We soldier on in our relentless attempt to consume the 55 lbs. of Moloka‘i beef. The fact that half of it is ground is a bit of a drag, for two reasons: one, there are only so many variations on burgers and meatloaf and such. After a while, it starts to feel monotonous, no matter what spices or fillings you throw at it. And two, it turns out that the processors had a totally different philosophy than I: they ground all the cuts I'd rather have whole (bavette, skirt, tri-tip), and left whole many cuts I'd rather have ground (chuck and top round).
Nonetheless, good beef is good beef. Though Diana Kennedy would probably roll her eyes at it, I did a Mexi-inspired cumin-chile ground beef mix that made for awesome tacos. Here they're topped with local feta, avocado, and chimichurri (yeah I know, it's Argentine and not Mexican, but it really worked).
Closer to home, I also tried my hand at pipikaula, the local version of beef jerky that's usually served with a meal. I started with a recipe in the excellent book Ethnic Foods of Hawai‘i by Ann Kondo Corum (which happens to be available in its entirety via Google Books). The seasoning is a combo of soy sauce, Hawaiian salt, sugar, chile, garlic, and ginger; the latter two seemed a little tame so I bumped them up a good deal. I also used chuck instead of the recommended flank, which works just as well as long as you can manage to slice it thinly across the grain.
After a day's marinating in the fridge, I draped the strips over a rack and baked in a low oven for a few hours, flipping once. I think pipikaula is best when it's still a little moist, so I was careful not to let it get super leathery. The result, I have to say, was pretty killer. Although now that I think of it, preserving beef is a little strange; after all, the whole goal is to use it up, not hold onto it! Still, this pipikaula is so tasty that I doubt we'll have a chance to test the shelf life...