Hey y’all! This week is our first ever Cookin' with Jerky post! We’re bringing you super delicious recipes that feature beef jerky as an ingredient. Some of you are probably thinking: “What?! Cooking with beef jerky?” You read right, and its delicious!
Here’s a quick history lesson as background. One of the initial uses of jerky was for cooking. Since jerky is dried, the flavors concentrate really nicely. What people used to do was throw the jerky into boiling water and bam!: instant soup. Kind of like the ramen soup of the day, minus the noodles. It’s with that inspiration that we set out to find new and delicious ways of cooking with jerky, and we’re inviting you to come along! Trust us, gonna love this.
For our first recipe, we’re making chili with jerky! This is a great twist on an classic, featuring one bag of our Spicy G Dub jerky. With just a few unlikely ingredients, you can take your chili to the next level, and make something that we’d bet no one else you know has even thought of.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
2 Lbs chili meat (or ground beef)
1 Bag Spicey G Dub! jerky
1 Can kidney beans
2 Cans pinto beans
1 Can diced tomatoes
1 Can tomato paste
1 Large onion
1 Green or yellow bell pepper
1 Red bell pepper
1 Jalapeño pepper
2 Cups beef stock
1 Tablespoon oregano
2 Tablespoons homemade chili powder (see recipe below)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 Teaspoons smoked sea salt
1 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Teaspoons ground cumin
***Homemade Chili powder: Let’s take a quick side step and talk about chili powder. Everyone uses chili powder because it’s easy to find, and quick to use. However, if you take a few minutes to make your own, it’s actually way better (and easier!) than you can imagine. The reason I started making my own is because most chili powders have the same ingredients, and they aren’t always something you want in a dish. For example, most chili powders will have some combination of the following: “chili pepper” (they usually don’t even say what kind of pepper, go figure), paprika, cumin, salt, garlic, and silicon dioxide (or other ingredient to help it stay free flowing). How can you have a chili powder and not know what chilis are in it?! Also, silicon dioxide, WTF. Not only that, when you compare those ingredients to the ingredients that we already call for, many are the same - except you don’t control the proportions. Do you really want someone else calling the shots for you? I know I don’t. So, that being said, let’s make our own. This recipe is really subjective based on how hot you like it, so we are just giving you a framework to work with.
First, the base should be ancho chili powder. This chili adds a great smokey, deep flavor, yet it’s not very spicy so it’s a good base. Next, you should use chipotle powder. This one gets hotter though, so keep that in mind. The flavor is awesome - smokey with nice heat. After that, you can pick how hot you want it by using a combination of cayenne and habanero powders. The mix that we use is this:
3 tablespoons ancho
1 Tablespoon chipotle
1 dash of cayenne
1 dash of habanero
Scale up the recipe to however much you need. This mix will give you a great chili powder, with a nice heat that isn’t overpowering. If you like less heat, take out the cayenne and habanero, and reduce the chipotle (don’t take it out entirely though, the flavor is great!). If you want more heat, add more chipotle, cayenne, and habanero. Simple as that! Mix it up in a few minutes and have it available whenever you need it.
Now, back to business - JERKY CHILI!
First, take the onion and peppers and chop them up. Using a nice size pot, sauté until tender. Next, add the chili meat. Here in Texas, you can find a type of ground beef that we call chili meat. It’s basically a coarsely ground beef that is great for chili because the pieces are almost like little bites of steak when you eat it. If you can’t find it, normal ground beef will do. Brown the meat, then drain off any grease.
Enter the JERKY: Take the bag of Spicy G Dub and chop it into small, bite-size pieces. Add to the pot. Then add the beef stock. Turn the heat to high, stirring occasionally. This starts rehydrating the jerky, and infuses that delicious Spicy G Dub flavor into the chili. Now, add all the other ingredients. You’ll notice that we use smoked sea salt. Try to find this stuff, and use it often. We actually use it in our Type-X flavor. It adds that “slow-cooked all day” flavor to a dish, especially a dish like this chili. Once the pot begins to boil, turn down the heat to medium and let simmer for about 20 mins - don’t cover the pot.
After you finish, serve in a bowl and top with whatever you like - grated cheese, Fritos, sour cream, more jerky. You’re done! When you dig in, what you’ll notice first is… it’s delicious (of course). Seriously though, the jerky adds great flavor to this chili. As the jerky rehydrates with the stock, it softens the texture. As you eat it, the jerky resembles almost a bacon-like texture, and who doesn’t like bacon, right? The chili as a whole picks up the great spicy steak flavor of the Spicy G Dub. It’s a delicate addition though - it’s not like this becomes a Spicy G Dub flavored chili. In the mix of the other ingredients, you never get an isolated Spicy G Dub flavor, unless you get it in a bite. Working together with the rest of the spices, the jerky really complements the chili. It’s a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
If you’ve never tried chili with jerky - and I’m going to bet that you haven’t - you have to try this recipe.