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The Biltongmakers.Com Newsletter
December 2006

You are receiving this newsletter because you have previously placed an order with Biltongmakers or made an enquiry about Biltong, Boerewors or Potjie Pots or someone has submitted your name to us thinking that you might be interested.
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In this Newsletter


From the editor

DISCLAIMER

The information and contributions contained in this newsletter are received from various readers local and international. Views and opinions reflected in our newsletter are not necessarily those of Biltongmakers.Com and its team members.



Keerbergen
Belgium
December 2006

The wind is howling outside. It is real autumn weather outside. Drizzle, wind, loads of leaves blowing all over the place.
And yet ........ It's warm enough to put on a pair of shorts and have a go in the garden. It got close to 20C today and, even with the wind, it is lovely to be outside.

Not so for the wicked though. They have to work at newsletters and be holed up behind double glazing and suffer the coziness of being inside!

I am early this month. It's only the 25th of November and the December issue is just about finished.

Yesterday was Kel's birthday. Bless his soul. He would have been 64 this year. It is still such a strange feeling to know that he is no longer amongst us. No more quick telephone calls or an email ........
Rest in peace my friend.



Holiday closure

It is December and we are very much looking forward to our trip to Singapore and Bangkok. It's only a couple of weeks before we go!

At this stage I must mention that we will be closing the offices from December 19th till January 9th. It sounds strange. Closing up! I cannot remember that we have ever closed up before and this holiday will certainly be the longest I can remember taking.

But it's time to recharge the old batteries!

Our on-line shop (accessible from all the pages on our web site) will remain open of course and all orders will be processed and shipped as normal. However, manual and PayPal order requests as well as any queries or emails to Biltongmakers.Com will have to wait till early January for a reply.

To be honest, we don't really want to spend our holidays behind a computer. I'm sure you don't mind!



Let's see you on our GuestMap!

We have recently expanded our GuestMap to take more names of our Biltong making friends all over the world. Please feel free to place your pin and tell us a little about whatever.

If you did place your pin in the past please do so again. I think that the guys in the US might have lost some of the info.

If you find one map a bit full just click on the "go back" button in the left-hand top corner of the map till you find an empty one.




Superb Biltong in the UK

At the end of November we took a couple of days to visit family and some customers in the UK. Bishop's Waltham near Southampton
It was very nice to finally meet up with Andrew Grover from Bishop's Waltham Butchery near Southampton.

What an incredibly superb and clean shop Andrew has. When you walk in there you just feel welcome and you just want to buy all that lovely fresh looking meat! Driving into the little village was like being taken back in time.
What a lovely part of England that is.

Biltong in the window! As we walked up to Andrew's shop we saw to our surprise a window full of biltong and droëwors hanging from a rod. Just like back in South Africa!

Andrew bought the small industrial biltong drying cabinet (30kg) some time ago and I must say his biltong compares with the best I have ever tasted.

When June tasted his droëwors she said:"Now that's how I like it. Absolutely perfect!" I must say that June does not like my droëwors very much because it has a little too much fat in it to her liking and it is always ever so slightly wettish.

Hey, but I digress. Have a look at the pictures and judge for yourself. (Click on them to see them big)

If you want biltong or droëwors just give Andrew a call. His number is 01489 891937. Biltong for Africa You can also visit his web site at www.bw-butchers.co.uk or email him at andrew@bwbutchers.co.uk

I have tasted a lot of biltong in England, some of it from very reputable South African shops and it has always been from so-so to inedible.

Andrew's biltong is perfect and you can order it with or without fat and from wettish to very dry! And at an incredible price too!!



We also met up with Aris Stathakis.
Aris is the distributor for our Home Biltong Makers in the UK. He has ample stock and delivery is of course much quicker than sending it all the way from South Africa! Aris was the very first person to have a web site about biltong.
You can visit his on-line shop at www.biltongbox.com



My last stop in the UK was a visit to the London Eye.
There were two of us. The London Eye
We drove to the most southern tube station in London and parked the car.
Apart from the congestion charge it is madness to drive in to London. It's much quicker and easier by tube.
We took the tube to Waterloo station and were immediately transported back to South Africa. There were South Africans everywhere waving flags (old and new) with funny hats and all rearing to go to Twickenham of course! (Don't know where all the Castle Beers came from!) Up, up and away!

Now, those of you who have been to the London Eye know that it seldom stops. Perhaps for a couple of seconds or so but normally you will climb on and off while it runs.
We have the dubious honor to belong to a very select and very small club who stopped the London Eye for at least 10 minutes that day.

I will not go into detail.

The view was incredible though!

And so it is almost Christmas and another New Year is on the horizon and all that remains for us is to wish all of you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous, healthy and, above all, peaceful New Year.

All the best,


Lo



There is not enough darkness in the whole world to extinguish the light of a small candle.
[Unknown]

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself
[A H Weiler]


A Christmas reflection

This Christmas from all of us at here to all our friends all over the world.
Just a moment of reflection .........
.
[We have all read this one time or another but just pause for a moment, and read it again ......]



Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.


Story of the month

The History and Tradition of Christmas Pudding

Does your Christmas dinner include a Christmas Pudding?

If you lived in England, the absence of this delectable dessert from the holiday table would raise a few eyebrows.
The pudding is the most special part of the meal, although families alter the way it's cooked and presented to create their own unique traditions.
Originally the Christmas Pudding was referred to as hakin because of its multitude of ingredients.

The first recipes of this pudding came from the Middle Ages.
The ingredients for mince pie, as it was then called, were chopped poultry, pheasant, partridge, and rabbit.
Later sugar, apples, raisins, and candied oranges and lemons were added.

Another form of Christmas pudding called porridge or frumenty surfaced in the 14th century. Ingredients included beef, mutton, raisins, currents, prunes, wine, and mixed spices.

It was a soup-like fasting dish eaten before the Christmas celebrations commenced.
In 1595, spirits, dried fruit, eggs, and bread crumbs were added to the recipe and it became plum pudding. In 1664, it was banned by the Puritans as a lewd custom unfit for people who followed the ways of God.

In 1714, King George I re-established pudding as part of the Christmas feast even though the Quakers strongly objected. Meat was eliminated from the recipe in the 17th century in favor of more sweets, and people began sprinkling it with brandy and setting it aflame when serving it to their guests.

The Christmas pudding was not a tradition in England until it was introduced to the Victorians by Prince Albert.
By this time the pudding looked and tasted as it does today.

The traditional cooking time takes about eight hours, with preparation taking even longer due to extensive marinating. The longer the fruit is marinated in brandy, cider, or both, the better it tastes and this could take weeks!

There are many traditions and superstitions surrounding the Christmas Pudding.
Some traditions say to make the pudding by the 25th Sunday after Trinity, with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His Disciples.
Every member of the family is to take a turn stirring the pudding with a wooden spoon from east to west, in honor of the three kings.

It is said that setting the brandy aflame represents Christ’s passion.
A sprig of holly as garnish is a reminder if His ‘Crown of Thorns.’ Holly supposedly brought good luck and had special healing powers.
It was often planted near houses in the belief that it protected the inhabitants.

Some families add coins to the pudding for luck. Everyone then stirs the pudding and makes a wish. Those who get the coins in their serving get wealth, health, happiness, and their wish will come true. Some people even add gold rings to the mix to indicate the finder will get married in the coming year.
A tradition that died out due to its depressing nature, was the addition of thimbles or buttons to the pudding. This signaled that the finder would remain a spinster or bachelor forever.

One last interesting fact about Christmas pudding is that the largest batch ever made weighed in at 7,231 pounds and was made in Aughton, Lancashire on July 11, 1992. Imagine trying to finish that plate!

Click
here for Mrs Mackie's Christmas Pudding Recipe
(Not that it will help any this year though. Christmas pudding should be made months before the time -Ed)



* * * * Advertisement - Advertisement - Advertisement - Advertisement - Advertisement * * * *

The South African Meat Industry Company,
Samic has very nice meat cutting charts.
Just click on the banner below for lots of interesting information.



Our Home Biltong Makers

Thank you!

Hey people. There have been such nice compliments flying around from so many people that we don't know where to start thanking all of you.

It does us so good (dit gee ons 'n groot lekker kry) to see that there are so many of you who so much enjoy making your own biltong and wors. It is so nice to hear from you and how you are doing.

This web site is really about bringing some of your "old home" back to where-ever you may be in this world right now and we hope that we, in a small way, succeed in doing so.

It is your mails overflowing with enthusiasm about how you made your own biltong and wors that keeps us going.

So, from us, a great thank you. And keep those mails coming!

There is one feedback that really took the cake. It came from John Renwick, some time ago .......

John wrote:

Yesterday afternoon, after three days, I tested my first batch. Brilliant!!

This is the first time I've had biltong since 1986 so you can imagine how pleased I am!

I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!


So, to all of you who have not tried it yet, now is the time!

The most popular Home Biltong Maker in the world! You too could be making your own Biltong in a very short space of time.
Have a look at our Home Biltong Makers and see how easy it is!!


Details on ROCKEY'S 5kg Home Biltong Maker can be found by clicking on this link.

It's as easy as 1-2-3 to make your own Biltong!







You can have a look at the BILTONG BUDDY here.


This month's specials

Christmas is now around the corner .....

But ..... even with Christmas gone you will still be able to benefit from these special prices and something free!

The first 10 orders received after this newsletter has been mailed will receive one of our famous blackwood Biltong Cutters totally FREE!!

So don't wait and
go shopping now!

There is still time to have your Biltong Maker delivered before Christmas but only if you place your order now!!

As an extra bonus to end this year off on a high note the following prices will apply:

Rockey's incredible 5kg Home Biltong Maker still @ only R 850.00! (Normal retail is R 950.00).
The unbeatable Biltong Buddy (2kg) @ still only R 695.00! (Normal retail is R 750.00).

Make use of this opportunity and ask for surface mail! It costs a fraction of the airmail cost.

Click here to go to our on-line shop.



Tips of the month

If this is true it's very scary!

It is not true apparently!
Following our article of last month about microwaves we have had a lot of feedback.

The story is simply not true apparently.

Please go to
this link to read the true story about this subject.

We are sorry if we have caused any drama, broken marriages, microwaves being dumped (you needed a new one anyway) etc.
The article was published in good faith.



Vinegar,

The subject of what vinegar to use for Biltong has risen its head again. In 2004 Craig Rudolph mailed us with the following.

It should answer most peoples questions about vinegar.

Craig writes ...........

I was reading through the question with regards "Brown Vinegar" and am happy to provide the following information:

I worked for many years for a very large Vinegar manufacturer in South Africa. So I can speak with some knowledge on the product and what people should know.

As some people might know, vinegar is made via a double fermentation process.

Firstly the raw material (grapes, malt, apples or molasses) is fermented and then distilled into a 95% alcohol. (Normal drinking alcohol quality)
This alcohol is then fermented for a second time with a small bacteria called "Aceto-bacter." This little bacteria spends the whole of its life eating alcohol molecules, with the help of nutrients, and turning the alcohol into acetic acid or vinegar.

The colour that various vinegars have is purely to do with where they are stored or what is added after their production. So malt vinegars could be stored in barrels etc. Wine vinegars with a red tinge will have been coloured with red grape skins for a short period. For most commercial brown vinegars, off the supermarket shelves, it is purely a small amount of caramel that is added. Depending on how dark they want it, depends on how much they add of the caramel.

Strength of vinegar can also increase with age. Balsamic vinegars can be as old as 200 years - not unlike good red wines. So for the person that used cider vinegar, I would suggest using a normal supermarket shelf white vinegar, which might be a little more subtle than the cider vinegar, and then obtain a small amount of caramel for adding and make their own brown vinegar.

Hope this is of help to the folks around the Biltong globe.

Regards

Craig Rudolph
Australia



South African Meat Cutting Charts

Below you will find three meat cutting charts.

These are displayed with the compliments of SAMIC.
(The South African Meat Industry Company).
SAMIC has a very interesting web site as well as a weekly newsletter about anything to do with the
Meat Industry in South Africa.
Now, don't think this is a totally boring web site (I thought so first) but it has some very interesting articles and statistics.




English Meat Cutting Charts

These charts you find here are very detailed also showing what you can do with the different cuts.

They come from EBLEX
(English Beef and Lamb Executive)

They have a fun web site at www.beefyandlamby.co.uk with loads of excellent recipes to boot!
A site really worth visiting!
For the cutting charts click on the links below


* * * * Advertisement - Advertisement - Advertisement - Advertisement - Advertisement * * * *

South African Musical and other Events in Europe

For all upcoming shows by South Africa artists please click on the South African events web site link below.
There are a host of South African artists coming to Europe in the next couple of weeks.

Amongst those are;
  • Johnny Clegg (Luxembourg/France)
  • Riku Latti (Holland/Belgium)
  • Ha!Man (UK, Belgium and France)
  • Tidal Waves (Belgium - FREE ENTRANCE)
  • Soweto Gospel Choir (Various countries, see the web site)
  • Polisiekar (Holland/Belgium/England)
  • And many, many more
We went to see Anton Goosen in November and apart from an excellent show the organization was faultless. Good food, good music and a very enjoyable evening.

To see all upcoming events please click on
South African Events in Europe web site. There are loads of things happening!


Questions and Answers

As every month, here is our regular section on the many questions we receive from our readers all over the world.
If we have not given an answer and you can help these people could you please mail them?
(Please copy us in on your mails @
info@biltongmakers.com
so we can help other people who might have the same questions in the future)



QUESTION

    We live in Tanzania and have a couple of questions. I hope that there is someone who can help me with some answers.
  • In Tanzania it is quite difficult to find a reliable supplier of pork. The sheep here look like goats, so sheeptails are also bit dicey. Therefore I am using brisket fat in the Boerewors as well as in droëwors.
    With the droe wors it seems fine and I have no problem. The Boerewors tends to be dry and brittle. Would it help if I add some oats to the mixture (I have seen few recipes calling for oats).
    Is there an alternative to oats? Is it better to have the meat minced fine, rather than a coarser mince (which I am doing at the moment)?
    I am using "Freddy Hirsch" spices. Do I use water as I am, at the moment not adding any water to my mixture?

  • Is there a recipe where I can also use local spices to make Garlic Boerewors.

  • In South Africa we used to buy Cheese Boerewors. When you cut it, you could actually see the cheese oozing out.
    Very nice.
    I would like to make something similar here. Do you have a recipe for me?
    Different cheeses here are expensive, but we do have a cheaper local mozzarella cheese and imported New Zealand cheddar cheese that is not so expensive.

  • I bought synthetic casings for Boerewors as well as droe wors.
    A friend gave me a small bag of casings coated with salt. This has been refrigerated for bit over a year now. It looks fine.
    How long can this keep in refrigerated conditions? I also received a kilogram bag of casings, but this has been frozen for about a year as well.
    My problem is that I do not know if I can defrost the casings, make it up in smaller packets and re-freeze it for later use. Can I perhaps coat some of it in salt again and keep small amounts in fridge to use as I need?
I really enjoy your newsletters, you are doing a GREAT JOB!

Hope you have solutions to my problems.
Kind regards,

Ina Hiller
Tanzania
inas@bol.co.tz



QUESTION

I am a big fan of biltong and as a member of a rugby supporters club, there is an ever increasing demand for my biltong.

I have purchased a mini/junior biltong dryer from an agent in Johannesburg. It's the Butcherquip brand, which I think looks similar to the one you sell on your website.

My question to you is the following:
I have converted a stationery cupboard into a drying unit for my meat, and I would very much like to know if you could advise me on the size of fan that would be required, I guess it needs to be an industrial size fan, the dimensions of my drying box are as follows:

430mm x 910mm x 1740mm = 0.68 m³
Regards

Mike
Johannesburg, South Africa
mikelawrie@mweb.co.za



QUESTION

A lot of customers come up with the question if our spices are allowed in to Australia. We have had one instance years ago where an Australian customs official asked for a written list of the contents of the spices. After this was mailed through to them the spices were released without a problem.

The questions is:
Has anyone ever had any problems getting our spices in to Australia?
Please let us know so we can assure future customers.

Many thanks,
The Biltong Team
webmaster@biltongmakers.com



QUESTION

I ordered some of your Boerewors spice mix and have made my first batch but I'd appreciate some advice.
The wors tastes nice, nothing wrong with the spices, but it seems to me to be a bit tough.
I used stewing steak do you think that might be the cause or is it something in the technique.
It's not unpleasantly tough but just not right if you know what I mean.

Cheers
Paul Bing
New Zealand
nzbings@xtra.co.nz



Feedback


We received some feedback regarding a question posed by Michael Rollins last month.

The question was:

Food safety is of great concern here, such that I doubt biltong could be legally sold, due to the center portion still being raw and pink.
This isn't an issue with quality beef, which has passed government inspection.

However, I would like to make biltong out of wild venison, as hunting season for deer is currently open. The only bacteria or parasite that could possibly be present in the venison from my area is Lyme disease, which is bacterial.

The Afrikaner who introduced me to biltong years ago said they made it from fresh Kudu meat after a hunt, but didn't mention whether there was any health risk associated with using wild game.
So, the question I ask you is whether properly prepared biltong is known to have any risks, or whether the preparation and drying/curing process kill bacteria in the pink interior of the meat?
If you can't answer that, it's okay. I'll stick with beef.

The feedback:

I hunted in South Africa for more then 20 years, shot countless Kudu, Impala and Springbok, always cut and prepared my own biltong and never any health risks whatsoever.
We would cut up two Kudu's and four Impala, make a couple of hundred pound (wet) biltong, dry it in our garage (with fan's) until nearly bone dry and freeze in bundle's and it would last us till the next hunting season. More then 20 years of eating venison biltong, never any health problems or risks.

Lyme disease is spread by deer ticks (has black legs and red body) that bites you. If you hunt and have a kill and a tick from the deer lands on you, just remove and take a single dose of doxycycline (need script from your doctor) to prevent lime disease.
Lyme disease cannot go from person to person, so cannot go from deer to person. Not contagious. So there shouldn't be a concern in making venison biltong.

Invite me for a hunting trip (I will pay my way) and I will teach you how to make biltong properly.

Deon Pretorius


Stoep Talk

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the coast we go......
By James Clarke

Psychologist Dr Niki Swart, speaking some time back at a civil defence conference, said that in a disaster situation, 70 percent of people become confused and panicky, while 10 percent scream and cry, and the rest become distanced.

I have personal experience of this. It happens every time we go on holiday en famille - and this year we have, once again, decided that our tribe will migrate to the coast next month.

It is not that we want to avoid dishing out Christmas boxes to those 300 or so dustbin men who arrive in Impis shouting: "Happeeeeee!" and armed with authentic-looking letters from the municipality.

Although, to be honest, that is partly the reason.

It is also to avoid hearing: "Jingle bells, jingle bells" every time I go the shops.

But I have long realised how right Dr Swart was. My family, when setting out on a long journey, manifests the first two syndromes - confusion/panic and screaming/crying. I tend to be like the 20 percent and become distanced.

We usually go down to the sea in convoy, taking hours because there are so many females, and females have bladders the size of eyedrop bulbs which necessitates stopping every 20 minutes. And then the younger ones want crisps and soft drinks so that they can mash the chips into the back seat and set the cans, once almost emptied, rolling under the front seats going downhill and rolling back going uphill.

Nowadays we rendezvous at dawn at the house of either one of my daughters where we reverse over suitcases, burst plastic bags and find that women are bringing food supplies as if the South Coast is served only by a trading store that sells blankets and paraffin.

"How can you have bought all this stuff?"

"It just looks a lot. In any event, you should just see how much we left behind on the supermarket shelves."

The scene is reminiscent of a dockside as an ocean liner prepares for the Far East.

"Who are all these people?" I cry. But really, I know, because I recognise many of their faces.

Meanwhile every burglar south of Harare can see he has two clear weeks to clean out the house. "I just hope," said my son-in-law, "they'll have time to clean out the garage too."

On one occasion when my granddaughter was small, she spied a packed taxi pulling up and called to the people getting out: "You see this house? Well, Jesus is looking after it because we're going on holiday."

The drive is filled with people shouting helpful things like: "Aren't you folks ready yet for Pete's sake?"

"Oh no," I say to my wife, "you are not bringing THREE suitcases?"

"I am."

"Who said?"

"I did."

"Oh well, that's all right then."

The scene changes to that of the Grand Staircase on the Titanic. I slide into the phase Niki Swart describes as "helplessly withdrawn".

Inevitably, irrepressibly, the convoy moves out, forsaking the agreeable Highveld climate and heading southeast towards the rains and the sticky humidity that lies ahead.



More from the Chalk Front

I was on about howlers the other day and a reader (teacher) said teachers take a huge risk in asking pupils to write down what they think of teachers .....

"She looks very old," wrote a child of her 25-year-old teacher.

Another wrote: "My teacher is at school to teach us how to spull."

An admiring pupil said: "My teacher is clever. She is good at sharpening pencils."

Another was even more satisfied: "I am clever because my teacharer teachars me."


Recipes for Christmas

Classic Grilled Turkey
On the Weber Braai

Grill just one turkey this way and you will never go back to making it in the oven!

You need:
  • Oven-ready turkey - stuffed (we've done up to 6-7kg without any problem)
  • Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Herbs, spices or seasoning to taste
What to do:
  • Rinse turkey and pat dry. Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. Return legs to tucked position. Brush turkey with oil. Season to taste, inside and out.
  • Using the indirect cooking method, place turkey, breast side up, in a roast holder. Place in center of cooking grate.
  • Cook to an internal temperature of 180º F in the thigh and 170ºF in the breast.
  • Remove turkey from grill and let stand 15 minutes before carving.
Gravy:
To collect the drippings for making gravy, pour a little water into foil pan and place under the bird (indirect cooking method)in between the coal separators. Replenish water as needed to keep drippings from burning. Remove pan from under turkey about 30 minutes before bird should be done and make gravy. (Continue cooking turkey in the center of the cooking grate).

Important note:
The big secret for a juicy Turkey ......
Halfway through the cooking process turn the bird! This will cause the juices to get through to the breast part.



Roast Rib of Beef with Caramelised Shallots
Serves 6
Preparation time:
25 minutes

Cooking time:
Rare: 20 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes
Medium: 25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 25 minutes
Well done: 30 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 30 minutes

Your shopping list:
  • 1 x 1.8kg/4lb lean rib of beef, French-trimmed and chinned, boneless rib, or topside joint
  • 15-30ml/1-2tbsp olive oil
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons or limes
  • 4 large sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 24 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 300ml/½pint full bodied red wine, Port or sweet sherry
  • 150ml/¼pint good, hot beef stock, homemade if preferred
  • 15ml/1tbsp plain flour
Cheesy Yorkshire Puddings:
  • 175g (6oz) strong white plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 5ml (1tsp) fresh thyme leaves
  • 300-400ml (10-14floz) milk
  • 50g/2oz mature Cheddar cheese, or similar
  • 30ml (2tbsp) sunflower oil or beef dripping
How to do it:

  • Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4-5, 180-190°C, 350-375°F.
  • In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, lemon or lime zest and thyme leaves.
  • Place the joint on a chopping board, score the skin, pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper and season the joint. Sear the surface of the joint with the citrus mix.
  • Place the joint on a metal rack in a large roasting tin and open roast for the preferred calculated cooking time, basting occasionally with any rich beefy juices.
  • Prepare the Yorkshire puddings: In a large bowl sift the flour and salt together. Make a well in the center of the bowl and whisk in the eggs, thyme and enough milk to form a smooth, thick batter, about the consistency of double cream. Cover and leave the batter to rest in the refrigerator until required.
  • 1 hour before the end of the cooking time remove the joint from the oven and add the shallots to the tin with the red wine, Port or sherry. Position the joint on top of the shallots and return to the oven.
  • When the beef is cooked transfer to a platter, loosely cover with foil and keep warm. Retain the contents of the roasting tin for the gravy.
  • To cook the Yorkshire puddings: increase the oven temperature to Gas mark 7, 220°C, 425°F, and add the oil or beef dripping evenly in a 12-hole muffin or Yorkshire pudding tin and preheat in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Just before using, re-whisk the batter, adding any extra milk to return to the consistency of double cream and pour into a jug. Remove the hot tin from the oven and pour the batter evenly into each hole, sprinkle over the grated cheese, return to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the gravy, spoon off any excess oil from the tin, leaving about 30ml (2tbsp) of any rich, beefy juices. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat and sprinkle over the flour. Stir well with a small whisk or spoon, gradually the stock and stir again, scraping the base of the pan to release any sediment.
  • Add any meat juices from the platter, adjust the seasoning, if required and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until reduced to a well-flavoured gravy. Strain before serving.

Serve the beef with roast potatoes, the shallots, Yorkshire puddings and gravy.




Stories from South Africa

Gansbaai Shark Whisperer goes International

Michael Rutzen is a 36-year-old Gansbaai local who has learnt to free-dive with adult great white sharks adjusting his body-language and using the currents and position of the sun to show that he is not a threat.

On a good day he can even hitch a ride on the dorsal fin of a massive great white. Michael hopes to build levels of trust between shark and man to the point where he believes he can hypnotize them into a hardly understood state known as tonic immobility, in which the shark becomes passive and seeks out human touch for apparent pleasure.

Michael is the focus of the latest project of two Cape Town film-maker brothers, Damon and Craig Foster.

Their upcoming film Sharkman, tells the story of Michael's dream to change our perceptions of sharks.

People are afraid of sharks. They have been stereotyped by films and books as our worst enemy - who can forget Jaws - and presented as indiscriminate killers.

This belief endures because people hate being confused by the truth, however often it is repeated.

In 2005 the Global Shark Attack File recorded 69 attacks of which just five were fatal. In the Cape Peninsula there have only been 28 documented fatal shark attacks since 1960.

In comparison, thousands of people around the world die annually from lightning strikes and as many as three million people die from malaria.

Shark populations are being obliterated at a rate of 270 000 sharks each day across the world simply to keep up with consumer demand.

It is a rate of depletion that can no longer be sustained without fear of species collapse.

The stocks of some sharks have plummeted to just 10 percent of the population levels recorded in 1950.

It seems that until people's perceptions of sharks change, this pattern will continue.

The Foster Brothers are film-makers who want to change perceptions of our natural environment. They believe that when we understand something, we will want to protect it.

Their highly successful 2001 film The Great Dance documents man and animal at their most extreme limits of endurance through the "chasing hunt", a ritual never before revealed to the world outside the Kalahari Desert.

The Great Dance helped to change perceptions of the need to preserve San culture in the face of globalisation and tribal decline.

It received more awards than any other documentary of its time.

Commissioned by Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, Sharkman is the culmination of a lifetime of fascination with the ocean for the Foster siblings.

Growing up at Bakoven on the Atlantic seaboard, their bedroom window was below the high-water mark, and the bigger storms of the year would batter it until it seemed they would be washed away.

Damon Foster caught his first crayfish at the age of just four. And Damon and Craig have dived and fished throughout their lives.

The film is being made because they want to show that we need to protect one of the last truly wild predators. Damon finds it amazing that people know more about dinosaurs, which, of course, no one has ever seen, than about sharks.

Incredible scenes from the film show Michael learning how to "hypnotize" Caribbean reef sharks and black tips in the Bahamas and Caribbean, and tiger sharks off KwaZulu-Natal.

By stroking the mouth area of the shark as it rests in his lap, it becomes docile and almost affectionate.

Michael is amazed that these "killer" sharks are willing partners in this process, and even manages to enter a "liquid embrace" with a 3m-long tiger shark, descending over 15 meter before the shark "awakes" and then swims away.

Sharkman will be completed in December and will be broadcast to a viewing audience of about 200 million people on the Animal Planet and Discovery channels.


Around the World

Bits and Bobs from people around the world

There is not much this month. Perhaps you are busy getting ready for Christmas or the holidays? Come on guys. Let's see what you can do for next month's issue? -Ed.



I am not sure how I landed up on your newsletter list but I am thankful I did, I thoroughly enjoy reading your updates. My name is Tracy-lee Kropman, I am originally from Cape Town and have lived in Charlotte, North Carolina for nearly 6 years now and totally love it. We are very fortunate to have an awesome biltong company here that makes biltong as good if not better than any biltong I have ever tasted in South Africa but still I think what you are doing with the biltong machine and all, is so cool for people that are not as fortunate as us to have someone like you to take care of their needs :-)

Anyway the reason for my email is that I have just started a South African email loop which is getting going very slowly but we are getting there. There is a good following of South Africans here in North Carolina, mostly in Raleigh but here in Charlotte we are getting going with events etc. to get us all together every now and again.

Anyway I am getting off the subject ... what I wanted to say was that although I started doing the loop for South Africans living in Charlotte, it has spread to other South Africans living in the States and even some outside of the States.

Most information is relevant to people living in the USA but often it is just a chat or sharing recipe information or whatever, so I thought I would send you the link and if you are interested in joining, please feel free.

The link is:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/satarheelscharlotte/

Take care.
Tracy-lee Kropman
Charlotte, North carolina, USA



Hi all,

Exciting information for all readers. Original game and Ostrich Biltong from South Africa is now allowed in to the European Union countries!

Kind regards
Hilmar Hambloch
Germany



Hallo,

Neem eens een kijkje op volgend adres:
http://www.rvi.be/rvi_master/reisboeken/rvi_reisboek_zuidafrika/index.shtml
Groetjes
Chris Vervliet
Belgie



Affinity Publishing in South Africa has recently published a book entitled Jo'burg! The Passion Behind a City.

The book recognises the people behind Jo'burg’s rejuvenation. It shares success stories, documents the progress that’s been made to date, and ultimately aims to change perceptions about a city that so often only hits the headlines when talking about crime and grime.

Jo'burg! The Passion Behind a City is ideally suited to convey a message of optimism and pride regarding Jo'burg, its people and its future.

I have attached a picture of the book as well as a brief synopsis and will be most grateful if you would consider mentioning the book in your newsletter with a link to our website.

Many thanks and best regards
Samantha van Staden
Associate Publisher
Affinity Publishing
South Africa

(We will tell you more about this exciting new book once we have had a look at it. Perhaps next month? -Ed)


Something to smile about

Cape Town

-from Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia-
Cape Town is a city on the coast of South Africa so called because the wearing of capes or cloaks is compulsory within the city limits. It was founded by Batman on his way to Melbourne from Holland in 1652.

Cape Town is also called "The Mother City", believed to be due to the highly expressive vocabulary of the local dialect (in which the words "your mother" feature regularly) and the cheap and nasty (but potent) local wine. A different school of thought believes the origin of the name lies in the fact that it takes 9 months to do anything in this sleepy hollow.

Cape Town is situated on a sandbar under Table Mountain (so called because unlike most mountains, it is flat). Cape Town became famous for the first successful heart transplant operation at its "Great Skewer" Hospital by Christian Barnyard.

Cape Town is neither as wealthy nor as large as Johannesburg, so the inhabitants compensate with a superior attitude based on the claim that they were there first. Which none of them personally were, unless they are over 300 years old.

It is socially unacceptable for a Capetonian to talk to people that they have not previously talked to, which severely limits social interactions.
If the opportunity should somehow present itself, a traditional Cape Town greeting is "Jou ma se *%#@", often abbreviated to "Jou ma", which means, roughly "Good day and good health to you and your good mother, sir!"

Robin Island was named after Batman's faithful sidekick. Later it was renamed "Robbin' Island" and used as a jail, like Alcatraz but with colder water around it and more sharks in it.

In spite of the revolution in 1994 severe social inequality still persists. Efforts to redress this historical imbalance are progressing well, particularly the "mugg'em" initiative.

Popular sports are pretentiousness, drunk-driving, pole-vaulting, homosexuality, French dressing and Mexican standoffs. The summer sport of setting fire to the mountainside is more popular with tourists than with locals, though all enjoy the cheerful spectacle of the flames and smoke.

Since 2006, the town council of Cape Town has embraced an "Amishisation " policy, and has turned it's back on the use of electricity, declaring it a decadent bourgeois luxury. Electricity is slowly being phased out in a series of "power cuts", and it is to be replaced by the use of candles, paraffin lamps and fires for illumination and sing-alongs for entertainment.

Cape Town is the first place to boast an Invisible Bridge. However, the bridge is currently not in use as the city council refused to believe the claims of the construction company when they informed the council that they had developed a new building material which was stronger than steel but could not be seen by the human eye. The city council is said to have likened the bridge fiasco to "The Emperor's New Clothes".

Roads Memorial celebrates the fact that Cape Town is where roads were invented. This is delightfully done by means of a monument which includes important tools to road- making such as lions, a man with a horse and some dude's head.

Bergies are Cape Town's world famous mountaineers who live on Table Mountain and often come down into the city to welcome foreigners with the traditional Capetonian greeting of "Jou maaaa se *%$@!"



At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear co-worker who was leaving the company due to "down-sizing," our manager commented cheerfully, "This is fun. We should do this more often."

Not a word was spoken.



Sport talk

Snippets from the papers

Currie Cup system entrenched until 2011
SA Rugby's President's Council got it right on Wednesday: the strength-versus-strength
Currie Cup format has been retained for at least the next five seasons.
Full Story ....

White gets backing of President's Council
Springbok coach Jake White says he is happy that he can "relax a bit and get on with the job" after he received a vote of confidence from the SA Rugby President's Council.
Full Story ....

Young hooker to rewrite history books
Chiliboy Ralepelle will become the first black player to captain a Springbok XV when he leads them out against a World XV in Leicester.
Full Story ....

Ganguly recalled for Test series against SA
India's selectors have recalled former captain Sourav Ganguly for December's three-Test series against the Proteas.
Full Story...

Proteas are going for the kill
Proteas skipper Graeme Smith has promised that his side will not take the foot off the pedal despite being 2-0 up in the one-day series against India.
Full Story ....


-Where can you watch rugby on TV?-
Click here to find out where in most countries!


Let's hear from you too!!

Let's make the next issue a Bumper one!

It is the last month of the year so why not join us and make the first issue of 2007 a real bumper one! Let's all put pen to paper or the fingers to the keyboard and let rip!

It does not have to be about Biltong or such. We'd love to hear where you live and how you have adapted yourself to your new life style and surroundings.

You might have a nice recipe to part with or perhaps a question to ask?
Perhaps you have some advice to give?

You never know how you could help somebody else with your own hints and tips.

Share it with other people around the world!



Boerewors in Europe

Boerewors (Europe only, sorry people!)

A lot of people took our advice and stocked up with Boerewors in November. So much so that we had to make an extra 170kg batch! We even send 5 kg to Susan Rowett in Monaco!
We have fresh stock available most of the time.
Boeries on the braai!
So if you need Boerewors just email us or call. You can either collect or we can mail it to you.
All our customers in Holland, Belgium and in fact, all over Europe are raving about the packing of and the condition in which the wors arrived at their doorsteps.

Just imagine some "lekker" pap and wors with a nice tomato and onion sauce!

Just give us a call on +32 (16) 53.96.25 or email us.

Our Boerewors is vacuum packed in quantities of about 500 gram.
The normal price is € 8.45 per kg but for the time being we will keep it at only € 7.95 per kg!!


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Droëwors for the UK and Europe!

Droëwors ...... a typical South African delicacy all of its own!

Droëwors, as it is known in South Africa, is as much part of the country's culinary culture as Biltong, Pap, Boerewors and Potjiekos.
Real South African Droë Wors! The spices are of course imported especially from South Africa so you will get the "real" thing!
Unfortunately we are all sold out right now. The droëwors was sold within a week of the announcement of the special pricing! But ..... please place your advance orders for the next batches to make sure you don't lose out!!

The price will be € 28.00 per kg or € 7.00 per 250 gram packet.

Droëwors travels well and posting is an ideal option.
We can mail it to you in Europe and the UK via priority mail in minimum quantities of 1 kg.
See all the mailing rates by going to www.boerewors.be

Interested? Give us a call on +32 (16) 53.96.25 or email.

 
Lamb on the Spit

Lamb on the Spit ....... something special!

The Braai season is over in Europe (except for some diehards!) but the Spring and Summer of 2007 are not too far away!!

Lamb on the Spit is a way of entertaining as only known by very few mainly because it is thought to be very expensive ....... Not so!

Click to see me big! We will do a lamb on the Spit for parties of between 30 and 50 people for just € 18.00 and € 15.00 a head respectively.

Together with the lamb we will treat you to a big pot of curried potatoes as well as a choice between a pasta salad or three-bean salad. Garlic or bread rolls are included as well.
For venues more than 50 km from our home base in Keerbergen there is a small transport fee.
The barbecue season is almost over but there is always next year.
Start planning now for the Spring and next Summer!
Remember that we are doing these functions only during weekends.

Booking early is essential and you can do so on
+32 (16) 53.96.25 or email us.

(A Lamb on the Spit can only be done outside because we cook on coals!)

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Previous issues of our Newsletter

You can click on the links below to view some of the previous issues of our newsletter.

December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006

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