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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.
Now, the meat……. 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″ long by 2″ – 3″ wide. If it is too wide, cut each piece long ways in half or it will not fit in your Biltong slicer/cutter.
Once you have all the pieces cut, sprinkle some spices in the bottom of your glass or ceramic container. Start placing the sliced pieces on top of the spices in your container. Now sprinkle some more spices on top of the first layer of meat. Place another layer of the sliced beef on top of the layer. You may want to sprinkle some spices on 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 what I am talking about. Once all the pieces have been 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 like this 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. This ensures that all the pieces are nicely covered and that the vinegar “gets in” everywhere. Some people will tell you to leave it overnight. You can leave it that long, but I have found that it is not necessary. Three to four hours in with spices is more than enough.
While you wait for the three hours to pass, 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 hook 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 totally optional depending on how strong taste of the spices you want and also the level of saltiness. I have done it both ways many times and each time I enjoyed it. If you absolutely want less saltiness, 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… do not scrub it, do not rub it! Once you have dragged each piece twice through the water/vinegar, place all the pieces on some paper towel 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 movable box like I have, bring it closer. If not, bring the meat to wherever you’re going to hang it. Hook one of your hooks through the top part of each piece and hang it up leaving about a half inch gap between each piece. After all the pieces have been hung, make sure it is properly covered. I have a simple Biltong box that has screen fabric on all four sides that allows for good ventilation and keeping the meat from unwanted creatures. I position a fan on the low setting to move the cool dry air over the meat.
Congratulations, you did it! Soon you will have your own delicious home-made Biltong. Time for another beer and a high five!
If you are not ready to make your own Biltong, but you can’t stand living without it for one more minute, you can order ready-made, fresh Biltong right here in the USA on a web site called Braaitime We have to warn you though that nothing beats a fresh batch of homemade Biltong!