Jerky is delicious, nutritious, keeps well, and is good travel or snack food. We’re please to share these recipes with you all for flavorful turkey and goose jerky. Excerpted from Jerky: The Complete Guide to Making It by Mary T. Bell. Enjoy!
Lee Hofer stated with both humor and conviction, “As much as 3/4 of the Earth’s surface is water and only 1/4 is land. The good Lord’s intentions are clear—a man’s time should be divided accordingly, 3/4 for hunting and fishing and 1/4 for work.”
Lee has hunted all over the world, and the evidence of his hunting prowess hangs on the walls at Lee’s Meat & Sausage in Tea, South Dakota.
Lee’s three computerized, stainless steel 7-feet-high-and-4-feet-square smokehouses can smoke 1,000 pounds of meat at one time. He uses a blend of three different hardwoods, with hickory being dominant. Small wood pieces go in a stainless steel box on the side that automatically turns and drops the wood onto a hot plate, the smoke goes in the smokehouse, the dampers open, and for about 2-1/2 hours, the meat is flooded with smoke.
His final comment was, “My life’s goal was to combine my love of hunting and my work, and I did it!”
WILD TURKEY JERKY
“A wild 20-pound turkey has about 4 pounds of breast meat, and generally we get another pound off the legs. We slice strips 1/4 inch thick and as long as we can,” Lee said.
1 pound wild turkey breast strips
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
Mix all the ingredients, with the exception of the strips, in a bowl. Add the turkey strips, mix thoroughly, and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. Spread strips in a single layer, and place in a drying environment.
JERKING THE BLUE GOOSE
Bob Follmer loved to hunt, cook, and eat. When his doctor told him he had congestive heart failure and had to limit his salt intake, he was encouraged to stop eating jerky. Bob took control, bought a dehydrator, and started making his own jerky. “The salt-laden store stuff was history,” Bob recalled. “They add salt because it’s a cheap way to add flavor, and drinking establishments sell salty stuff to encourage their customers to drink.”
After making his first batch of goose jerky, Bob took 4 pounds along on a trip to Grandville, North Dakota, with his hunting buddies. “During the 8-hour drive, they devoured it all,” he said. “Since that trip, they expect jerky every time we get together,” he chuckled. “We hunt blue and snow geese. They’re greasier birds than honkers, and I’ve tried every which way to eat them, and then, out of necessity, I started making jerky.”
Bob handed me a sample of his jerky, and it was sweet and tart.
“My goose marinade can work with any meat,” he said. “I’ve used it for venison, turkey, beef, and anything I can get my hands on. It has more flavor than any other recipe I’ve tried.” Bob methodically kept a journal of his jerky-making experiments since 1979.
After skinning the bird, he uses the breast and thigh for jerky, leaving the bony legs behind. “You’ve got to get rid of all the fat, or your jerky will taste rancid,” he cautioned. He cuts the raw, purplish goose meat in strips 1/4 inch thick and 1 inch wide.
Although Bob has made goose jerky in his electric smoker and in the oven, he prefers using a dehydrator because it makes sampling easier. “The smell of goose jerky drying drives me nuts,” he confessed. “I can’t wait until it’s ready and keep opening up the lid to test it.”
Bob said, “When I make this jerky for my wife, she doesn’t like it hot, so I eliminate the Tabasco sauce and pepper. However, my buddies like it hot, so I kick it up a notch by adding 3 tablespoons of habanero pepper powder.”
When I asked about how he stored his jerky, he grinned. “My jerky never makes it that far. If my family doesn’t get it, the neighbors do.”
4 pounds goose strips
1 can beer
½ cup cheap red cooking wine
½ cup light soy sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup Kikkoman teriyaki sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Accent seasoning
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
Put all the marinade ingredients in a large plastic bowl, blend, then add the strips. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator. Turn the meat every 12 hours, so everything is soaked well. Marinate 48 to 96 hours. Bob dried the strips in a dehydrator at 155 degrees. “After about 10 hours, my jerky is soft, easy to chew, and good-tasting, which is how I like it,” he said. “I leave some in 14 hours for my sons because they like it dried rock hard.”
Thanks to Skyhorse Publishers for sharing this book excerpt with us. Read more from Mary T. Bell’s Jerky: The Complete Guide to Making It.