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The Bootleg Jerky CO Story

It’s downtown Chicago at the height of prohibition…1926. The frontier city is governed by feared Mob bosses and their lethal gangsters, with bootleg liquor at the speakeasies the only currency anyone cares about.

In the crime-ridden red-light districts hugging the levees, two brothers work long hours helping their father’s butchery make and sell the finest meats available to the city’s crème de la crème. Their succulent strips of dried beef jerky covered with secret exotic spices that tingle the tastebuds are renowned throughout the state as irresistible, but when a package destined for a client falls into the hands (and onto the tongue) of the most notorious Mob boss on the South Side, the brothers find themselves reluctant full time employees to the city’s most infamous bootleggers.

With only a small butchery to work in and a fear of disappointing their new bosses, the brothers hand-craft the jerky in small batches themselves, trusting no one with their secret recipes to protect themselves and their families from the hands of the gangs. Their jerky is sold alongside the finest bootleg liquor at the classiest of speakeasies, and their flavours are still whispered about on the streets of South Wabash long after prohibition is but a distant memory.

The Bootleg Jerky Co Difference

Today, those secret recipes live again at the hands of young Auckland couple Ash and Bryony, who use only 100% grass-fed New Zealand beef to complement spice mixtures with no artificial preservatives, colours, nitrates, MSG or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Bootleg jerky is painstakingly created in small batches by hand in our own purpose built facility. Our recipes swap out the BS ingredients - preservatives and artificial flavours - for real ingredients blended perfectly to create unique and bold flavours.

Our process is simple…meat + marinade + time (lots of time). Unlike your traditional gas station jerky, we don’t brine our meat in sugar to increase yield - one 40g serving of Bootleg Jerky is almost 120g of beef before it’s dried.

Every piece of Bootleg Jerky starts off as part of a slab of prime NZ Beef delivered fresh each week. It’s then trimmed up and put through the slicer before being marinated for three days. From there, it’s pulled out of the baths, placed into dryers for about 12 hours, then hand-cut into bite-sized pieces that are hand-packed – no need for noisy machines that’ll alert the fuzz.

Bootleg runners then collect the contraband and, if no one has ratted them out, smuggle it out to you or one of many dealers to devour. Bootleg Jerky is good for six months unrefrigerated – it may not get the crazy long shelf-life of cheap traditional jerky, but who wants to eat meat that’s been sitting on the shelf for a year anyway?

We have spent countless hours perfecting these recipes and processes to create what they think is the best jerky around, so get in on it before it is outlawed!

Meet The Bootleggers