Harissa Beef Jerky Recipe

Harissa Beef Jerky Recipe (Using an Oven)

A flavor of worldwide fame is “harissa,” a spicy paste local to North African kitchens. Although the spice is potent, it’s also quite sweet, which is a perfect topping for beef jerky, where flavor mixtures are king.

This recipe is a little different than the others you’ll find on this website because there aren’t wet ingredients used in the marinade, only an assembly of spices meant to emulate the harissa goodness.

Ingredients for Harissa Beef Jerky

  • 2.5 lbs. of eye-of-round or bottom-round beef
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne

Instructions for Making Harissa Beef Jerky (Step-by-Step)

You’ll begin with two and a half pounds of eye-of-round or bottom-round beef, which you’ll slice into thin strips (between 1/4th and 1/8th of an inch).

Next, you’ll mix the seeds (see the 3 appearing above) into a pan that you’ll preheat over medium heat.

Toast the seeds for a few minutes, making sure they’re not cooked and definitely not burnt.

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Once the seeds are toasted, grind them down (using a blender, a food processor, or even a coffee grinder) and mix them in a bowl that contains:

  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne

Next, rub each beef strip through the spices, making sure to fully coat each of them with the flavorings.

Place each strip on wire racks atop baking sheets and then insert the racks into the fridge for 12 hours.

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After removing the meat from the refrigerator, let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to warm.

Set your oven to its lowest possible setting and place the racks inside.

Make sure to prop open the oven door using a wooden spoon so that moisture can leave the oven to assist in drying the meat properly.

It should take the jerky between three and four hours to fully dry out, but I recommend you check intermittently, so it comes out to your liking.

I’d also recommend you rotate the racks from top to bottom each hour. And after two hours, I’d flip the beef strips.

Once the jerky is ready, let it set out for a few hours at room temperature before consuming.

You can store the finished product in Ziploc bags, either left in a cool room or in the refrigerator for optimal flavor retention.


"You might be a redneck if you think that beef jerky and moon pies are two of the major food groups."
-- Jeff Foxworthy
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