Home made biltong

Biltong-machine-bbFor Christmas I was given a Biltong machine.

They are pretty simple, and you can make one yourself if you are so inclined, but this one is easy to assemble and works like a charm. It features:

  • Built in Extractor Fan
  • Stainless Steel Food Grade Diffuser (Heat Pad Air Flow Regulator)
  • Brass bulb holder
  • Aluminium Hanging Rods x 3
  • Food grade plastic hanging hooks x 6
  • 60 Watt light bulb (an old-fashioned proper light bulb, not a gay energy-efficient one)
  • Assembly Instructions and Recipes
  • Marinade Bag
  • Measurements: 58cm x 31cm x 31cm. Weight 3.6Kg

You need more meat hooks than that, but supermarkets and hardware stores have small meat hooks for bugger all.

You can try your local South African shop or buy online.

So what is a man to do with such a contraption?

Well, use it of course.  

We have a South African shop up the road, so we bought some spices (Freddy Hirsch, Jagveld Biltong spice), and some brown spirit vinegar (Safari brand) and Worcestershire sauce.

You then put your steaks; it can be any steaks really but topside is good, and rump is too. I pick meat with good fat content and won’t use trimmed-off meat. I like the taste of dried fat in biltong.

Place the meat in a large ziplock bag, add the spices (40gm per 1 kilo of meat), the vinegar (30ml per 1 kilo of meat) and the Worcestershire sauce (20ml  per 1 kilo of meat).

Seal the bag, then massage the mixture into the meat so it is covered in the marinade. Then lie the bag on its side on a tray and put in the fridge for 4 hours. Take the meat out approximately every hour to re-massage it and turn over the bag to redistribute the marinade.

After 4 hours take out the meat and hang it with the meat hooks in the biltong machine, turn it on and wait…and wait…and wait, between two to three days according to your preference between moist or dry biltong.

The meat will shrink as the moisture is extracted leaving all that meaty goodness behind.

This is what the first batch of my biltong looks like.

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The taste is awesome.

Here is the thing…if you get your own meat and make this yourself then there is huge satisfaction in being able to produce tasty treats the family can enjoy. Producing your own food is fun.

Now to try it with some venison. Fortunately I have some available.

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