If you’re reading this, we assume you’re a total jerk. In other words, a fan of high-quality beef jerky. You know, not what you might typically pick up at the gas station, but the hand-crafted kind. Made with happy beef from happy cows living on happy farms. It turns out our meaty snacking MVP is also an excellent and versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Who knew? We did. Jerky adds concentrated meatiness, toothsome texture to otherwise common recipes, and, well, fun…because it’s hard to take cooking with beef jerky too seriously.
To get you started, here are five ways to put that bag of deliciousness to use. Don’t be chicken!
Crumble on salad.
Think elevated bacon bits. We love Grass-Fed Biltong, made of pure dried grass-fed steak in Brooklyn, slivered on a salad with summer tomatoes and peppery arugula. Seasoned with vinegar, salt, pepper and coriander, it will add welcome depth to your fresh veggies of choice.
Mix into cornbread.
Cornbread studded with bites of beef jerky is your new go-to side for roast chicken or pork. Honey Bourbon Brisket Beef Jerky is perfect for the job – tender with just the right amount of sweet. Mix some jalapeño slivers into your batter for extra kick.
Simmer in tomato sauce.
A little jerky in your pasta sauce adds complexity and richness. Start with a simple-as-it-gets recipe of olive oil, tomatoes (canned is a-ok), garlic, and few grinds of fresh black pepper. Add diced Real Steak Jerky, made with hand-cut flank steak, and let the concoction gently bubble and perfume your whole house. Spoon over pasta or serve with meatballs and polenta.
Whip up a batch of turkey jerky beans.
A big, cozy bowl of beans is a thrifty, healthy meal made even more satisfying with Cracked Pepper Turkey Jerky. Simmer onions, green peppers, and garlic in olive oil. Add a can of your favorite beans (we vote Pinto here!), some chicken or veggie stock, a few shakes of cumin and minced turkey jerky. Serve with your jerky cornbread for sopping up the jerky-infused goodness.
Toss into roasted Brussel sprouts.
Move over bacon. Add sliced sprouts to baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake in a 450-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Halfway through baking, give the sprouts a quick toss and add some crumbled Filet Mignon Beef Jerky. The Brussel sprouts will turn golden brown and the jerky will crisp up.
And a bonus spot for jerky: garnishing your Bloody Mary glass. Move over, celery. Jerks for the win.
When it comes down to it, jerky is just meat and spices, and the possibilities are endless. So have some fun jerking around and share your new favorite ways to use beef jerky with us on Instagram @mouthfoods. Until we meat again!