Spice-Rubbed Jerky from Burma: Rivers of Flavor
Thu October 18, 2012 8:00 am

Two days ago, I featured a post on Naomi Duguid's new book "Burma: Rivers of Flavor." Before I talked to the Duguid, I asked her to send along a Texas-esque recipe from the book that I could feature on the blog. Duguid obliged and sent me the recipe for Spice-Rubbed Jerky. For more recipes like this one, check out "Burma: Rivers of Flavor."

Spice-Rubbed Jerky
Makes 1 ¾ pounds: serves 6 to 8

This jerky is hauntingly delicious as a snack with drinks or as part of a meal. The main ingredient for the recipe is time. The meat—beef or pork—is rubbed with a spice blend, then dried. Traditionally that would mean air-drying for 2 or 3 days, but I take a shortcut and dry it in a low oven for several hours. Just before serving, the meat is sliced and lightly shallow-fried.

spice paste
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons turmeric
3 tablespoons minced ginger
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons cayenne
1 tablespoon salt
2 pounds boneless beef steak, such as flank or skirt steak, or boneless pork shoulder, or 1 pound of each
Peanut oil for shallow-frying

Use a spice or coffee grinder to grind the coriander seeds to a powder. Place in a mortar or a food processor with the remaining ingredients for the spice paste and pound or process to a paste.

Cut the meat across the grain into strips just under 1 inch wide and about 4 inches long.

Place the meat in a bowl; if using both pork and beef, keep them in separate bowls. Add the spice paste, dividing it evenly if using both meats, and use your hands to rub it thoroughly into the meat.

To air-dry the meat: Hang the meat in a spot out of direct sunlight for 1.5 to 2 days; it may take 2.5 days if the air is very humid. It’s easiest to do this by threading one end of each piece onto a long metal skewer, leaving .5 inch between the pieces so the air can circulate easily; you will need about six skewers. Then suspend the skewers so the strips of meat hang down freely and can air-dry. When ready, the meat will be lighter in weight but not completely dry.

To dry the meat in the oven: Lay the meat strips on a rack set over a roasting pan so the air can circulate. Place in the oven set to its lowest temperature (usually 150°F). Turn the meat after 1.5 to 2 hours, and remove when it is lighter in weight but not completely dried out, about another hour.

Once dried, the meat can be refrigerated for as long as 3 days.

Excerpted from Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. 

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