Pepperoni Ground Beef Jerky
Jerky is my opportunity to bust into my wife’s Blog. She may make the posts and watch the kids but I bring home the Bacon and make the Jerky. Pepperoni Beef Jerky is a favorite among the guys. This is one of the easiest ground beef recipes as the mixture is almost completely dry – just mix the meat and spices and you’re ready to go.
I brought some of my first attempt at this jerky to the guys at work, and it was a big hit. So big, that a coworker bought the ingredients so that I could make him a two pound batch. After a little tweaking, this became my final recipe.
This is my second Jerky post with many more to come. Look for future posts of my recipes for a Mild Jerky and a Jack Daniel’s Jerky. I am currently working out a Teriyaki Jerky which I need another crack at to get just right.
Check out my original recipe – Homemade Ground Beef Jerky
Ingredients for a two pound batch of jerky:
2 lbs Ground Beef
4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
3 tsp Fennel Seed
1 1/2 tsp Table Salt
1/2 tsp Curing Salt
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Liquid Smoke
Place the crushed red pepper and the fennel seed into a plastic sandwich bag and seal the bag. Lay the bag on a hard counter top or on the floor and roll a rolling pin over it to crush the seeds and flakes. (Don’t try this on a soft wood table or you are going to scratch it all up.)
Add the ground beef, the crushed ingredients from the sandwich bag, and all of the remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Combine them all together. Get in there with your hands and mix the meat and the spices very well. Mix them a few minutes past when you think you’re done mixing. The more mixing, the better, it will extrude easier.
Start piping some of the meat mixture into your extruder gun, you can see our gun in the picture above. Try not to allow any air bubbles to get in the works and mess up your jerky strips. Begin extruding approximately 6 inch strips onto the dehydrator grate trays. Allow a small amount of space in between the sticks. Do this until all the beef mixture is used up.
If the jerky strips are coming out in bits and spurts it means one of two things. Either your ground beef was too red and bloody (and extra moist), or that you did not reduce your sauce down far enough. The jerky should come out of the extruder gun easily. There’s not much you can do to fix the meat at this point so if it’s coming out poorly, just do the best you can with it.
We dehydrate for 7-8 hours, rotating the trays every 2 hours, and checking for done-ness along the way. The time will vary depending on the temperature of your dehydrator. Our JerkyExpress only has an on and off setting, no actual temperature setting, but it runs at around 150 degrees. The jerky will feel slightly stiff when done. We like to allow the jerky about a day in the fridge before eating so the texture can firm up properly. Then you can store in the fridge or in a closed container in the pantry for 3-4 weeks, although most likely you’ll have eaten it all long before then. If you plan to store the jerky in the fridge, allow some time for it to warm up before eating, as it tastes much better warm than it does cold.