How to make biltong

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How to make biltong

After all the times I made beef jerky you kept asking me about biltong. After a thousand comments, I finally caved and made some.

Biltong is the South African version of jerky. Because it is prepared in the open air, this is best done when it’s below 6°C (43F). It works best when you have a dry cold where you live.

  1. Biltong is a Dutch word that means buttock strip or buttock tongue. Do with that information what you want. Biltong is made from a special cut of beef called silver top. It’s a cut from the hip of the cow that has the leanest meat. They also make it with fish, game, ostrich or chicken.

  1. Cut the beef in 2-inch steaks against the grain. Then season it with some salt and pepper and marinate it overnight in the fridge in some beer.

  1. After marinating take the steaks out of the bag and pat them dry with some paper towel. They have to be as dry as you can get them. As with beef jerky, the process is to get as many fluids out of the meat as possible. After that you let them rest on a cooling rack so they are elevated from your work surface, and the air can flow freely around the meat. This way, the meat can dry out more quickly.

  1. Make a dry rub that contains:
    • 1/2 part of salt
    • 1/4 part of black pepper
    • 2 parts of paprika powder,
    • 1/2 part of garlic powder
    • 2 parts of onion powder
    Sprinkle on the dry rub on the top side of the steaks and let them sit for 10 minutes so the rub sticks. Then do the other side.

  1. Now I want to do something that’s not traditional for biltong. I want to give the biltong a little smoke flavour. I do this on my smoker at the lowest temperature possible. If you have the possibility to cold smoke them, please do.

  1. I bought a fromagerie. That’s what the French use to store their cheeses. I am going to hang the steaks in it. A fromagerie keeps the bugs away from the meat. That’s what I want because the meat has to dry outside for at least 7 days.

  1. After 7 days of dryin, you take the steaks out of the fromagerie. Slice a bit off and check for dryness. When you still see some moisture, they’re not dry enough, and you let them hang a bit longer. When they are dry enough, you can slice them thin and finally try your home made biltong.

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