Prairie Dog Jerky

We've had a problem on our property...prairie dogs! Although they seem cute, they eat everything, make holes that can hurt horses, etc., and are a nusiance.
We've been trying really hard lately (like most of you!) to be frugal. The economy has been hard on everyone in one way or another. So, I decided to solve two problems at once and create... Prairie Dog Jerky!

I didn't have the heart to kill them but Gourmet Dad was happy to get out his pellet gun and do the skinning for me. And, I was happy to prepare the meat...what a team! If you do not own a dehydrator, you can use your oven on the lowest setting and leave the oven door slightly ajar for air circulation. Easy! Feel free to adjust the spices, you can get as creative as you want. Also, in many areas Prairie Dogs carry diseases, so please make sure you cook the meat thoroughly. Prairie Dog Jerky Ingredients: • 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce • 1-1/2 teaspoons mesquite flavoring liquid • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar, packed • 1 Tablespoon onion powder • 2 teaspoons garlic powder • 1 teaspoon kosher salt • 1 pound prairie dog meat, sliced thin

Directions: Combine liquid smoke, soy sauce, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mesquite flavoring, onion powder, garlic powder, and kosher salt in a large zip-top bag. Add prairie dog strips to the marinade, seal, and squish to coat all the meat. Re-open the bag, squeeze out all the air, re-seal, and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours. Remove prairie dog strips from marinade and gently pat off excess moisture with a paper towel. Place strips in a single layer, with space in between, on dehydrator racks. Dehydrate until prairie dog jerky is leathery and chewy but not crisp enough to snap when bent. Store jerky in sealed bags in the refrigerator. NOTES: Please try to find single prairie dogs. They mate for life and it would be terrible to leave one of them without a spouse...One more note...Happy April Fool’s Day!! Please do not eat Prairie Dogs! If you're looking for some fun April Fool's Day dinner ideas, go here!:)

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