Africhef for great South African Recipes and South African Cooking

South Africa's answer to jerky

Recipe Rating

Biltong, hung ready for eating
South African Biltong.
A great taste.
This TRADITIONAL BILTONG RECIPE is for the basic South African beef biltong.

It is an interesting tasty and superior alternative to beef jerky. Like Beef Jerky, Biltong can be produced in various flavors by adding things like garlic or chilli peppers to the recipe.

Personally, I find the original plain biltong the most enjoyable.

Biltong Ingredients

25 lb (11.5kg) beef (top round/sirloin/London broil/ eye of round)
4 pints (2L)warm water
1 ¼ lb (570g) fine salt
½ cup (125ml) brown sugar
½ cup (125ml)coriander, coarsely ground
2 tbsp (30ml) bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp (15ml) black pepper, ground
1 cup (250ml) red wine vinegar
2 tsp (10ml) saltpetre (optional)

To make the biltong

Cut the meat along the natural dividing lines of the muscles of the meat of choice.

Cut into strips of approximately 2-inch (5cm) thick and any desired length, always cutting with the grain.

Mix the salt, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, saltpetre, pepper and coriander together.

Rub the seasoning mixture thoroughly into the strips of meat.

Layer the meat, with the more bulky pieces at the bottom, in a glass or stainless steel container. Sprinkle a little vinegar over each layer, as you add them.

Leave the meat in a cool place for 12 hours or more, depending on how salty you want the meat to be.

(Some experimentation may be required to ascertain the correct length of time to let the biltong 'marinade' for, according to your taste.)

Remove the meat from the marinade Mix the water and vinegar and dip the meat into this mixture. This makes the biltong shiny and dark.

Once this is complete, the biltong is ready to dry.

Pat the pieces of meat dry and then hang them up on S-shaped hooks, or use pieces of string, about 2 inches (5cm) apart.

Hang the biltong in a cool to warm, dry place with an oscillating fan blowing on it.

Ensure that the air is dry, as too much moisture will cause the meat to spoil.

The biltong is ready when the outside is hard and the center part of the biltong strip is still a little moist.

Let the center dry according to personal taste.

Makes about 21 lb

BILTONG is South African dried meat and has been around for centuries.

Any South African will do almost anything to get a share if he/she knows that BILTONG is available.

Biltong is cut from the "stick" in thin pieces using a very sharp knife. Some people shave off a number of pieces at a time so they don't have to let cutting interfere with eating.

A professional trick is to place the biltong in a vice and, using a wood plane shave off as many pieces of the desired thickness as required.

Eaten on its own as an appetiser or all day munch. Especially at sporting events, but anywhere is OK.

Try it, you'll find it much more addictive than peanuts or potato crisps.

The recipe given above is for beef biltong, but like jerky, biltong may be made using game animals such as Buck and Deer.

Ostrich produces a great tasting but somewhat dry biltong.

PS. Biltong is not really recommended for unfortunate souls wearing dentures, unless its shaved very thin

Enjoy your biltong.

Well, a rather amusing result of my posting this recipe on my site is the amount of rather annoyed correspondence that has resulted.

Seems that biltong purists have taken great umbrage at my daring to compare South African Biltong with Jerky, beef or otherwise.

It would appear that true biltong lovers believe that traditional South African Biltong Recipes produce something so superior to Jerky that Biltong and Jerky shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath, let alone the same web page.

Hence my daring to suggest that Biltong is a tasty alternative to Jerky has raised considerable ire amongst those who feel, once you've tasted properly made traditional South African Biltong that you'll never be satisfied with Jerky again.

I have to concede that Biltong is the superior product and is a far tastier munch than Jerky, which is insipid by comparison.

If you like it please rate this recipe- CLICK HERE!

Time, Servings and Nutritional Values

Preparation 40 minutes
Cooking 20 minutes
Total 1 hour

Yield:- 4 servings

Serving Size 1 serving of approximately 300g
319 total calories, 21 calories from fat
Fat Content 2.3g
Carbohydrate 18.7g of which Dietary Fibre1.4g, Sugars 14.3g
Protein 52.4g
Cholesterol 19mg
sodium 38mg

Date Published 3rd March 2003
Author: Africhef

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