Mike O'R mentions that in drying meat you need to get the fat out. Therein of course lies the problem. Its the fat that gives meat the flavour. Remove the fat and you remove the taste. I appreciate however that if the meat is to be used in stews or casseroles then it is likely to be the herbs used that will create the flavour not the meat as such.
One questions aimed at Mike ..... don't know your planned cruising grounds but why do you see the need to try and stock your boat with six months supply of food ? Is that purely the dollars talking ? If so then I guess I can understand.
Q#1. You're right about the fat being flavourful. That's why all dried meats usually require processing of some sort. For jerky (beef or chicken) the meats are marinated and dried in the sauce. For beef mix, the lean meat is lightly cooked to remove the fat, then flavoured with a mixture of flour, garlic, onions and dried stock.
Q#2. Yes, it's mostly about the money. If money were no issue I'd be playing in the "$3,000/month" thread
. In our specific case we are leaving jobs and income when we move on board. So we have some income now, but will have none in a few months. Having a food buffer will take some of the pressure off as we try and figure out how to make life-a-float sustainable.
But beyond that, I really am a fan of drying as preservation method. It's simple, and done right, allows food to last for years. But best of all, you end up with food that is nearly as fresh and flavourful as the day it was bought. I'm with you on most canned food. Much of it is less than appetizing. Not so with food you've dried yourself.