Vietnamese Beef Jerky
- 2 pounds lean bottom round, rump roast, or sirloin
- 2 large cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 1 stalk fresh lemon grass, trimmed, white parts thinly sliced
- One 1-1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
- 1/2 cup soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons hot red chile flakes, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pink curing salt (optional)
Remove any visible fat from the meat and slice into thin strips against the grain with a sharp chef’s knife. (This is easier if the meat is partially frozen.) Transfer to a large sturdy resealable plastic bag.
Make the marinade: In a blender jar or food processor bowl, combine the garlic, lemon grass, ginger, soy sauce, water, sugar, fish sauce, chile flakes, and pink curing salt, if using. Pulse until relatively smooth. Pour over the meat and massage the bag so the meat strips are evenly coated with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Turn the bag once or twice to redistribute the juices.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).
Drain the meat (discard the marinade) and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the meat strips directly on the grill grate perpendicular to the bars in a single layer. If you like your jerky spicy, feel free to lightly sprinkle additional hot red chile flakes on the meat. Smoke the jerky, turning once, until the jerky is dry, but still pliant, 4 to 6 hours. Let cool completely, then transfer to a clean resealable plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator for the longest shelf life. The jerky can also be frozen.