How to Make a "Hot" Wild Game Jerky

sam adams jerky

As hunting season fast approaches (seriously, it's almost July already), it's time to start cleaning out the rest of the venison in the freezer. I use the dog days of summer to make meaty snacks for hunting season, including big batches of jerky. This recipe by Duke's Small Batch Smoked Meats in collaboration with Samuel Adams brewery combines the latter's signature beer along with a unique ingredient—hot giardiniera. The spicy pickled vegetables add an interesting tang and just enough heat to have you reaching for a beer.

The recipe calls for beef, but you can certainly substitute any type of venison still lingering in the freezer. I should think it would also work for skinned goose breasts should you so desire.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager Fresh Giardiniera Beef Jerky

Ingredients

For the Marinade:
2 bottles Samuel Adams Boston Lager
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. cane sugar
½ Tbsp. sea salt
½ tsp. mustard powder
1 Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2.5 oz. hot giardiniera relish

For the Jerky:
3 lbs. beef eye-of-rounds, thinly sliced

For the Rub:
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. fresh garlic, diced
4 oz. hot giardiniera relish
½ tsp. cracked black pepper

Directions
Make the marinade: In a saucepan over medium heat, reduce 2 bottles of Samuel Adams Boston Lager by half, to about 12 oz. Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients into the reduced beer, and cool the mixture before using. Once the marinade is cooled, pour it over the sliced meat in a large mixing bowl, cover, and allow the meat to marinate 12 to 24 hours in a refrigerator.

Remove the thinly sliced eye-of-rounds from the marinade and pat dry on both sides. Mix all of the rub ingredients well, ensuring thorough distribution. In a large mixing bowl or tumbler, add the sliced meat and rub mixture, and mix until the meat is coated evenly.

Allow the meat to come to room temperature, and set the oven to 175 degrees (it is extremely important to ensure that the oven temperature remains steady). Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire/stainless cooling rack on the baking sheet, on top of the foil. Arrange the jerky strips along the cooling racks, covering as much space as possible. The cooling racks allow air to flow under the jerky strips, ensuring even drying.

If using a dehydrator instead of an oven, lay the slices of meat in a single layer along screens and dry for at least 4 hours at the dehydrator’s highest setting, at least 165 to 170 degrees.

Depending on the thickness of the slices, the drying can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours in the oven. (A properly maintained 175-degree oven will dry a slim strip in approximately 3 1/2 hours.) The jerky is ready to be removed from the oven when it is darker in color and dry enough to snap when bent. Remove the jerky from the oven once it is done. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 to 3 months.