For all the snack lovers in the world…

October this year seems to imply Winter season. I realize it is way too early to determine Winter has come. Canadian weather is not stable as always. She is a bitch!!! One day it’s so cold you can freeze to death, but right on the next day, it’s as hot as hell can be. However, this weather reminds me of October 2008 when I first set my foot in Canada. It was the worst snow storm season reported in 40 years. This year might just repeat it, maybe even worse 🙁

Anyways, since it’s so cold so early, I have an apetite for something hot to keep myself warm and happy. I went to the grocery thinking to buy ingredients for a hot soup, but found out that beef flank was on sale, and they looked fresh. Beef flank is the best beef to make Vietnamese beef jerky, which is spicy and flavorful. Close enough for something hot !!!

Vietnamese beef jerky is best made from beef flank because when you enjoy it, you tear it into small strips, just like the cheese sticks, and beef flank is the grainiest part of beef. Perfect! I honestly have no idea how they marinate the beef for beef jerky, but I saw my roommate make it once following an online recipe. I figured I’d try something new and create my own recipe for beef jerky. I had a hard time recalling this recipe as I put a load of spices and seasonings in the marinate, and I never wrote it down while I was making it. This recipe is a rough recipe that I think close enough to recreate the beef jerky I made. The scale of each spice and seasoning is not exact, so I suggest you mix them all and taste them before marinating the beef. This would ensure you get the taste you want.

Servings: No idea. I could finish it on my own in a day…
Preparation and marinating time: 1 hour
Drying time: 2 hours or more

– 3 to 4 lbs beef flank
– 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
– 3 thumb size gingers, crushed
– 1 stalk of lemongrass, cut into 2-inch pieces and crushed
– 3 tbsp chili powder
– 3 tbsp chili sauce (I made my own)
– 3 tbsp chili flakes
– 1 tbsp five-spice powder
– 1 tbsp cury powder
– 3 tbsp fish sauce
– 3 tbsp honey
– 3 tbsp vegetable oil

– To clean the beef, rub with salt and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry with towel paper. Butterfly the beef into flat, wide pieces and 1 cm thick. Remember to clise them ALONG THE GRAIN. This ensures the jerky is not broken into chunks after being dried.
– Mix all of the rest of the engredients together and adjust to taste. Marinate the beef for at least 1 hour to make sure it’s fully absorbed.
– Preheat oven at 170 F – 75 C. Arrange the beef flat on the tray, laid with tin foil or parchment paper. Bake for 2 hours or until the beef dries up. Check and turn the pieces every 30 minutes to ensure both sides dry nicely.
– When the beef is all dried up, store in an air-tight jar and leave in cool place.

 – Make sure you taste the marinate before actually marinating the beef. You might just want to make it a little more spicy, or a little saltier. I personally prefer my beef jerky with little salt to I can eat it just like that.
– Lay the beef in only one layer to ensure the beef dries fast. Don’t crowd the pieces so they don’t sweat. Meat juice does come out as the temperature is very low, but it will evaporate and be partially absorbed back to the pieces.
– You can still adjust the taste after marinating the beef. Simply fry a small piece on a pan and have a taste. Add the seasoning and fry another small piece again until you`re satisfy. Easy!Hope it’s not  all gone before you actually dry it.
– I left my beef a little sticky, but it means you cannot keep it for long. The drier the beef, the longer you can keep it.

BON APPÉTIT !!!!!!!!!!

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