HINTS AND TIPS FOR MAKING BILTONG
Biltong can be made from virtually any beef or
venison, but remember, the better the cut and grade of the meat, the better the
Silverside is perfect.Always use freshly cut meat. If at all possible do not use vacuum sealed meat. (See "MOULD" below)
Always slice the meat with the grain and use a very sharp
knife for best results.
Slicing the meat
This is very important.† The thicker the meat the longer it takes to
dry.† Aim for slices of anything up to
1cm in thickness.† Careful now, this
needs a bit of concentration.† While
slicing, one inevitably tends to end up with the bottom of the strip being much
thicker than the top.† It is not like
slicing bread!† The trick is to start
slicing thinly, and to carry on slicing till the strip of
meat falls away.† Do not hack at the
meat, then stop to assess your progress, and slice further. You will end up with unattractive strips of meat covered in nicks and cuts.
Marinading the meat
When marinating the meat always put the thicker
pieces at the bottom of the dish or tray with the thinner pieces at the top. ALWAYS use a cover to keep away any flies for hygienic purposes.
Hanging the meat
Always hang your meat in a dry, drafty area, free of insects and flies.†
If flies lay eggs on the meat you will end up with maggots and you can throw your biltong away!
The BILTONG MAKER comes with a fly cover that will prevent any insects from getting near the meat.
Storing your Biltong
Biltong or smoked foods should be
consumed within a week of preparation in order to avoid the possibility of
mould, especially during wet and rainy periods or if you live in humid coastal
If you want to keep biltong over an
extended period, rather put some pieces into a plastic bag, suck out as much
air as possible through a straw, seal, and freeze for months.
If mould should occur, it can be
removed by wiping it of with a cloth which has been dampened with vinegar.
A few simple precautions will prevent the occurrence of this irritating phenomenon.
Biltong, especially the "wettish" type, can be affected by mould after it has been purchased and not consumed within a few days.
It can also occur while making your own biltong. The following are the most common causes of mould and include some tips on how to prevent it:
With the BILTONG MAKER you can make biltong all year round without the problem of mould, provided you follow the instructions in the manual. Never let the meat touch and always dry the meat before hanging. THOSE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT WATCH POINTS!!
- Mould is more likely to occur during hot and humid summer periods, especially at coastal areas unless you put the Biltong Maker in an air-conditioned room. Traditionally the "Biltong Making Season" was during the winter months. However, with the new methods of making biltong such as drying cabinets, you can now make your biltong all year round. Just avoid putting your Biltong Maker in a humid damp surroundings.
- Mould is very likely to occur if strips of meat touch each other during the hanging period. Special care should therefore be taken to ensure that each strip of meat hangs freely. Remember, if mould starts up it rapidly spreads to the rest of the batch.
- Mould is also more likely to form on meat that has been vacuum sealed or pre-packed and been lying in its own blood for a few days on the cold racks in shops. If you only have access to vacuum or pre-packed meat, establish whether the bloodiness has gone "tacky" when you unseal it. If it has, beware, this is a prime mould stimulant. You will need to wipe the meat thoroughly with a cloth dipped in vinegar, and pat it dry with a kitchen towel before starting with your preparations for making biltong. The best is to always buy fresh meat at the butcher.
- Do not hang meat in a dank out-building or a musty room which has been closed for months on end. The fresher the air and the better the ventilation, the less danger there will be of mould contamination.
- Many people hang their biltong in the kitchen and there is nothing wrong with that. Take care however, if the kitchen is very compact the steam from the cooking pots, kettles and the wash-up can create unacceptably high humid conditions.
- It is quite fine to keep your Biltong Maker in an air-conditioned area. This will prevent mould from happening especially in humid conditions.
- If you detect the first signs of mould forming you can save your batch by acting quickly. Wipe of all traces of mould with cloth which has been dipped in vinegar. This kills of the mould spores and you can continue hanging the meat to dry.
- If mould has severely contaminated a batch of hanging biltong it will not dry out, irrespective of how long it hangs. Give it to the dogs. It is not a pretty sight and it will get worse the longer it hangs!
Various types of raw sausages are suitable for
drying and you can experiment to your heartís content.† Just remember to use the thinner sausages
for the best results
Donít use mutton sausages!!
seeds in a DRY frying pan
to burn slightly
seeds with a fork (smell the aroma!!)
half vinegar and half dry red wine
100 ml lemon juice to the vinegar/wine mixture
a mixture of ľ coarsely ground black pepper and ĺ ground coriander.† Sprinkle over the meat and press into
those who like it HOT, sprinkle some peri-peri of your choice over the