Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Three Jerks Jerky - Filet Mignon Jerky

three jerks jerky
Filet Mignon has never before been made into jerky from a production standpoint, at least until now...

Three Jerks Jerky is the creation of three guys (or jerks), who needed a killer idea to create a business around. After chewing on some beef jerky, they wondered taking the best cut of beef and turning it into jerky. So they bought several pounds of filet mignon and began the process of perfecting a few recipes.

Three Jerks Jerky sent me packages of their three flavors for review, all made from filet mignon: The Original, Memphis BBQ, and Chipotle Adobo.

Ingredients

None provided.

Filet Mignon

I sampled all three of the flavors, and the taste of filet mignon does come through really well in this jerky. I get that rich beef flavor with the tender, melt-in-your-mouth chewing, just like what you expect to find in filet mignon.

I also get touches of marbleized flavor, which seems to create an overall beefy taste.

These slabs of jerky appear softened, as if they were pounded first and then marinated. The result is a tender, easy chew that still tastes and feels like chewing real steak, but has the character of moist, soft chunks of grilled filet mignon.

There is an overall light amount of stringiness in this jerky, which can show up in biting off chunks.  I found one slab (in the Memphis BBQ) with a significant string, enough that I couldn't bite through, and had to twist and gnaw to bite off.  Otherwise, the rest of the jerky was unremarkable, and very much meaty.  I did however, find some significant streaks and bits of fat, but they didn't taste rancid, but actually seemed to heighten the beef flavor.

The Original

filet mignon beef jerkyInitial sweet and saltiness hits the tongue with a clearly identifiable soy sauce flavor, with hints of garlic and black pepper. With a few chews, the natural meat flavors come in and creates the sensation of a seasoned and marinated steak fresh off the grill.

The flavors that seem to define this jerky is largely a peppery soy sauce with a light sweetness, and then the natural meat flavor, lightly marbleized. There's touches of garlic in the background, and I think some onion as well.

It's not hot at all, just intense with seasonings, namely salty, peppery, and a well-pronounced soy sauce.

Memphis BBQ

filet mignon jerky
Just from the surface of these pieces, I get an initial hit of cayenne pepper seasoning and a good dose of it as well. There's a light saltiness coming through, and a wee touch of sweet. A fair amount of heat also comes through.

The chewing brings in the natural meat flavors, helping to balance things out. There's also light touches of BBQ sauce that announces its presence here and there.

The flavors that define this jerky is largely a strong cayenne pepper, with a fair amount of heat. The natural meat flavors are there, but not as well pronounced as with The Original. Then there's the lighter BBQ sauce flavor that shows up every now and then.

True to Memphis BBQ style, this is a dry rubbed beef jerky, where you taste the seasonings more than the sauce. The cayenne pepper is quite strong in this, perfect for folks who love a lot of the red chile dusting, and generates a nice level of heat (level 3 out of 5) on my personal heat scale.

Chipotle Adobo

filet mignon beef jerky
There's an initial light sweet from the surface of these pieces, with perhaps a touch of fruit or citrus. I can easily pick up black pepper and garlic, and perhaps even oregano.

The chewing brings in a light tanginess and some chile pepper flavor, along with a light natural meat flavor.

Overall, the ingredients that seem to define the flavor of this jerky is more of a lightly sweet and tangy chile pepper, almost similar to the bottles of sweet chile sauce you find at grocery stores. But this tends to have a little more heat, and more black pepper and garlic. I can also pick up a faint fermented character, as if vinegar was added. This isn't hot, maybe just a touch, but I'd still rate this as mild. This actually tastes similar to a teriyaki, but with a Filipino flair.

The natural flavor of filet mignon comes through well in this, but not quite as well as The Original, though more than the Memphis BBQ.

Rating

Because the samples I reviewed are pre-release samples, and not the actual production samples, I'm not going to assign a rating.  But suffice it to say, I really liked this stuff and think it will do well.

When you pay for filet mignon beef jerky, you expect to get all the rich flavor and tenderness of a real filet mignon, and I feel that Three Jerks has done it.

Of the three flavors presented to me, I think the Chipotle Adobo is tops. It has a flavor similar to teriyaki, but not of the Japanese style that we come to expect. It has more of a Filipino flavor, with a touch of chile pepper and heat, maybe even hints of fruit, some oregano, perhaps even bay leaf, and what I think is some vinegar. I also liked The Original because it seemed to have the richest natural meat flavor, though I felt the saltiness was a bit high. The Memphis BBQ is just heavy on the cayenne pepper, and had the least natural meat flavor.

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