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S.O.S. - Smoked Dried Beef

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Pushed hard to earn some extra Spiffs at work and garnered enough to blow $8 + on an Eye of the Round ½ roast chunk to make into Dried Beef for S.O.S. (S**t on a Shingle). My Dad made a lot of it and as I remember correctly he used his standard ham pickle plus double the salt. I've recreated his ham pickle on here before to pickle pork loin for Canadian Bacon and for Smoked chicken and turkeys; the recipe is:

8 cups water (or 4 pints, or 2 quarts, or ½ gal, all the same)
½ cup table salt
½ cup brown sugar (Splenda® kind)
½ cup (Splenda® brand) Sucralose sugar (Walmart Altern® equiv)
1 tbsp. DQ Cure® (pink sugar nitrite from Butcher Packer)

BUT I substituted 1 cup table Salt for the standard ½ cup table salt for the Dried Beef:

and the eye round roast, already trimmed of almost all fat:

Once the brine is made up I took my injector needle (multi-hole tip) (Of course, trusty PJ the dog is ever-vigilant making sure I don't drop anything that she could immediately scarf up!)

sucked up a barrel-full of brine and injected it into one end:

Then injected the opposite end too to make sure it's pickling from the inside-out as well as the outside-in:

Then put it in the brine along with a small ziploc bag of ice cubes to keep it fully immersed

plus while doing that I cut my latest Corn King Ham product in half and tossed on the smoker for some re-smoke adding flavor to it for lunches next week (at Wal-Mart @ $6.95 for a 5lb. loaf)

(Gotta smoke something today!).

Put the beef in the fridge to let it pickle 21 days, will pull out about April 7th to double-smoke - will post the results in this thread then! Hope it turns out like Dad used to make! PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif 

post #2 of 35
Sounds interesting i'll be watching for part 2 in about 21 days.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Ham's done!

post #4 of 35
Nice Pops. Used to love that dried beef
post #5 of 35
Thanks for posting this. I will definitely be following along. biggrin.gif
post #6 of 35
Yeah, definitely keep us updated Pops. Had a lot of that as a kid. No offense, but the ham product looks like a giant grilled hot dog split in half.
post #7 of 35
Sounds good Pops, I will be interested in seeing the results.
But I got to ask......why are you curing it for three weeks? With the injection and wet brine it would be cured in a few days, right?
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yup, that's about it.. a ham-dog, lol! It's cheaper than lunchmeat, 95% lean, and fits the budget. Dress it up with a bit of smoke and it goes good between the sheets (of bread).
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
I'm using a very very mild brine solution of nitrite which takes a lot longer, it's only about 1% vs. recommended 10%. The longer the curing time with a low amount of nitrite breaks down the connective tissue more completely, allowing more porosity in the meat to allow better smoke penetration and makes the meat more tender (or is it 'tenderer'?). I'd asked my dad the same thing years back after learning commercial packers could cure a ham in 24 hours when we took 30 days in the brine. He demonstrated it to me graphically, injecting a ham with 12% nitrite solution and putting it in it to soak overnight, the next day pulling it and a 'normal' ham that had soaked 30 days in a 1% solution out and smoking and cooking both side-by-side. The 12% solution ham was leathery and had a chemical taste (much like most hams of today, lol!) vs. the 30 day cure which was much more tender and sweeter with more smoke penetration and flavor. He was pretty smart for an ol' dog!
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well, it's been about 3 weeks, time for the eye of the round to come out of the briney deep and bask in a smokey heat! This is it after brining, looks just like it should. Going to smoke it for about 4 hours, turn down the heat to low for 2 then back up for a second smoke for 2 - 4 depending on how dried it gets, at least that's the plan! As this is the first time for me on this I'll have to wing it! Dad did his 8 hours, then let rest overnight, then another 6 hours, but at 160° vs. my 220­°, so that's the reason for the shorter times; may be shorter even still, see how it cooks!

post #11 of 35
Oh boy... todays the day been waiting on this. Hope it turns out well I'm about ready to jump on this and give it a try. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #12 of 35
Looks good. In the first part of your post, you call the cure nitrate. Further on you switched to nitrite. Was that a typo? Just checking.
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
My bad.. it's DQ Curing Salt from Butcher Packer, and the main ingredient after salt is Sodium Nitrite 6.25%, then Propylene Glycol with FD&C RED #3 (to give it a pink color), then Sodium Carbonate (used to buffer mix).

Just took a tiny sample slice, still pink in the middle, it's @ 160° int., definitely salty taste but it should be (not overwhelmingly gotta-spit-it-out salty, more like salted popcorn salty), got a good smoke cover on it, going to turn it down and let dry for a couple hours, then add a final smoke to it.
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 


Now on the smoker since 6am, the salt and sugars are starting to come out of the meat as it starts drying, stopped the smoke about an hour ago and turned down to medium, about 190° grill temp. You should be able to see the salt and sugar forming on the outside on this picture:

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
Started the second smoke at 11:45 and smoked until 1:45 and pulled it off at 190° internal; didn't want to go much more than that or it wouldn't slice firmly, would tend to pull apart too much. Here it is off the grill:

Scraped off the salt/sugars and wiped off with a damp towel:

Sliced off a few thin slices:

and tested! Gave some to my wife; she agreed it was 'just like Dad's!' and already planning a 'chipped beef on toast' dinner tomorrow night after it sits in the fridge uncovered overnight to further dry out. It is salty and it is smokey and it is good old fashioned dried beef! A few days in the fridge and it will be dried out almost perfectly.

You can just see on a couple edges the green irridescent tinge to the slices; it's far more apparent on the slices themselves. That is a trademark of the dried beef; it will develop more as the moisture evaporates while cooling.
If you don't like salt, you can just use half the salt I used for a milder cure but it will not dry as much. But for a good old fashioned dried beef flavor, this did the trick! Try it, you'll like it!

Pops §§
post #16 of 35
Thank you for share this with us. It's a very interesting process. I'm glad it turned out so well.

We don't use dried beef for SOS, we use it in a dip for pumpernickle bread. icon_smile.gif
post #17 of 35
Looks great. points.gif for your patience. 21 days, that's like forever to have to wait for something. I'm glad it turned out like your dad's and you're happy with it.
post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Absolutely, that's a big use of it also! I have a killer dill dip we use it with too...

1 pt. sour cream
1 pt. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. dill seed
2 tbsp. minced onion
2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes

Mix and let set overnight.
Add chopped dried beef an hour before serving.

We usually hollow out a pumpernickel or pump/rye 2lb. loaf, cutting up what was taken out and filling the cavity with the dip. Once the cut up pieces are gone, break off the 'bowl' and eat it too!

This was cut down from a deli recipe we'd sell from the counter by the pound, it was about 200 lbs. a day during the holidays per store!

Pops §§
post #19 of 35
Nice, thanks for posting a play by play.
post #20 of 35
Good luck my friend, i hope it turns out the way you like it. Now S.O.S., that term bnrings back some memories!
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