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10.8 South Africa Culture: Food and Beverage: Biltong




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This article is from the South Africa FAQ, by Scott Hazelhurst scott@cs.wits.ac.za with numerous contributions by others.

10.8 South Africa Culture: Food and Beverage: Biltong



From: aris@unisup1.mpd.co.za (Aris Stathakis)
Subject: Re: Help I want some Biltong !
Organization: Micro & Peripheral Distributors (Pty) Ltd.
Date: Sat, 04 Jun 1994 16:42:58 GMT
Keywords: Biltong Swop

How To Make Real South African Biltong
--------------------------------------
(C) Copyright 1994 Aris Stathakis (aris@mpd.co.za)

Ingredients needed:

Beef (Preferably Silverside/London Broil)
Rock Salt
Coarse Ground Black Pepper
Coarse Ground Coriander
Vinegar (preferably Apple-Cider vinegar)

Get some half-inch thick strips of beef (silverside - called London
Broil in the US). Make sure it's cut _with_ the grain. The pieces
should be about 6 inches long. 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 (don't
soak it in water!). Then get some vinegar - preferably apple-cider
vinegar, but any vinegar will do. 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 method I use is a home-made
'Biltong Box'. This is basically a sealed wooden box (you can use
cardboard if you like) with holes in it and a 60w lightbulb inside.
Just hang the meat at the top of the box, and leave the lightbulb on
at the bottom. The heat from the lightbulb helps dry the meat (even
in humid weather) in about 3-4 days. Remember, the box must be closed
on all 6 sides except for a few holes (as per the diagram below). 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.

              .4 metre across
              _______________
FRONT VIEW    |             |
              |x-----------x|   |    |||      |           prevents blood from d
ropping on the
              ---------------           lightbulb.  Make sure the wood has
                                        a few holes in ot to let the hot air
                                        rise.

              .4 metre across
              _______________
SIDE VIEW     |             |
              |  O  O  O    |
              |             |    |  O  O  O    |
              ---------------

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. Most South Africans I know
like it in between - basically just a bit red inside. If it has gone green,
then the meat has spoiled (i.e. don't eat it).

Variations include the above recipe, but add flavours like Worcestershire
sauce, BBQ sauce, tabasco sauce, soy sauce, etc.. Just brush these sauces
on after applying the vinegar using a basting brush.

Have fun with this recipe, and please mail me any success stories.

--
Aris Stathakis Tel: +27 11 887 1040 Snail Mail:
SCO ACE / Novell CNE Fax: +27 11 887 5158 P.O. Box 781228
M&PD (Pty) Ltd. Fax: +27 11 887 5158 Sandton, 2146
E-Mail: aris@mpd.co.za Cell:+27 83 601 0206 R.S.A.

 

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