I love spicy, especially the spices and flavors of Tex Mex and a favorite part of visiting Texas.
Living in the bordering state of Oklahoma, I’ve been to each region of this culturally rich state. I’ve also walked, driven, and flown across the Texas border into Mexico. Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to sample the many blended flavors of this wonderful food in both Texas and Mexico.
One of the staple ingredients of Tex Mex food is peppers. In my Tex Mex Jerky, I use two pepper types, Anaheim, and serrano.
The Serrano pepper comes across the border from Mexico. However, even though the Anaheim isn’t a Mexico native, it is used in many Mexican dishes. The Anaheim calls New Mexico its native home and California is a major producer of these green gems.
Other native Mexican peppers include the poblano, jalapeno, and chilies. While I use these native peppers in various dishes, I prefer the mild yet distinctive Anaheim flavor for my jerky.
The serrano pepper is slightly hotter than the jalapeno pepper. But the serrano isn’t just about heat; it also has a fantastic flavor. When added to the Anaheim’s mildness, the serrano spices things up yet delivers a sweet pepper taste in my jerky.
To help cut the heat, scrape out the seeds and inside fibers of the serrano peppers before using.
Tex Mex Jerky Marinade
- 5 pounds jerky sliced beef
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup lime juice divided
- 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 6 cilantro leaves
- 3 Anaheim peppers, medium sized deseeded and fibers removed
- 2 seranno peppers deseeded and fibers removed
After deseeding and removing fibers, roughly chop Anaheim and serrano peppers and place in blender or food processor.
Add half of the lime juice to the peppers blend until and well pureed. Place pepper puree in a large glass or plastic bowl, large enough to hold meat and remaining ingredients.
To pepper puree, add remaining ingredients and stir until meat is well coated. At this point either leave meat in the bowl and cover or split between two, one-gallon size storage bags.
Place in refrigerator and let marinate for 8-24 hours.
Remove meat from mixture and pat dry with a paper towel. Place on dehydrator trays and cook at 160° Fahrenheit for 5-10 hours or until dried.
If your meat slices are thicker than 1/8-inch, check for doneness at 5 hours and cook longer if necessary.