Biltong is a meat that has been cured with salt and spices and then hung up in the fresh air to dry.
It originates from southern Africa: Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. It is now usually beef but originally was game meat. It is made by cutting the meat into strips along the grain, with these strips typically thin and some 4 inches in length.
Biltong is like Jerky but less sweet. The word “biltong” comes from the Dutch words of “bil” (rump) and “tong” (strip).
The point of biltong was to preserve meat through lean hunting months or for long treks. Its origin is back into the times of hunter gatherers and then learned by the European settlers of southern Africa.
The need for preservation of meat isn’t so vital these days; but, biltong is a healthy, nutritious, tasty and versatile snack.
Here is a simple recipe for you to make your own Biltong…
For 250g of biltong…
- 250g of lean grass fed rump or topside beef – buy here from the Good Grub People
- 8g coriander seed
- 8g sea salt flake
- 2g of black pepper corns
- Pop your beef into the freezer for approx an hour to cool it down thoroughly so you can then carve it more easily into thin strips
- While cooling prepare the seasoning, first toast the coriander seed just lightly (180C for 5 mins)
- Then combine the toasted coriander, salt flakes and pepper corns and using a pestle and mortar crush these until you have a well combined coarse mixture
- Cut the beef into strips of some 4 inches long, by and 2 inches wide and 1/2 an inch thick
- Generously cover the beef with the coarse seasoning
- Pop into a poly bag and refrigerate for 12 hours, over night if you prefer
- Take out of the fridge and thread on to wooden skewers and then hang to dry
- Where you hang is important: needs to cool and fresh breeze to effect the drying process
- The drying process takes 5 days, you can eat after 4 days if you prefer a moister biltong
- Once done store in the fridge and eat within a month