the spring how I was inspired to try something new. I’ve not made a gyro kebab since then, but I have been quite busy turning ground venison into jerky.
The great thing about making your own jerky is that the flavors are endless. So far this jerky season, I’ve got seven flavors in the freezer BBQ, Fajita, Flaming Fajita, General Tso, Szechuan, Teriyaki, and Gyro.
Ground meat jerky is really easy to make. It takes a fairly inexpensive initial investment, a dehydrator and a jerky press, time, and patience. The hard part is really clean up/washing your equipment.
Since I’ve upped my jerky game this season, Big Sexy got me a new dehydrator, a Presto Dehydro®. The new dehydrator holds three pounds of pressed meat as does my old faithful Nesco/American Harvest dehydrator. The cool thing is that I can now process six pounds a day instead of three, on the down side, that’s only three pounds of finished jerky, but let me tell you, Gyro jerky is worth it!
I’ve been on the fence about sharing this recipe. It’s one of those recipes I really want to keep secret, but then again, when I’m gone it would go with me, and then the world would be gyro jerky-less lol.
- 2 T salt (I use Himalayan, you can use that too, or seasoned salt)
- 1 T garlic powder
- 1 T onion powder
- 2 t oregano
- 1 t cumin
- 1 t thyme
- 1 t black pepper
- 1 t corriander
- 1 t parsley
- 1 t cardamom
- 1 t celery seed
- ½ t cinnamon
- 1 ½ t Lem cure (sodium nitrite) (if you opt for no cure, make sure to keep finished product refrigerated)
- 6 pounds ground venison
Combine first twelve ingredients in a jar or small bowl. Mix well. Add Lem cure if using, mix well. Place ground venison in a very large bowl. Add seasoning mix and mix well by hand or use your kitchen aid or like stand mixer (for six pounds, my kitchen aid is an arm saver).
Load your jerky press according to the directions and shoot it out onto the drying racks.
If your dehydrator has a temperature gauge, set to 165°, if not, follow the “jerky” instructions from your manual. I like to check the meat after a couple hours, flipping it if it is dry to the touch (gloves, gloves, gloves people). Depending on how well drained your meat was to begin with the drying time is 4 – 8 hours. (placing your meat in a colander, set into a larger bowl, covered over night will shorten your drying time and will also help get rid of any gamy taste that sometimes comes with wild game)
Once your jerky is dried, unplug your dehydrator. Remove jerky to a sheet pan for cooling. Wait until it completely cooled for bagging, so that there is no condensation in the bags.
For long term storing, place bags of jerky in the deep freeze.
In case anyone is wondering “Can I use this recipe on flank steak or venison steak for strip jerky?” the answer is no. This recipe is best used with ground meat, mixed well. The seasonings applied to steak strips even with using soy sauce instead of salt, makes for parsley and oregano on the outside of the meat, which in the mouth was like eating something that had been dropped in a pile of leaves, not good. On the other hand, using this recipe with soy sauce instead of salt, as a marinade for grilled ribeyes or venison steaks was pretty amazing…