The word Biltong is from the Dutch bil “rump” and tong “strip” or “tongue”. Preparation involved applying vinegar, then rubbing the strips of meat with a mix of herbs, salts and spices. Then it is hung to dry at low temperatures. An electric fan-assisted oven set to 40+ °C to achieve a drying process over a period f 24/36 hours.

Ingredients needed:

-Beef silver side
-Rock Salt Coarse
-Ground Black Pepper Coarse Ground
-Apple-Cider vinegar

Get some half-inch thick strips of beef and make sure it’s cut with the grain. Liberally sprinkle rock-salt on each side of the pieces of meat and let them stand for an hour. The longer you let it stand the saltier it will become.

After the hour, scrape off all the excess salt with a knife. Then get some vinegar – preferably apple-cider vinegar. Put some vinegar in a bowl and dip the strips of meat in the vinegar for a second or so – just so that the meat is covered in the vinegar. Hold the biltong up so that the excess vinegar drips off.

Then sprinkle ground pepper and ground coriander over the meat on all sides.

Once you have done this, the meat is ready to dry. There are several methods of drying. One is to hang it up on a line in a cool place and have a fan blow on it. This method is a bit difficult because if the air is humid the meat can spoil. The whole theory behind this method is that hot dry air rises thus drying the biltong. The holes are quite important as they promote good air circulation in the box.

You’ll know when the biltong is ready when it is quite hard, but still a bit moist inside. Of course, some people like it ‘wet’ and others like it ‘dry’. It’s all a matter of taste and some like it a bit red inside. If it has gone green, then the meat has spoiled.

Categories: Facts