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Sweet & Spicy Jerky

Rachel Graville created this licoricey, Asian-inflected jerky after drinking a Manhattan Special soda, a fizzy, coffee-flavored drink created in 1895.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes about 3/4 pound

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  • 1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups Coca-Cola
  • 2 whole star anise pods
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sambal oelek
  • 2 pounds trimmed beef top round or bottom round, about 1 1/2 inches thick


  1. Dry the Meat: In a saucepan, boil the coffee, Coca-Cola and star anise until reduced by half, 10 minutes; pour into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring often. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and sambal oelek and stir well.
  2. Dry the Meat: Cut the meat into 1/4-inch-thick slices, either with or against the grain.
  3. Dry the Meat: Add the beef to the marinade, a few slices at a time, stirring well to coat each slice with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. Dry the Meat: Preheat the oven to 200°. Set a large wire rack on each of 3 large rimmed baking sheets. Remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the beef on the racks, leaving 1/4 inch between slices. Bake for about 4 hours, until the jerky is firm and almost completely dry, but still chewy. Let cool completely on the racks before serving.

Make Ahead

The dried-beef jerky can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published June 2010

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