Last week, the Times did some investigating into a new crop of fancy beef jerkies (one which came wrapped in gold foil). The lead said: “You almost have to feel sorry for beef jerky. In a world of ‘private reserve’ filet mignon and $120 Japanese wagyu steaks, beef jerky can help but look like a poor country relation.”
I respectfully disagree. I’ve never pitied jerky, and I’ve never wanted filet mignon. Good beef jerky is an honest, lovable snack. And to my delight, I discovered some being made locally just this weekend. The jerky-makers, a Red Hook couple, are not ready for the limelight yet, but jars of their spicy, leathery jerky are available at a few local watering holes. It’s made from bottom round beef, sliced with a deli slicer with the grain (for an addictive toughness), marinated in soy sauce, black pepper, chili flakes, and other undisclosed ingredients, and dried in a regular oven. This stuff is worth a little hunting on your part. Oh, and it goes really well with beer.