The method for making biltong can be divided into 5 processes
- 1. The meat
- 2. The wet mixture
- 3. Salt
- 4. Dry mixture
- 5. The curing process
1. THE MEAT
Use a 1kg beef eye cut that's 20cm long. This cut is usually available prepacked at Coles. Woolworth has a similar cut that's normally in a roasting tray. Harris farm has the fillet eye which you can cut in half. It is not the salted meat (not corned beef). Or check out a large butchery or a butchery that makes biltong and ask them to cut the eye of the silverside. This is the pefect cut for great biltong and being cut fresh as apposed to being vacuumed packed and sitting in blood is also helpful in the process of making biltong. Cut the beef into 4 -12 equal parts along the grain of the meat with a a sharp knife. Dispose of any loose pieces. If the meat is bloody give it a good rinse in water. Avoid placing the meat on metalic surfaces as it causes a reaction (I've never experience this so not sure what the reaction is).
2. WET MIXTURE
For your wet mix add 2 cups of white vinegar and 1 cup of brown vinegar. Optional additions include a teaspoon of Tabasco, a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and your secret ingredients. Place your cut pieces into the wet mix and leave in the fridge between 15 minutes and 1 hour. The longer you leave the meat in the wet mix the more the vinegar will precook your biltong. This is helpful in more hot and humid climates but leaves a hint of the vinegar flavour which disappears in tough dry biltong but lingers slightly in soft biltong. I made up the 20 20 20 rule: An example of an ideal environment is 20 degrees Celsius with less than 20% humidity and leaving the biltong in the wet mix for 20 minutes. Hot humid climates are the hardest places to make biltong. Traditionally it was made in the cold dry months. The weather will effect your entire process as you are essentially cooking with the air. Remove your biltong from the vinegar and allow it to drain before salting. You can use your biltong box or just put it in some tupperware in the fridge for 30 minutes. The fridge is more to avoid any flies and if you in a dry climate you can skip this step. Keep your wet mix for the next step (you can actually reuse it for future biltong but vinegar is relatively inexpensive and its awesome to have fresh ingredients)
3. SALT MIXTURE
Add the salt, sugar and bicarbs of soda. Place a layer of the salt mix in a dish and layer the meat with the salt mix inbetween. Place it in the fridge (or cover with a cloth) for 20 minutes to allow your meat absorb some of the salt. Similar to the vingerre mix the longer you leave your meat the better it will preserve but the saltier it will taste. After an hour rub the salt off the meat and to roll it in the dry mix.
4. DRY MIX
Dry the coriander seeds in the microwave for 30 - 60 seconds and crush them. Season to taste: Add black pepper and crush with a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder or blender. Add a teaspoon of chili powder and a teaspoon of garlic powder. Layer your meat in the dry mix and moosh the the meat through the the mix.
Hang it up in the biltong box. After 30 minutes empty the drainage tray. Check the biltong on day 6 and 10. When you eat it is entirely up to you. The longer you leave it the dryer it will become. 2 weeks is great if you can hold out for thant long.
Disclaimer: While this recipe and variations have be tried a number of times it is not guaranteed. The product Biltong Box will not be held responsible for any health issues or potential death that could result in using the biltongbox product and/or recipe. Be brave and use entirely at your own risk.