I love jerky, I love it so much I’d marry it if I could. It’s such a lightweight easy, totally nom-able snack.
Now, since my Mother and I are both also totally into dried fruit.. we purchased a dehydrator. And gee golly, you obviously can do jerky on it too. Or in the oven… but hey, if you have it you might as well use it.
I buy a big London Broil and set it in the freezer for about three hours, til it’s hard but not frozen all the way through. It makes it much easier to handle and slice up. Then using this lovely new knife I bought, I cut it into strips. I try to make them as thin as I can but, well, I’m not a butcher. After, I typically divide the meat between two marinades. I do a spicy teriyaki and just a spice blend for the other. Let them sit in the fridge soaking for a few more hours before I lay them out on the trays. After about half a day or sometimes more [depends on the thickness] – it’s all ready to bag up and eat. It sure doesn’t last long in this house though, it’s typically all gone after three or four days. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to make over & over again.
So, I make dinner for someone on the daily. I tend to do a big grocery run on the weekend for all the fruits, veggies, baking supplies, etc. But every day I decide on a protein and go buy it fresh from the butcher. Today, the lamb shoulder chop was looking quite scrumptious so I picked one up. Not a ton of meat [as the bones in it give it extra weight and size] but a dang good looking piece. Lamb shoulder is fatty & a bit tougher then other parts but super tasty & versatile. So, I picked one up along with some fresh green beans, mushrooms [ick], grape tomatoes and fresh basil leaves [I’m THIS-CLOSE to starting a small herb garden…] Then I saw this adorable little bunch of Asparations. A trade-marked name of what it says is an asparagus / broccoli hybrid. But what we all know as broccolini is really a broccoli / Chinese broccoli [kale] hybrid. Not sure why they put asparagus, other then how it definitely has an asparagus-like stem and taste. But it’s… not. Oh broccolini, how you confuse me so. 😛 But the name Asparation is just too cute to pass up, so I bought a good sized stalk.
Anyways – I get home and set out on tuning my green beans, chopping up some veggies and heating up my steamer. I steamed up green beans, carrots, a mixture of bell peppers, the Asparations and some egg plant. Then I decided to attempt a stir-fry like dish and used the remaining green beans, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, capers, garlic, basil and crushed hot peppers with a ridiculously tiny amount of oil. For the lamb – someone prefers either an Italian marinade or my own spicy sauce mixture marinade. But, I felt like branching out today [and I was out of some of the main components for the other two]. So I saw my basalmic and immediately got to work. In the same skillet the stir-fry had been in, I added a bit of lemon juice and balsamic along with a sprig of fresh spearmint, garlic and more crushed red peppers. I cooked the lamb for about 20min til it hit temp and then pulled it to rest. The balsamic had reduced down into a sweet but tangy sauce and throw in the mint with the spices and it was the perfect mix of sweet & spicy without being over-bearing. The mint had a nice undertone too which lingered for a quick second. Looked pretty dang good once plated too.