Instructions on Making Biltong

From: (Aris Stathakis) Subject: FAQ: How to make Biltong Date: Mon, 06 Jun 1994 06:43:52 GMT Message-ID: <>

How To Make Real South African Biltong

-------------------------------------- (C) Copyright 1994 Aris Stathakis (

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 meter across _______________ FRONT VIEW | | |x-----------x| <------- Hang biltong here on a wire | B B | 1.0 meter | I I | high | L L | | T T | | O O | | N N | | G G |

| | |x-----------x| <------- Put a piece of perforated wood 60W lightbulb | @ | covering the lightbulb here. This goes here --> | ||| | prevents blood from dropping on the --------------- lightbulb. Make sure the wood has a few holes in ot to let the hot air rise.

.4 meter across _______________ SIDE VIEW | | | O O O | | | < -------- Holes at the top of the box on 1.0 meter | O O O | both sides. high | |

| |

| |

| |

| |

| | | O O O | < -------- Holes at the bottom of the box 60W Lightbulb | | by the lightbulb on both sides. goes here --> | 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: Cell:+27 83 601 0206 R.S.A.

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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