In Texas, BBQ is not a just some cuisine it is a passion with a dedicated following. Any at home aspiring pit masters, such as my self, know you always have a good drink on hand while cooking. While we prefer whiskey to wet our whistle, we want to share the versatility of the water of life known as whiskey through a series called #whiskeychef.
In this blog post, we are going to cover a homemade Texas Whiskey Beef Jerky recipe. As the saying goes there is more than one way to skin a cat, and there is more than one way to make beef jerky, we are exploring one avenue.
For reference, I am using a Traeger Wood Pellet Grill. You can use any grill, but our recipe calls for smoking the beef.
What do you need:
- 4.5 oz Texas Whiskey
- I used Balcones Distilling Baby Blue
- 2 lbs. flank steak or skirt steak
- 4 oz can green chilies
- Minced garlic
- Ground black pepper
- Ground white pepper
I am just going to run through a quick step by step process.
Preparing the meat
Start by washing the meat off under cold water and patting dry with paper towels.
Cut away excess fat on the flank steak. If using skirt steak, you will need to do more trimming and remove as much of the silvery skin as you can.
Tenderize the beef. I use a fancy tenderizing gadget that punches a bunch of tiny holes into the meat, similar to using a fork.
Salt the steak on both sides. Use enough to get a nice coating on both sides and let sit for 40 minutes or so. Salting helps tenderize the meat and add a nice kick of flavor. Here is an excellent article on salting steaks.
Slice into 1/4″ or thinner slices, really a personal preference and toss into a gallon zip lock back.
Time to make the marinade
In a food processor or blender add 3 oz. Texas Whiskey, green chilies, garlic, black and white pepper. Blend until all the green chilies are liquid.
The amount of pepper you add depends on how spicy you want it. The black pepper gives you the initial peppered taste, while the white pepper provides the slow heat that keeps the flavor lingering. I like my beef jerky with lots of pepper, so I use a whole bunch.
When selecting a whiskey think how you want the beef jerky to taste and will this whiskey aid in that flavor profile? I chose the Baby Blue because of the sweetness of the blue corn.
Add to the bag of slice meat, seal it up, and massage in the marinade to get all of the slices well coated and add the last 1.5 oz of whiskey.
Throw in the fridge and leave it overnight.
Get that smoker smokin’.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
I used Traegers Texas Beef Blend of wood pellets, which is a blend of Oak, Mesquite, and Pecan. The wood you choose is dealers choice.
If you are not using a Traeger, set your grill up for indirect cooking with the goal to get and keep the temperature around 180 to 200 degrees.
Remove the beef from the marinade and discard the marinade. Arrange the meat in a single layer directly on the grill grate.
Smoke for 4 to 5 hours, or until the jerky is dry but still chewy and somewhat pliant when you bend a piece.
Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool for 1 hour. Seal leftover jerky in a Ziploc plastic bag and store in the fridge. Enjoy!
This recipe came out delicious but there are so many different ways to experiment with homemade beef jerky. We hope you will share your experiences with us.
For more on the Texas Whiskey Festival click HERE.