Crazy Horse Beef Jerky is a brand made by Dave Wenrich in Hellam, PA. He started making this jerky about nine months ago, based on a old family recipe that he got from his father.
Wenrich says he comes from a long line of farmers in Berks County, PA where they smoked their own meat. So using the family recipe he tried out some jerky and thought it was pretty good. And after receiving positive feedback from friends, he's been selling it directly through an eBay store and in some local shops around town.
Dave smokes all of his jerky from USDA certified bottom round in a homemade smoke house using maple, oak, and fruit woods.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a strong smokiness. Following is a fair amount of saltiness.
The chewing flavor starts with a very smoky, natural meat flavor, along with a bit more saltiness, and a slight amount of tanginess.
Smoky is perhaps the best word to describe this jerky. Just opening the package a strong smoky aroma wafts its way out, and then the very first thing I taste is the smokiness, and it continues on into the chewing.
But the natural meat flavors come on very strong, and mixed with the smokiness, it defines the overall taste of this jerky, giving it a steak-like flavor.
I reported a slight tanginess in the chewing, and it continues to be there, and I think it adds a bit of liveliness to the flavor. It's comparable to a vinegar tang.
I can see some bits of black pepper on these pieces, but it's so lightly spread I don't really taste any of it.
There are also other bits of seasoning visible but they too are lightly spread that I don't really taste them when I take a bite.
I also notice chopped bits of something else, I think may be garlic. They seem to add a touch of flavor to this jerky.
The level of saltiness in this seems somewhere between moderate and high.
Overall, what you're going to notice the most in this jerky is the smoky, natural meat flavor, with a light bit of tanginess in the chewing, and a good deal of saltiness.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to medium thickness, and in strips of about 3-4 inches in length.
This is a dry jerky, with a slightly oily surface feel. The strips have some flexibility to them, but easily crack open with any amount of bending. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy enough, and chewing seems easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling dry and coarse, but is soft enough that it chews down without much effort. It has some chewiness to it, but never gives my jaws a workout. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it takes a on a steak-like feel, very comparable to one cooked well-done.
I can see some bits of fat on these strips that actually provide a bit of extra flavor, but not a spoiled flavor. I didn't find any gristle, tendon, and nothing stringy. I found no unchewable wads of tissue when chewing.
As for clean eating, my finger tips pick up a light amount of oil which I must lick off and wipe before touching keyboard.
Crazy Horse Beef Jerky sells this Original variety online at a price of $26.99 for one pound. That price includes the shipping. That works out to a price of $1.69 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.69 per ounce price, it's an excellent value. I'm getting a lot of snackability from this. That price is less than what you'd pay at the grocery store for the major brands of jerky, yet it's far superior in flavor, consistency, and chewing texture.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Original variety from Crazy Horse Beef Jerky treats the senses with a lot of smoky, natural meat flavor, mixed with a touch of tanginess in the chewing, and a good deal of saltiness. The smoky aroma alone coming out of the package creates a lot of mouth-watering anticipation that seems to heighten the snackability.
It's also very easy to eat, being easy to chew, but still retaining a lot of steak-like chewing. Combined with the great flavor, I could find myself going through a one-pound package of this in one sitting.
The flavor is quite mild, though on the upper end of saltiness. I didn't necessarily find it too salty for my liking however. I keep thinking this jerky could use a bit more of another flavor, perhaps more pepper, or another seasoning. But then again, I really love jerky with a lot of real-wood smoked natural meat flavor, and I'm getting a lot of that in this, and I think keeping it this way is best.
For my recommended beer pairing, I think a porter would work well, matching the smokiness of the meat with the smokiness of the malt, and letting the natural flavor of malt pair up with the meat. Try a Stone Smoked Porter, or a Sierra Nevada Porter.
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