You’re a Jerk! I know….

Yeah, it’s true.  I’m kind of a jerk sometimes.  For instance, I just put a status blast out on Facebook to tell people to save the date for our 10 year high school reunion….so that they have time to plan!  I just happened to also mention that I have gotten exponentially hotter since high school, and everyone just wants to show up to judge the shit out of each other.  It’s true, no sense in denying it.  That’s really all reunions are about in today’s world thanks to the great power that is social media.  I mean, honestly, I’ve kept in touch with people I’ve wanted to, I’ve creeped on people I’m curious about, and I’ve completely forgotten that some people even existed until they pop up in my list of “friend suggestions”.  The idea of a “traditional” reunion is just silly.  So we are renting out a bar/club for the evening, charging a reasonable cover, and having a good ol’ dance party with plenty of alcohol.  Yep, that seems about right.

Speaking of dancing, I’ve been completely obsessed with club/dance/electronica lately.  It’s totally bizarre.  That’s what’s been pumping in my car and on my Pandora at home….I don’t know what’s WRONG with me!?!  Perhaps this is my way of rebelling against winter and pretending that warmer weather is actually going to show up again someday?  I can hope.  Whatever, anyway, I’ve been pumping some pretty hard beats so I’ve been feeling really upbeat the past couple of days….to the point where I played some stuff in my classroom and a student just looked at me and said “Is this white people club music?!?”  Yeah, that opened an ENTIRE can of worms on the topic of race and music.  Have I mentioned that I love middle schoolers?  I’m being 100% serious with no sarcasm involved.  I mean, where else can you have a legitimate conversation about the role of race in music?  We all geeked out, got totally into it, and I’m pretty sure we all came out on the other side I bit more in touch with our own cultural biases.  Good stuff, folks.  Good stuff.

Ok, onto food.  One of the MAJOR things I miss since going paleo is beef jerky.  Like HARDCORE.  The stuff you can find that is readily available is pumped full of so much trash that it shouldn’t even be called BEEF jerky, it should be called Meat-like Chemical Jerky.  Gross.  Not to mention, the good stuff is so outrageously expensive that I would feel guilty about smashing on an entire package.  So….I created my own!  It’s kind of a labor of love, but trust me, it’s worth it!!!

beef jerky

This pic makes it look totally gross.  I promise, it’s delicious!!

Paleo Beef Jerky

  • 1 pound sirloin, or top round, or a filet….whatever cut of beef you get, you want it to be a leaner cut or trim most of the fat off (also, toss it in the freezer 30-40 minutes before you want to slice it up)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper OR red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce (recipe for a Paleo version below!)
  1. Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice your partially frozen beef.  You want to shoot for consistent, thin slices (think 1/8th of an inch).  You can choose to go with or against the grain, it doesn’t really matter but it will affect how the jerky chews when it is done.  Test out both and see which you prefer!
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a gallon sized ziploc bag.
  3. Add the sliced beef to the bag.
  4. Remove as much of the air as possible, zip the bag, and toss the meat around to coat it fully.
  5. Marinate in the fridge overnight.  I put mine in a glass baking dish, JUST in case the bag leaked.  You want to make sure you flip the bag over a couple of times during the marinating process.  I would marinate NO LESS than about 8 hours.  So it does require some planning 🙂
  6. After marinating, place the beef on foil lined baking sheets.  You can place them pretty close together as they will shrink up as they cook.
  7. Place baking sheets in a preheated oven set to 175 degrees. Bake for 3 hours.
  8. Flip slices over and cook for another 1-2 hours, or until beef is almost completely dried out, but can bend without snapping into pieces.
  9. STUFF your FACE!!  Seriously, I had to ration this out into small portions.  I plowed through it REALLY quickly….and am already planning when I’m making my next batch!
  10. If you manage to have leftovers, store them in the fridge…..preferably near the back where they are out of your sight line so they are not eaten immediately.

Ok, so regular Worcestershire Sauce is chock FULL of garbage……so here is a tasty Paleo version!

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or GF soy sauce if you are cool with using soy….)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground/dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Put all ingredients into a small saucepan.  Slowly bring to a boil and the reduce heat.
  2. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Cool and store in the fridge!  Or once it’s cooled….use it to make delicious jerky! Boom.

Alright y’all.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Make a double batch of this stuff.  Trust me.  You WILL thank me later.  Enjoy snack time! Peace, Love, and Paleo.

-Meister

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