Thick, meaty, chewy and full of flavor, Greenport Jerky is about to become the North Fork’s latest specialty food.
A fan of the art of drying meats, Vincent Macchirole of Greenport has been making his own beef jerky for years. Now he and his wife, Carolyn, have developed their own jerky line.
“We’ve been making jerky in a little smoker and we also have a dehydrator,” Vincent said. “We played around with different flavors and gave them to our friends.”
Recently the Macchiroles sold their boat repair and marine services business Gateway of Flanders and were ready for the next phase in their lives.
The couple is making their beef jerky with a wholesaler in the western region of the U.S. who specializes in drying meats. Together they’ve created 11 different flavors that will be sold under the moniker “Greenport Jerky Company.”
“I’ve always liked beef jerky and we were able to find someone we can work with to make our recipes,” Vincent said. “They have more jerky making knowledge than me making it in my backyard.”
The meat is first marinated for up to 24 hours, then dried in a dehydrator anywhere from five to eight hours, depending on the thickness and cut, he said.
“The meat’s not smoked in this application, it’s more like dehydrated,” he said.
“It also depends on the marinade,” Carolyn added. “Some marinades are really dry, others super moist, depending on what the flavor is.”
After drying, the jerky is packaged into three ounce pouches for sale.
“Jerky will last forever, but we will guarantee ours for a year,” Vincent said. “We use very few fillers or artificial ingredients like corn syrups and stuff like that.”
Greenport Jerky Company will offer flavors like orange teriyaki, habanero, whiskey, IPA beer, mild jalapeño and black pepper sea salt. Once established, the Macchiroles hope to use more locally sourced ingredients.
“Ideally I would like to have everything locally sourced, but at this point it’s just not doable,” Vincent said. “But as we grow I can start to reach out to local food purveyors.”
“We’d eventually like to use the IPA of a local brewery to make our IPA Beer Jerky,” Carolyn said. “I’d love to get one of the wineries to do a cabernet sauvignon red wine marinade.”
“We’re also getting a lot of calls for turkey jerky,” Vincent added. “So we’re exploring many options.”
The Macchiroles will sell their jerky at the Greenport Farmer’s Market every Saturday beginning May 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Greenport Jerky Company will also begin selling their products online by mid May. A plan to hold a jerky tasting event is also in the works and will be announced on their Facebook page.
“The focus is to get it up and running,” Vincent said. “We’re also going to have fish jerky coming up for sale as well. Maybe I’ll offer a garlic jerky down the road, as well as a wine jerky.”
For more information visit greenportjerky.com. The Greenport Farmers’ Market is located at 170 South Street in Greenport.