- 1–2 pounds flank or round steak, or other lean cuts of meat
- 1–2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2⁄3 cup–1½ cups soy sauce
- 1–2 teaspoons crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper
Cut off any visible fat from lean beef or venison. Slice into very thin strips against the grain. The beef cuts best when slightly frozen. Marinate a few hours in a mixture of pepper, soy sauce and a little crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper.
Spread the strips on racks in an oven, a smoker or any other place where there is a sustained low heat. The jerky needs to dry for about 12 hours. Place a drip pan or aluminum foil beneath to catch the drips. If using an oven, leave overnight on lowest temperature until dry, 150°—170°.
At the ranch, in warmer weather we hung the strips in the sun on the clothesline. In winter, we put them in shallow pans beneath the big oil heater which heated the house. When the meat is dry and cool, store it in plastic bags.
About this recipe
Recipe reprinted with permission from Tastes & Treasures II: A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona (Historical League, Inc., 2018).