How To Make Biltong
DroŽwors Hanging Out
Throughout the ages many different marinades have been lovingly concocted for slices of beef or venison to draw their own brine for various periods of time, and then hung out to dry - with the proud creators each proclaiming the ultimate taste sensation in perfect Biltong!
The truth of the matter is that Biltong, as with any food, is subject to the verdict of personal taste, which varies from individual to individual. Some like it wet and fatty, others dry and lean; some prefer it well peppered with lots of coriander and other spices while others prefer it with a more delicate piquancy.
This is where your Home Biltong Maker comes into its full right! No matter which marinade you use for a batch of Biltong, at the end of the marinating period, more dry spice of your choice may always be sprinkled on a portion of the batch before hanging it to dry in the machine. In this manner you will cater for taste preferences. For those who prefer a drier Biltong, simply cut some pieces a bit thinner than others - they will dry more quickly and, in a couple of days your family and friends will enjoy Biltong, catering to each individual taste! Have a look at the different recipes on our web site.
PERSONAL BILTONG MAKING
Making your own Biltong is becoming increasingly popular, not only in South Africa but especially by South Africans living overseas where Biltong is difficult to obtain and usually prohibitively expensive.
Making your own Biltong;
Caters for personal tastes and textures
With a Personal Biltong Drier it is easy.
Your Personal Biltong Drier is an appliance that dries meat rapidly and hygienically. The quality of the Biltong at the end of the day will depend on the care and the flair that you, the individual, put into the process.
Traditionally, either a dry spice mix can be used to sprinkle over the meat, or it can be soaked in brine for a period of time before hanging.
The following are some pointers to ensure that, no matter which process you use, a perfect batch of Biltong is forthcoming every time.
It is of critical importance NOT to hang wet, dripping meat. Neither in a Biltong drier or any other place. It will make a mess and definitely attract insects such as flies. In certain types of Biltong Driers it may also drip onto critical electrical parts. ALWAYS dry the meat thoroughly with kitchen paper towel before hanging it.
The second critical point is NEVER to crowd your machine with too much meat. Each piece MUST hang freely, not touching each other nor the sides of the machine. Meat not hanging freely will not dry properly and, worse still, can become mouldy, especially in humid areas. (See below)
The best Biltong can be made from Beef or Venison, but remember - the better the cut and grade of the meat, the better the Biltong. Topside or Silverside are perfect. (For overseas users these cuts come from the buttock of the animal)
It is important to note that Personal Biltong Driers are best suited for hanging thinly sliced strips of meat.
Not like the chunks of meat that hang under the rafters of old Farm Houses for weeks on end. The thicker the meat, the longer it takes to dry. Aim for slices of anything from 1cm to 2cm thick. (1/2 to 3/4 inch Maximum!) Careful now, this needs a bit of concentration!
Slice the meat with the grain and use a very sharp carving knife for the best results. While slicing, one inevitably tends to end up with the bottom of the strip being thinner than the top. Watch for this and avoid whenever possible.
Do not hack at the meat, stop to access your progress and then slice further; that way you will end up with Biltong looking unappetizing covered in nicks and cuts (where mould will surely grow). Slice the meat to within about 2cm of the hanging height allowed by the machine. Too many short pieces may have you running out of space with the deeper part of the machine not being fully utilized.
Many varied Biltong recipes can be found by clicking here.
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