This jerky is hauntingly delicious as a snack with drinks or as part of a meal. The main ingredient for the recipe is time. The meat—beef or pork—is rubbed with a spice blend, then dried. Traditionally that would mean air-drying for 2 or 3 days, but I take a shortcut and dry it in a low oven for several hours. Just before serving, the meat is sliced and lightly shallow-fried.
Use a spice or coffee grinder to grind the coriander seeds to a powder. Place in a mortar or a food processor with the remaining ingredients for the spice paste and pound or process to a paste.
Cut the meat across the grain into strips just under
Hang the meat in a spot out of direct sunlight for 1½ to 2 days; it may take 2½ days if the air is very humid. It’s easiest to do this by threading one end of each piece onto a long metal skewer, leaving ½ inch between the pieces so the air can circulate easily; you will need about six skewers. Then suspend the skewers so the strips of meat hang down freely and can air-dry. When ready, the meat will be lighter in weight but not completely dry.
Lay the meat strips on a rack set over a roasting pan so the air can circulate. Place in the oven set to its lowest temperature (usually 150°F). Turn the meat after 1½ to 2 hours, and remove when it is lighter in weight but not completely dried out, about another hour.
Once dried, the meat can be refrigerated for as long as 3 days.
Cut the meat strips crosswise into bite-sized pieces. Place a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add about ½ inch of peanut oil, and when it is hot, slide in a handful of the meat, without crowding; you want each piece in contact with the hot oil. Cook, turning frequently, until tender, 3 or 4 minutes. Cook the remaining meat the same way.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
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