How to Make South African Biltong In 6 Easy Steps - Five Makers
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How to Make South African Biltong In 6 Easy Steps

How To Make Biltong In 6 Easy Steps


Biltong – It’s just another Jerky – right?

I recently made the mistake of suggesting to my South African buddy that Biltong was just another way to make beef Jerky.

Bad move.

After being cursed in a tongue I didn’t recognize for weeks, he eventually educated me in the finer details of meat preservation – South African Style.

Whilst the drying process is pretty similar, the taste and texture are worlds apart.
The meat is prepared for drying by marinating in vinegar and then spiced up using crushed roasted spice.

The meat is kept pretty steak sized, rather than slicing into thin strips like we do jerky.
That’s done later when it’s cured and dried.

Here’s a Biltong recipe similar to what I’ve done, from Mark at Self Sufficient Me

Rump steak – 2kgs (or about 4 pounds);
Whole coriander – ¾ cup;
Rock salt – 1 x cup;
Cracked pepper – ½ cup (ground but large grains)
Apple cider vinegar – 3 x cups

Step 1 Salting

1-Salting biltongVia Self Sufficient Me

Sprinkle coarse salt over the steaks and turn them over and do the other side too.

This starts the curing process by drawing out moisture from the meat.

Step 2 Grinding The Coriander Seeds

2 Grinding Coriander SeedsVia Self Sufficient Me

Roast them first to bring out the flavor then going up in a food processor until broken up.

Step 3 – Marinade in the Vinegar For A Short While

3 Vinegar BathVia ThreeOwlets

Scrape off the salt before submerging the steaks in vinegar for about 5 mins. We’ve used malt vinegar but here apple cider vinegar is Marks taste.

Step 4 – Spice Up

4 - Sprinkle With Coriander spicesVia Self Sufficient Me

Liberally coat the meat with cracked pepper and the crushed up Coriander seeds, Pat the mixture so the whole stack is covered in the mix.

Step 5 – Drying

5 Drying Jerky In A DehydratorVia Self Sufficient Me

My friend uses a biltong cabinet rather than a dehydrator although you could use one.

He reckons its best to hang the meat rather than lay it flat, you get more of the drying air circulating that way he says.

Either way, the meat takes a lot longer than we’re used to with the jerky process due to the meat thickness and the lower drying temperatures.

Step 6 – Storage

6 biltong in containerVia Self Sufficient Me

You can store biltong in a cool place like a pantry if you wrap it up well in greaseproof paper and store in airtight containers. It should keep for several months kept this way but if you live somewhere humid, then maybe best to keep long term in the fridge.

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