Biltong: A popular South African snack made from cured and dried strips of meat (usually beef or game meat). It is similar to beef jerky but has a unique flavour and texture. Biltong is often enjoyed as a protein-rich snack.
Here’s a recipe for making biltong, a popular South African dried meat snack. Biltong is typically made from beef, but you can also use other lean meats such as game, venison, or ostrich.
Ingredients for Biltong :
2 pounds (900g) lean beef (or other meat of your choice)
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tablespoon paprika (optional, for add flavour)
Vinegar (such as white wine vinegar or malt vinegar)
Start by preparing the meat. Trim off any excess fat and slice the meat into long, thin strips, about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) thick. You can cut the strips with or against the grain, depending on your preference for texture.
In a bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, brown sugar, crushed coriander seeds, baking soda, and paprika (if using). Mix well to create a dry rub.
Place the meat strips in a non-reactive dish or container. Sprinkle vinegar over the meat, coating each strip lightly. This step helps tenderize the meat and enhances the flavour. Let the meat marinate in the vinegar for about 30 minutes.
After marinating, remove the meat from the vinegar and pat it dry with paper towels. Coat each strip with the dry rub mixture, ensuring they are evenly covered. Gently press the mixture into the meat to help it adhere.
Once all the strips are coated, stack them in a single layer in a non-reactive dish or hang them from hooks in a well-ventilated area. Make sure the meat strips don’t touch each other to allow air circulation.
Leave the meat to dry for about 3-5 days, depending on the desired level of dryness. The meat should be firm and dark in colour when done. Check the meat occasionally and remove any excess moisture with paper towels.
Once the biltong has dried to your liking, slice a piece and enjoy! Biltong can be stored in an airtight container or resealable bags for several weeks.
Note: The drying time may vary depending on humidity and temperature. It’s essential to ensure proper air circulation during the drying process to prevent mould growth.
Remember to exercise caution when handling raw meat and follow proper food safety guidelines throughout the preparation and drying process.