I married a hunter—this isn’t too far-fetched in Texas. Even in New Mexico, I grew up in a family of hunters. For us, hunting wasn’t a sport but a necessity. Every part of the animal was used, and we feasted on its meat the entire year. We also raised our animals for food.
While my dad slowly gained seniority on the railroad, money was scarce, and we learned to live off our land and our beloved animals. We were resourceful. We were self-sufficient. We respected animals, life, and everything we had. In New Mexico, this was a common way of life. In fact, many of my fellow New Mexicans live like this to this day.
Now, when Dan returns from a hunting trip, we come up with fun recipes and creative ways to make good use of the leftovers so nothing goes to waste. His favorite is my venison jerky recipe. It’s simple to make, and it’s the most tender and delicious jerky recipe you’ll ever encounter.
- 1 pound of boneless venison
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp. ketchup
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. onion salt
- 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- Rinse meat and slice into long, thin, jerky-size pieces.
- In a large container good for marinating, combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, ketchup, pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, and red pepper flakes.
- Knead meat into mixture and allow to marinate overnight.
- Once meat has finished marinating, preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
- Take out a cookie sheet and cut off pieces of parchment paper to perfectly fit the sheet.
- Space out each piece of venison on the parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet.
- Allow to cook for 6-8 hours until the meat has been dehydrated but is perfectly tender and ready to serve.
- If using a dehydrator, follow the same marinating instructions. After it’s marinated overnight, place meat in the dehydrator at highest temperature for 5 to 10 hours, or until done.