By Quentin H. / February 25th, 2022
Sometimes, everything that can go wrong does go wrong. In the past seven days, I’ve had issues with my work, with my teeth, with my curling skills (or lack thereof), finances, family, a new computer that I ordered, and more.
It is honestly…a lot to deal with. I’m taking everything day by day as I try to muddle through it all. I tell myself that there is indeed a great, big, beautiful tomorrow that is shining at the end of every day and also that tomorrow is just a dream away. I feel like I am different and that I am stronger than when everything just fell apart for me in October and that this too will pass.
But it doesn’t make it all any easier in the moment. I am finding a lot of solace in cooking, in planning out the following week’s recipe, and in trying to line up all of the necessary ingredients to cook it. In short, I’ve discovered that cooking makes me happy even in times when there isn’t a whole lot for me to be happy about.
If you’ve missed an installment of Cooking Eorzea, you can check out all the prior recipes here.
Recipe of the Week
This week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe, rated “Easy”, is from the Gyr Abania region. I have never actually made fresh jerky before. My experiences with jerky wholly consisted of the Slim Jim and other dried jerky packages that you buy as almost an afterthought from the gas station while filling up the tank midway through a long road trip.
Here is what the final dish is supposed to look like:
Featured Ingredient of the Week
This week’s Cooking Eorzea featured ingredient is the boneless leg of lamb! Growing up, I never actually had leg of lamb due to my father not liking that type of meat. As a result, it wasn’t until my late twenties that I had it for the first time- and even then, it was in a restaurant.
This week’s Cooking Eorzea dish is my first time ever buying and cooking with lamb and so I was surprised at how easy the meat was to work with and manipulate.
My Cooking Attempt
Here is a picture of all the ingredients used to make this week’s Jerked Jhammel recipe!
First, I added the soy sauce, the chili garlic sauce, the honey, and the brown sugar together into a resealable plastic bag.
I then added the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, black pepper, and red pepper flakes into the bag.
I took the pre-sliced lamb out of the package and tore each slice in half along the fat lines.
I then placed the torn lamb slices into the resealable bag with the other ingredients and sealed the bag up.
Once the bag was sealed, I shook it up vigorously to both mix all of the seasoning ingredients together and to make sure that the meat was as covered as possible so that the flavoring could marinate properly with the lamb.
Once the bag was properly mixed, I placed it into the refrigerator to marinate for 24 hours.
Twenty-four hours later, I preheated the oven and sprayed down a wire rack on top of a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray.
I pulled the marinated lamb out of the refrigerator, pulled out the individual slices, and patted them dry with paper towels. I was shocked at how wet the lamb felt when I removed it from the bag, and I could tell that the seasoning mixture had really become infused within the meat itself.
I then laid the lamb slices out on the wire rack. You can see that one side of one of the slices was unfortunately not covered in the liquid. I hoped that the lamb would still turn out okay after going into the oven. I ultimately could not use all of the lamb slices at once, due to the small size of my oven. I ended up leaving the rest of the lamb in the marinade and placed it back into the refrigerator to sit until I could also cook those pieces.
I then placed the whole baking tray into the oven and set the timer for two hours so that the meat could slowly cook and also dry out.
After two hours, I removed the pan from the oven, turned the meat slices over, and put it back into the oven for another two hours to finish cooking.
Once the second time chimed that the food was done, I pulled the pan out of the oven and plated the entire dish for this week’s Cooking Eorzea dish!
The final dish was amazing to eat! The jerky was incredibly well-seasoned and had more than a little kick of spice to it. It was absolutely the best jerky I have ever had in my life, and the fat and meat flavoring just made it better. I had to stop myself from eating every bit of it so that I could share some with my friends as well.
The remainder of the marinating lamb ended up being cooked an additional 24 hours later, and it was just as delicious as the first go around. I don’t think there was much of a benefit for letting the meat soak even longer in the marinade, but I was happy that the slices didn’t fall apart after waiting an extra day.
This was an incredibly easy dish to make, and a dish that I would absolutely make again before a road trip. I said this once before, and I will say it again: this was the best jerky that I have ever had in my life, and even now my mouth is watering over eating it.
I want to thank Victoria Rosenthal for writing The Ultimate FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook. I also want to thank the staff over at Insight Editions for giving me permission to use the photos from their book to show how these recipes are actually supposed to look. Furthermore, I owe Brandon Rose a special thanks for creating the logo for this series on short notice. You should check him and his works out over on Twitter.
Finally, I want to thank both Hiromichi Tanaka and Naoki Yoshida for producing FINAL FANTASY XIV Online in both iterations of the game. I am excited to see what lies in the future for Eorzea!
Next week’s dish is Meat Miq’abob! Just like with the boneless leg of lamb, next week’s dish will be the first time that I have ever worked with duck in my life and the second time that I have worked with a grill for kabobs!
Please take a look next at next Friday’s Cooking Eorzea column to see how it turns out!
What kind of seasoning do you like on your jerky? Have you ever made your own before?
Let us know in the comments below!
CookbookCookingCooking EorzeaEorzeaFF14FFXIVFinal Fantasy XIVFINAL FANTASY XIV OnlineHiromichi TanakaInsight EditionsMMORPGNaoki YoshidaPCPlayStation 4PlayStation 5Square EnixVictoria Rosenthal