|Buffalo or beef meat|
|Soy sauce (optional)|
This was a method of preserving buffalo meat on the trail, a method taught us by the Indians. The meat was dried in the sun, and then could be kept for weeks in the wagon. It was later reconstituted in the form of a soup or stew, or it was eaten just as it was.
You can prepare your own jerky with very little trouble.
Trim the meat of all fat. Slice the buffalo (or beef) into strips 1 inch wide and ⅛ inch thick. "Jerk" or pull them a bit and place them on a baking rack. The meat can be dried in a home food drier or it can be placed in your oven overnight. Leave the oven door open and set the thermostat to as low a temperature as possible. You may need to experiment with your oven, as you do not want the heat to rise above 145ø to 150ø. My large gas oven is perfect for this, as the pilot light is on all the time and the resulting temperature is just right. If you have such an oven, you can do this process in 12 hours.
If you wish some additional flavor in your meat, you can soak the slices in a bit of soy sauce before drying them.
Jerky will keep for 3 months in an airtight container; for longer if frozen.
From <The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American>. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive, .
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