Last year my girlfriend Jackie gave me some sweet potato dog treats that were wrapped in this bacony meat stuff. Cleo LOVED them. I have looked everywhere for similar treats and have been unsuccessful in finding any that are manufactured in the United States. I found plenty that come from China but I am definitely not buying those. So that left me with having to make them myself mad scientist style. Which is fine since I make most of Cleo and Luna's dog treats anyway and who doesn't love a good recipe creating experiment? Click here for some recipes I have shared in the past.
These treats are pretty easy to make since the dehydrator does most of the work. I make huge batches of all kinds of jerky during hunting season so I have a pretty snazzy Cabela's dehydrator but any simple one will do the job. Some people when they make jerky or dehydrate foods they use their oven. I personally am not a big fan of this for two reasons: 1. Most ovens (like mine) can't or won't hold temps below 160 degrees so instead of dehydrating your baking. 2. I don't want to give up the use of my oven for hours at a time. Besides....as a self proclaimed cooking and baking junkie any excuse for me to get another gadget, electronic or swanky cookware thing, well I'm all over that. But as previously stated an inexpensive dehydrator will work just fine.
A couple of things about the recipe first and then I'll stop blathing on and give it to you. You want the sweet potato pieces to be the same thickness so use a mandolin. Keep in mind the thicker the slices the longer it will take to dehydrate. And just when you think I can't possibly spoil my dogs anymore than I currently do I am wrapping these sweet potato treats with prosciutto. Yea....that's right delicious dry cured Italian ham. Yummmmmm. I originally thought I would use bacon but my experiences with making jerky have taught me that fat doesn't like to be dehydrated and considering bacon is mostly fat it left me to find alternative choices. I will also share that I did not have the prosciutto sliced for me at the deli counter. I bought it presliced and packaged as the slices tend to be more uniform. Also as an aside I'm pretty sure that you could use regular ham, turkey or roast beef lunch meat as a substitute for the prosciutto. I personally went the prosciutto route since its dry cured ham and the less moisture the better when dehydrating. And before anyone flips out that I'm giving my dog ham and that I have doomed them to get Pancreatitis I already tackled that subject from my soap box when I made Pineapple and Ham Quail Biscuits. Feel free to check it out. So without further ado:
My Sweet Potato Dog Treats
What you need:
~2 medium and similar shaped sweet potatoes
~Approx. 9 ounces of prosciutto
1. Use a mandolin to slice the sweet potatoes long-wise. If the slices are so thin they feel like potato chips you need to increase the thickness. About a 1/4 inch is perfect. Then with a knife cut each sweet potato slice in half longways.
2. Cut each slice of prosciutto longways into two or three pieces. Wrap one prosciutto piece around one sweet potato slice and repeat. It is very important not to walk away or get distracted during this phase of the recipe.
Clearly it's not just my dogs who are ill behaved. Please note how they cast the potato slice away like it was worthless.
Pre-dehydrated....post cat chewed.
3. Place the freshly wrapped treats onto trays in the dehydrator. How long it takes for the treats to be done will depend on the thickness of the treats, what kind of dehydrator you use and how full it is. It took my dehydrator about 4 hours on 150 to 160 degrees to finish. If your unsure check them intermittently every two or three hours to see if they are ready.
4. Remove them from the dehydrator and let them sit out for approximately an hour before storing them in the fridge or feeding them to your doggie children.
Cleo and Luna approved this recipe and want you to know they give it four paws up.
The treats came out great so I think I will be sliding this recipe into regular treat rotation. Be sure to check us out and follow us on facebook: Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer.