Bert Christensen's Weird & Different Recipes
Jerky cow
Authentic Texas Beef Jerky
Find yurself a cow. Kill it. Skin it out. Cut off a large hunk of dead cow meat (any part you think suitable) Cut the dead cow meat up into thin, flat strips, like you are trying to make a belt. Put salt, and cracked pepper on the dead cow meat. ( cow meat means red beef down hear, even if it come off a steer ). hang the meat on the top wahr of a bob-wahr fence in the Texas summer sun (available May thru Sept. in most counties.) Let it hang thar, dryin' in the breeze, for a day or two. When its dark, and tough as wang leather,and dry as west Texas, she's done. Warning: don't serve to youngins nor old-timers with store-bought teeth, without you soften it some first.

Caveats: use plenty salt, unless you fancy dried fly eggs for flavor. If the weather is rainy ( as happens ever decade or so in Texas summers), flap the dead cow meat down on your cast arn stove, or your bob-a-cue grill, and heat real slow. (jerked cow meat is dried, not cooked, so don't use much fahr)

This is how we been jerkin cow meat, buffalo, goat,sheep (but in secret) and any damn thang we kin kill or rustle for hundreds of years down here in Texas. I hear tell some new-fangled folk put smoke flavor on the meat, if'n they don't have no mesquite branches to smoke it over. If you own any land in Texas, you got plenty mesquite branches, since it'll grow in a gravel parkin lot, and dont need but a heavy dew onest or twiest a year for water, and is harder to root out than a displaced New Yorker.

They tell me y'all can jerk chicken meat too. It seems like too dang much trouble for a bird, to me. Mostly, we just roast em on a stick till the feathers are all burned off,then peel off the outsides and eat whats left. That's if yur bachin it. If you got a full-time woman, she can fry it up for you.

Now that Texas has become the third most populous state(and some say, the first most pompous), and had a big influx of former yankees (anyone whose been here 3 years or more, and now wears jeans with a sportcoat to work, and swears they'll never go back where they came from, no matter how hard the native Texas are tyin to get them to.) the old recipes for jerkin rattlesnake over mesquite branches have pretty much gone by the wayside. They do tell that the Vietnamese and Mexicans have kept the good old secrets for jerkin smoked dog alive, though, for which all us old-timers are eternally grateful. If a dog cain't earn his keep, he can always provide supper, I always say.

As we say down here, don't ask a man if'n he's a Texan. If he is, he'll tell ya, and if he ain't, ya don't want to embarass him.

Qwert Y. Uiop, Ancient Nerd

--- Stupidity is the one vice that never goes unpunished. --

Collected by Bert Christensen
Toronto, Ontario