“Cooking” with the Tax Guy – Volume 2
By Mark Batchek
I cannot believe it has been over two years since I had the opportunity to provide some hopefully useful culinary tips and a great recipe for “fall off the bone” ribs. If you did not have a chance to read the 1st edition, here is the link: “Cooking” with the Tax Guy – Bernard Robinson & Company (brccpa.com). With the impact of Covid-19, and four tax acts being passed during this period of time, the world that we have come to know has put many challenges among us and has made life and work pretty interesting. For those of you who are not familiar with my story, here it is in brief. Before I entered my 20+ year career in the tax world, I spent a long time in kitchens across the Southeast, finishing up my culinary career in Atlanta, Georgia. Cooking is one of my passions, and I love entertaining with new and unique dishes, as well as serving up some old comfort food favorites.
I am the father of three teenaged children (ages 18, 15 and 15). All three of them have been on a beef jerky kick lately. It is a protein packed snack that they can eat on the fly in between classes or before hitting the football field, wrestling mat or tennis court. If anyone has purchased beef jerky in the grocery store, you will know it is not cheap. It can run up to $7 for 2.25 ounces. Packaged jerky is also loaded with preservatives. With that being said, I began to put on my culinary thinking cap and began playing with marinades. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and after a few trial runs, I found the perfect blend. You do not have to be picky about the meat you use. London broil, top round or bottom round all work well. The key is slicing as consistently as possible against the grain at about a ¼ inch or less. Your butcher at Harris Teeter or Publix will cut it for you as well if you ask. I have found that Food Lion carries a “stir fry cut” beef, and this also works perfectly. I made my first several batches in the oven because I did not own a dehydrator or smoker. Trust me, it comes out great! This recipe has been adapted to do on a pellet smoker too, and that has now become my kids’ preferred method of cooking.
¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
¾ cup soy sauce
½ cup teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, or to taste
1 tablespoon honey, or more to taste
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons liquid smoke (oven method only)
2 – 3 pounds beef top round, London broil or bottom round, thinly sliced
Mix all the wet and dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add sliced beef and marinade in a 1-gallon zip-lock bag, making sure meat is coated evenly. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Oven Method – Preheat convection oven to 175 degrees. Remove beef from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess marinade. Place wire baking racks inside of sheet pans and lay slices of beef flat on racks. Try not to allow meat to overlap. (Optional) – Sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper. Bake at 175 degrees for about 3.5 to 4 hours, flipping half-way through. The jerky is done when it bends in the middle, does not break, or when it reaches 160 degrees internally. This will yield over 1lb of jerky.
Pellet Grill Smoker Method – Preheat smoker to 165 degrees on high smoke. I use a nice cherry wood blend. Lay beef on wire racks as noted above (no sheet pan necessary for this method). Place racks directly on grill grates and smoke until meat reaches 160 degrees internally (approximately 3 to 4 hours). I flip halfway through as well.
Allow to cool and store. If you can seal in an air-tight container, it can last unrefrigerated for 1-2 weeks. I store in zip-lock bags and refrigerate, where it can last up to a month. Trust me, I can’t keep it for 2-3 days before it is devoured! I cooked 1 and ½ pounds for my son to take back to Chapel Hill with him this weekend. He was one happy young man. I hope everyone has the opportunity to try this great snack! I believe my time has come to get back to the everchanging tax code! Until we cook again! Bon appétit!