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We’ll guide you through the steps of how to make your own home-made Biltong.
Before you plan to make your Biltong, make sure you have all the crucial ingredients on hand. First and foremost, you will need the right blend of fresh, Biltong Spices
Here is a checklist of items you will need to make this a success.
- Bennie’s Classic Biltong Spices
- A sharp knife and cutting board.
- Glass or ceramic container x 2.
- White vinegar.
- Paper towel.
- Hooks. (I just use large paper clips that I unfold and bend in the shape that I need).
- Pair of tongs.
- A rather large bowl. (Optional)
- A cool ventilated place to hang your meat. A fan if needed.
You will need a couple of beef bottom round roasts. Ask the butcher at your local supermarket if you’re not sure what to buy. Cut the beef into about half inch thick strips. Depending on the size of the roast, each slice should be about 6″ – 10″ L by 2″- 3″ W. If it is too broad, cut each piece longways, in half, or it will not fit in your Biltong cutter/slicer.
Once you have all the pieces cut, sprinkle some spices in the bottom of your glass or ceramic container. Start placing the sliced meat on top of the spices in your dish. Now sprinkle some more spices on top of the first layer. Place another layer of the sliced beef on top. You may want to add some spices to the part that is going to be face-down. Sprinkle some spices on the second layer.
You don’t want to “overdo” it with the spices – make sure you cover each piece pretty well. Look at my photos; it will give you an idea of what I mean. When all the pieces are placed on top of each other, sprinkle about a quarter cup white vinegar over it. The vinegar will work its way down over and in between all the slices. Cover the meat with some cling wrap or anything that will keep unwanted creatures out.
You want to leave it covered in spices for about three hours, turning it over every half hour or so. Just use a pair of tongs and flip the pieces around and also move the bottom pieces to the top. It ensures that the meat gets covered well and that the vinegar “gets in” everywhere. Some people will tell you to let it sit overnight. You can leave it that long, but I have found that it is not necessary. Three to four hours covered with the spices is more than enough.
While you wait for the three hours to pass by, crack open a beer and bring the large paper clips closer. Count out the number of paper clips that you will need and start to unfold each one. Now bend two hooks in it; a top hook to hang it on something and a slightly bigger one in the bottom part where you will hook it through the meat. The hooks should be 90 degrees from each other if you are going to hang it on a bar. Once you start hanging the pieces, you will see why.
This following step is optional depending on taste and also the level of saltiness you prefer. I have done it both ways many times, and each time I’ve enjoyed it. If you want the biltong taste less salty, you want to do this step, if not, go to the next paragraph. Prepare two parts lukewarm water plus one part white vinegar in a rather large bowl. (About 2 gallons). Using a pair of tongs, gently drag each piece twice through the water/vinegar mixture. Take note, twice only, and just a gentle drag through, do not scrub it, do not rub it! Once you have dragged each piece through the water/vinegar, twice, place all the meat on paper towels, allowing the excess moisture to run off. By now you deserve another “break” while you let it sit on the paper towel for five minutes or so, go ahead and crack open another beer of your choice.
Right, now back to your soon-to-be Biltong. It is time to hang the meat. If you have a portable box like mine, bring it closer. If not, take the meat to wherever you’re going to hang it. Hook one of the hooks through the top part of each piece; hang it up leaving about a half inch gap between each piece. I have a simple Biltong box that has screen fabric on all four sides that allows for ventilation, keeping the meat from unwanted flying objects. I position a fan on the low setting to move the cold, dry air over the biltong.
Congratulations, you did it! Soon you will have your own delicious home-made Biltong. Time for another beer and a high five!
Nothing beats a fresh batch of homemade Biltong! Making a small batch at home is by far the best quality and tasting biltong that you can ever hope to enjoy. Come on, give it a try. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is!