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122 Views· 21 May 2024

Biltong for Beginners Easy to Follow Recipe


Daniel Chyi
4,705 Subscribers

Discover the Flavors of Biltong

Biltong, a traditional South African snack, is a type of dried, cured meat that’s packed with flavor and rich in protein. Unlike jerky, biltong is typically air-dried and marinated with a unique blend of spices, giving it a distinctive taste. This guide will walk you through the basics of making biltong at home, from selecting the right meat to perfecting the drying process.

**Ingredients and Equipment: What You’ll Need**

- 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of beef (silverside or topside cuts are ideal)
- 1/2 cup of coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds (toasted and coarsely ground)
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper (coarsely ground)
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar
- 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce (optional for extra flavor)

- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Large mixing bowl
- Plastic or glass container (for marinating)
- Hooks or drying rack
- Biltong box or a well-ventilated area for drying
- Fan (optional for better air circulation)

**Step-by-Step Guide: Making Biltong**

**Step 1: Preparing the Meat**

1. **Select and Trim:**
- Choose a cut of beef with minimal fat. Trim off any excess fat and silver skin, as too much fat can cause the biltong to spoil during drying.

2. **Slice the Meat:**
- Slice the meat into long strips, about 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 inches) thick. Ensure the slices are consistent in thickness for even drying.

**Step 2: Marinating the Meat**

1. **Seasoning Mix:**
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the coarse salt, brown sugar, coriander seeds, black pepper, and bicarbonate of soda.

2. **Vinegar Bath:**
- Dip each meat strip in the vinegar to coat it. This step helps to tenderize the meat and adds flavor.

3. **Apply the Seasoning:**
- Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the meat strips, ensuring they are evenly coated. Massage the spices into the meat for better absorption.

4. **Marinate:**
- Place the seasoned meat strips in a plastic or glass container, layering them neatly. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

**Step 3: Drying the Biltong**

1. **Prepare for Drying:**
- Remove the marinated meat from the fridge and pat it dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

2. **Hanging the Meat:**
- Use hooks or a drying rack to hang the meat strips in your biltong box or a well-ventilated area. Ensure there is enough space between the strips for air circulation.

3. **Drying Process:**
- Dry the meat for 3-7 days, depending on the thickness of the strips and your preferred dryness level. A fan can be used to improve air circulation and speed up the drying process.

4. **Check for Doneness:**
- Biltong is ready when it is dry to the touch but still slightly soft inside. The outside should be firm, while the inside retains some tenderness.

**Step 4: Enjoying Your Biltong**

1. **Cut and Serve:**
- Slice the biltong into thin pieces against the grain for a tender bite. It can be enjoyed as a snack on its own or used in various recipes.

2. **Storage:**
- Store biltong in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It can also be refrigerated to extend its shelf life.

**Conclusion: A Flavorful Journey**

Making biltong at home is a rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy a taste of South African tradition. With the right ingredients and a bit of patience, you can create delicious, homemade biltong that’s perfect for snacking or sharing with friends and family. Enjoy your biltong adventure and savor the rich, flavorful results!

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