Making jerky is the easy part; making the jerky cure is where your imagination and your taste buds come together to create a great jerky flavor. There is no exact science to making the perfect jerky cure. Use this recipe for a good, standard cure. From there, you can add flavors to make it more robust or spice it up with herbs and seasonings to create an international taste.
Place the honey in a small pan and set aside.
Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well for at least 30 seconds.
Remove 1/4 cup of the mixture and add it to the small pan with the honey. Heat on low, stirring continuously until honey is well blended. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add the honey mixture to the remaining ingredients and mix well for at least 30 seconds.
The cure mixture can be stored in a jar with a tight fitting lid for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Have your grocer's meat department cut 3 lbs of beef into 1/4-inch thick slices. Just about any roasting type cuts will work, such as rump roast for large slices, or London broil for smaller strips.
Place meat slices in a shallow glass pan. Pour cure mixture over the meat.
Using a fork, pierce and turn each slice several times, allowing the marinade to cover each slice of meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for between 5 and 24 hours.
Once meat is fully permeated (inside should be the same color as the outside if cut), drain excess liquid from the meat and use a paper towel to dab away any remaining liquid.
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large drip pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Place meat strips directly onto the oven rack above drip pan.
Allow meat to dry in the oven undisturbed for three hours. Turn each slice over. Allow meat to dry another four to eight hours until moisture has been completely removed and before meat is brittle or overdry.