Biltong is a delicious South African recipe used to dry and preserve meat. It was developed in the days before refrigeration but it tastes so good that it is still consumed in large quantities as an any time snack. It goes very well will beer and wine. Here is my basic, traditional recipe, it never fails to attract compliments.
- Beef – round steak (topside) 15-20mm thick.
- Seasoning- coarse salt, coriander seeds, black pepper.
- Marinating container- deep, narrow, plastic or glass.
- Cutting board and knife.
- Paper clips.
- Pestle and mortar.
- Air conditioned room, fan and cardboard box.
1. Prepare seasoning by grinding together, in pestle and mortar.
One tablespoon coarse salt.
One dessertspoon coriander seed.
One teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
Or multiples there of. Tip – pepper turns out quite hot on biltong.
2. Cut beef into strips 20-40mm wide.
3. Pour about 1cm depth vinegar into container
and coat each strip of meat with vinegar. Discard leftover
vinegar but do not rinse container. Vinegar helps to prevent
white fungus growing on biltong.
4. Lay meat out on cutting board and liberally coat with
seasoning – you will have to experiment with subsequent
batches until you get the amount right to suit your taste.
Use less for thinner sliced meat.
5. Layer meat in container, seal and place in fridge to
marinade for 12 hours or so. (do not use metal container,
it will react with vinegar). If you are over 60 and are not on HRT,
put a reminder on your e-mail. Six week old meat is not pretty.
6. Bend paper clips into ‘S’ shape and hook into strips of meat.
Hang meat over newspaper or in well ventilated cardboard box for
The first few hours, until stops dripping. Then hang in an air
conditioned room, with fan blowing over it. The trick is to get it
wind dry as soon as possible, to avoid fungal growth. After 24-36
hours the fan can be turned off. If you can’t wait leave it on. If you
like it moist it will be ready in 2.5 to 3 days, dry takes 5 to 7 days.
If you would like to see a demonstration, including making yourself an inexpensive drying cabinet, click on this link: