I found some beef at UGO today that I thought might be good for jerky, and I decided to have some fun with the marinade. I had some leftover cooking wine (the salted stuff you can buy in the supermarket) from something I had cooked the other day, and some A1 sauce. I combined them with a little bit of honey, some liquid smoke and some red pepper flake.
The marinade didn’t taste exactly as I had imagined it, but I figured it would turn out OK. It didn’t seem as salty as I had been expecting, and so later I added a little salt to the marinade. I let the beef sit for four hours, and then got ready to put it in the dehydrator just before I headed to play practice.
The meat didn’t look right either – its color wasn’t what I was expecting when I pulled it out of the marinade.
It turns out that Kroger uses the exact same shape and size plastic bottle for its red cooking wine and its red wine vinegar. I had partial bottles of both in the cupboard, and I had made my marinade with vinegar instead of the cooking wine. The color of the meat was turned a little gray because the vinegary solution had denatured it a little bit (the same thing that happens to fish when you make ceviche – the acid produces changes in the meat similar to those that would happen from heat).
Anyway, there was nothing unsafe about the jerky, and so I went ahead and put it in the dehydrator. It’s nearly done now, and I tried a piece or two to test just now. It’s not up to my usual standards, but it’s certainly edible. It’s got a little bit of an unexpected tangy flavor, not bad but just not what I wanted. This was not one of those culinary mistakes that turns out to be a good thing.