Mark's Meat Co. is a new beef jerky brand having launched this year. It's based out of Carmichael, CA, and is the creation of two friends, Mark and Chris.
Mark had been making jerky for about six years, when he had Chris try some of it out. Chris was quite impressed, enough so that he encouraged Mark to launch a business. Now the two are business partners.
This "Lemongrass Teriyaki" beef jerky is described as using lemongrass to add a unique asian-style citrus flavor, along with ginger and garlic.
USDA Choice Top Round, Brown Sugar, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Lemongrass, Garlic, Ginger, Lime Juice.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a strong teriyaki flavor marked by a well-noticed ginger and sweetness.
The chewing flavor starts with a slightly increased teriyaki definition, and a tanginess inside the meat. There's a light steak-like flavor noticeable.
For being marketed as a "Lemongrass Teriyaki" beef jerky, I can taste the lemongrass in a light amount, and a little bit stronger here and there. There are pieces of chopped lemongrass visible on these pieces which gives off that stronger flavor when you bite into one.
But it definitely stands up well as a teriyaki beef jerky.
In fact, this has the authentic teriyaki flavor that I'm accustomed to. It has all the components that I think true teriyaki should have, a thick sweet flavor countered by a salty soy sauce, and contrasted by a combination of tangy and pungent notes. I tend to think the tanginess is coming more from the lime juice and vinegar, while the pungent is coming from the ginger.
And the ginger is very noticeable in this, unlike many other brands of teriyaki beef jerky where it's barely identified, if at all.
The natural meat flavor is there in a small quantity, tasting like a grilled steak. The stronger teriyaki flavor will no-doubt overshadow the meat flavor, and you may not even notice it at all, but will certainly affect the overall flavor.
The level of saltiness in this seems low-to-moderate.
And the garlic is difficult to notice on its own.
Overall, what you're going to notice the most in this jerky is a strong, authentic teriyaki flavor, where all four teriyaki characteristics (sweet, salty, tangy, and pungent) are easily noticed, and all marrying into each other.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in medium sized pieces.
This is a semi-moit jerky, with a sticky surface feel. The pieces have some flexibility, but will easily crack apart at the grains. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems very easy to do. Chewing ranges from easy to moderate.
The chewing texture starts out feeling a little stiff, with a bit of initial chewing resistance. With some effort, it seems to chew down to a soft mass in about 20 seconds. At that point, it chews and feels like a piece of steak, comparable to one cooked medium.
I can see some small streaks of fat on these slices, but otherwise no visible pieces of gristle or tendon. I didn't encounter any unchewable wads of tissue, and very little stringiness.
In terms of clean eating, it's pretty much. I did get some stickiness on my fingertips, but not really enough that I had to lick or wipe them off. I didn't find any meat fragments flying off as I tore pieces apart.
Mark's Meat Co. sells this Lemongrass Teriyaki beef jerky from its website at a price of $9.00 for a 4oz package. If you bought four packages, shipping costs calculate out to $4.00 for a total of $40.00. That works out to a price of $2.50 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.50 price per ounce, it seems to present a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its great overall flavor, good meat consistency and good chewing texture. Compared to the national brands found in grocery stores, this jerky is priced higher, but offers far better flavor and consistency.
As a Lemongrass Teriyaki variety, at the same $2.50 price per ounce, it's an excellent value. I'm finding a strong teriyaki flavor, where all four major teriyaki flavor components are easily noticeable, blending in well together, and providing a enjoyable Japanese-style taste.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Lemongrass Teriyaki beef jerky from Mark's Meat Co. features a very delicious teriyaki flavor that resembles true teriyaki found in finer Japanese restaurants. It has a strong sweetness, a noticeable but tempered saltiness, and strong tangy and pungent contrasts from vinegar, lime juice, and ginger.
The meat consistency in this is great, being overall easy to eat, yet still offering the chewiness you expect in jerky, and providing a steak-like chewing texture.
The lemongrass does add a unique flavor component, but it still seems to be overshadowed by the teriyaki. If anything it adds a light stroke of color to the overall flavor. The natural meat flavors are also light, but noticeable if you take the time to think about what you're tasting. I'd prefer more of the natural meat flavors, but I found the teriyaki with the lemongrass excellent enough that I wasn't missing the meat flavors at all.
For my recommended beer pairing, I'd go with a smoky porter, which should make the tangy flavors pop even more.
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- Note: Mark's Meat Co. is now out of business.