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Biltong is a type of dried, cured meat from Southern African countries (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia). Biltong is derived from the Dutch words bil (“buttock”) and tong (“noodle”) (“strip” or “tongue”)
It is made from a variety of meats, ranging from beef to game meats like ostrich or kudu. The cut may also differ, with fillets of flesh cut into strips that follow the grain of the muscle or flat chunks sliced across the grain. It is similar to beef jerky in that both are seasoned, dried meats; however, the typical ingredients, taste, and manufacturing procedures may differ.
Is Biltong Illegal?
You’ve probably never heard of this unique meat cut unless you’re from South Africa. Biltong, which is Dutch for “meat strip,” has been consumed for generations in Southern Africa. However, it is unlawful to import this adopted hunting snack into the United States due to the way it is cured.
Is Biltong Healthy?
This meal is one of the best to snack on. In fact, scientists say biltong is actually healthier than a regular protein bar, with less sugar and more than 10 times the protein. Here’s why;
- Biltong is high in protein and low in carbs. Half of your daily protein needs can be met by 25 grams of lean beef biltong. Because of its high protein content, it makes an excellent post-workout snack.
- It stores nicely, so it can not only wait in your workout bag, but it is also ideal for trekking, especially lengthy hikes like the famed Otto trail. It’s light since it’s dried, and it won’t spoil because of the drying and spicing.
- Less toxic chemicals are used in its favoring and preservation.
- It is low in fat, typically averaging 3%, making it a popular weight-loss diet option.
- It is gluten-free by nature.
- It’s the excellent snack for those on a diet.
- It contains a lot of Vitamin B12, which is necessary for healthy blood and nerve cells as well as cell replication.
- 2000 g Beef—silverside or toprump
- 5 tbsp Brown (malt) or cider vinegar
- 2.5 tbsp Coarse salt (2% of the meat weight)
- 2 tsps Ground black pepper
- 2 tbsps Coriander seed
- 1.5 tbsps Brown sugar
- Toast the coriander seeds in a dry pan, then grind down in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
- It should be mostly powder, with a few pieces of seed shells left in.
- Using a sharp knife, following the grain of the meat, cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) thick lengths and place in a non-metallic container.
- Combine all the spices and sprinkle into the meat.
- Sprinkle the vinegar on and rub everything in thoroughly whilst turning the meat with your hands.
- Cover the container and let your biltong cure for 24 hours in the fridge, turning and rubbing through the meat occasionally.
- Remove the meat from the container and pat dry with kitchen towels, taking care not to remove too much of the spice.
- Add a hook to the thickest end of each length. Plastic-covered paper clips make for a cheap solution.
- Hang in your biltong box, or in a well aired, ventilated space with a fan blowing gently to increase air flow.
- Do not point a fan directly at the meat (to avoid case hardening).
- Make sure none of the pieces are touching.
- Place some newspaper below the meat to catch any liquid.
- Drying times will vary with humidity, airflow and temperature. Test the readiness of your biltong every couple of days by squeezing the sides together with clean fingers.
- If you feel any give in the meat, it’s still ‘wet’ inside.
- Once ready, cut into thin slices with a sharp knife and enjoy some of the best meat you’ll ever eat.