Beef Jerky is the perfect low carb / carnivore snack. All the nutrients of beef, it’s tasty and convenient.
But…. it can be really expensive. Well over $100/kg and rightly so because a lot of time and energy can go into making great beef jerky.
So I wondered, what if I took the cheapest cut of beef I could buy and had a go at making it myself, would it be inedible? The cheapest I could find was corned silverside. At Au$10/kg or $USD 2.49/lb it’s just about the cheapest we can get unless you stray into the pet food aisle.
Silverside is a cut of beef from the hindquarter of cattle, just above the leg cut. Called “silverside” in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, it gets the name because of the “silverwall” on the side of the cut, a long fibrous “skin” of connective tissue which has to be removed as it is too tough to eat. In most parts of the U.S., this cut is known as outside or bottom round, as traditionally, a hindquarter is laid on the cutting table with the outside down or to the bottom. In the U.S. it is also known as a rump roast, which means something different in countries using the British beef cut scheme.
Corned refers to the salting or brining process, which means out of the packet it is super salty and is usually boiled for several hours to make it tender.
Is the salt a problem?
The very first batch I made was extremely salty. I just took it out the wrapper, rinsed it off and whacked it in the dehydrator – It was awful! Well borderline inedible, but I didn’t give up.
I think I’ve perfected the process and it’s incredibly simple with just 2 ingredients.
A chunk of Silverside (1.6kg will yield around 530g of jerky) (3.5lbs –> 1.2lbs)
A bottle of your favourite hot sauce. My go to is Nando’s Extra Bloody Hot Peri-Peri (or just the regular hot will do) You can of course use any type of rub of flavouring – just watch out for the sugar.
A dehydrator (it can be done in a super low oven with the door slightly ajar – so i’m told)
The Easy Beef Jerky Recipe
Step 1: Soak the Corned Silverside.
This is the hack that turns a potentially inedible lump of salt into delicious treat. Leave it for a few hours and change out the water every 15 minutes or so to draw the salt out of the beef.
Step 2: Slice the beef against the grain into thin long strips. When the grain runs across the cut strip it will be easier to tear off when you are eating it.
Step 3: Mix in your hot sauce (or whatever you want for flavouring) – I used around half this bottle.
Mix it in well. I like to get my hands in there and get it all really well coated. I haven’t seen much difference leaving the beef to marinade for a few hours vs just putting it straight in the dehydrator. You could try both and see what you think.
Step 4: Place the strips well separated into a dehydrator.
All machines will be different and take varying amounts of time to dry out the jerky. My machine is set at 68c (150f) and takes anywhere from 5 – 7 hours to get the jerky strips how I like them which is slightly bendy but without too much squish.
I like to turn them every hour or so, but it’s not entirely necessary.
After 5 or 6 hours voila!
Bear in mind that the strips will vary in depth, so will take different times to reach the perfect finish (which is subjective) – so start checking them around the 5 hour mark and when they are ready pull out the ones that are done.
In the above images, I took a 1.66kg piece of corned silverside and ended up with 533g of jerky.
Which is by my reckoning around 1/4 of the price of anything I can buy in the shops.
So there you have it, the easiest beef jerky recipe you’ll ever come across.
Have a crack, it’s super simple and delivers a pretty decent result.
Thanks for reading,