Father's day is just around the corner and I've been scrambling to find something for my dad.  It's hard when you get to be this age.  A gold pasta picture frame is no longer acceptable, yet I don't make enough money to gift my parents with cool vacations or grandbabies.  I'm stuck in the middle and need to make gifts, but I'm almost always at a loss for ideas.  Homemade gifts usually ride a very fine line between really crappy and wonderfully thoughtful.  Unfortunately, most DIY father's day gift ideas out there are for little kids to make and they look like it.  Apparently I'm not "adulting" very well and, just like when I shop for shoes, I'm relegated to the kids section on this one.  Maybe someday...

Anyways, I scoured pinterest and googled my little heart out for "cool Father's day gifts" and "Father's Day gifts he'll actually like" to no avail.  I've already exhausted my Manly Presents blog post by giving all of those things at Christmas.  Jeez, I have no self control when it comes to gifting.  So, I resorted to food.  I thought beef jerky was a pretty safe one, too, as I don't know a man alive who doesn't love it.  I present to you, easy beef jerky:

1 lb. frozen beef roast or venison
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. siracha or 1/2 tsp. cayenne
1T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Allow roast to thaw in fridge overnight.  You want it to still be very stiff with ice crystals in it, but not rock hard.  With a very sharp knife, slice 1/8- 1/4" pieces off of the roast against the grain.

In a bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients and toss the meat slices in.  Allow to marinate in the fridge for 2 to 24 hours.

Spread out on dehydrator racks and dry on meats setting for 12 hours or until done.  If you don't have a dehydrator, set your oven to it's lowest setting (usually 120-140'F).  Spread pieces on cooling racks with cookie sheets or aluminum foil underneath of them and prop the oven door open very slightly with a wooden spoon handle or a wood shim.  They should dry in about 6 hours, depending on their thickness.

- Thicker cuts= chewier jerky.
- Always trim fat pieces off.  Not only are they unpleasant to bite into, they increase the likelihood that your jerky will go bad.
- You can experiment with different flavorings- try teriyaki, pineapple, jalapeno, etc.

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