RECIPE / Jeremy Pyrzynski
A rich barrel-aged stout like Bourbon County Stout really amps up the flavor of this pack-and-go snack. Consider the skirt steak like any other camping gear: the higher quality, the better. The thicker your strips, the longer they will take to dehydrate, so grab your sharpest knife and mind your cuts. Don’t make the jerky too far in advance of your hiking adventure. You can refrigerate it for about a month, but if you take it on the trails in your favorite hiking pack, it will last about a week, depending on the (Death Valley) heat.
16.9-ounce bottle of Bourbon County Stout
2 tablespoons ABC Sweet Soy Sauce (or 2 tablespoons soy sauce + 1 tablespoon brown sugar)
4 tablespoons tamari (or good-quality soy sauce)
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
16 ounces skirt steak (trimmed)
1. Crack open a 16.9-ounce bottle of Bourbon County Stout (Original) and pour about half of the beer into a large zip-top bag. Set the other half aside. (We’ll get to that in a minute.)
2. Add 2 tablespoons ABC Sweet Soy Sauce (or 2 tablespoons soy sauce + 1 tablespoon brown sugar) + 4 tablespoons tamari (or good-quality soy sauce) + 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar + 2 tablespoons ginger (minced) + 2 tablespoons brown sugar to the zip-top bag. Seal the bag and mix the ingredients together with your fingers until well-incorporated.
3. Slice 16 ounces skirt steak (trimmed) with your sharpest knife against the grain into thin strips and place into the stout marinade. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible before closing it (this will ensure that the liquid has direct contact with the steak). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours.
4. Remember the other half of that Bourbon County Stout from earlier? DRINK it! You’ve earned it. You’ve got time to kill, so you might want to grab a second one, now that I think of it.
5. After at least 1 hour (and half of that stout) have passed, take your bag out of the fridge. Grab a few paper towels and lay them flat on a nonporous surface (a countertop or a large ceramic dish). Fish out the steak strips (discard the marinade), and place each piece on the paper towels. Removing the excess marinade will help in the cleanup process without impacting the flavor.
6. Set your dehydrator to 160°F. Lay the steak strips out flat on the dehydrator trays. Make sure the pieces aren’t touching. There needs to be enough room around each piece for plenty of air flow.
7. Remember when I said you’ll want your sharpest knife and to mind your cuts? Here’s where it matters. Leave the jerky in the dehydrator for roughly 8 to 12 hours, depending on the thickness of your steak strips.
8. Now all you’ve got to do is kill more time. The obvious choice here is to enjoy another Bourbon County Stout. (Try a new variant: Reserve Rye? Wheatwine?)
9. Check the meat after roughly 8 hours. Has it turned into jerky? It should be fairly dried out and firm with a little give. Squeeze the thickest part of any piece; if any fat oozes out, let the meat dehydrate for another hour or longer.
10. Let the jerky cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container (or zip-top bag) in the fridge for up to 1 month or at a cool room temperature for up to 1 week. (Don’t forget to turn off the dehydrator.)
NOW, pack up your beer-i-yaki jerky and hit the trails!
Follow the same steps to make more of a steakhouse-style variation with four simple ingredients. The brightness and acidity of Bourbon County Stout Barleywine (grab an older vintage because the beer was not produced in 2019) paired with freshly cracked black peppercorns takes you into the flavor world of a wonderful steak sauce and peppercorn–crusted steak.
1 16.9-ounce bottle Bourbon County Stout Barleywine + 3 tablespoons freshly cracked black peppercorns (more if you love pepper) + 2 tablespoons kosher salt + 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar