Forget jerky - make yourself some biltong :-)

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by curious aardvark, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member this thread........the WHOLE thing, and follow the links.........its pretty much all THIS thread............
  2. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well the Biltong Box is almost finished, got a couple of boxes from work scavenged a ceramic light fixture and an old cord.
    Used some straining cloth I had laying around and some wood dowels.

    Will pick up the ingredients Friday and give this baby a try.

    I don't want to get ahead of myself but if all goes well I will start on building one from wood.
    So far the plans consist of using 2" x 4" at 96", I plan on planing the pieces and biscuit join them together to make planks. The design I'm working on will disassemble to store away flat.
    Also Instead of a door I plan on having a removable top and a removable tray over the bulb.
    Each piece will be connected by a bolt and a threaded insert secured in the wood, between each piece will be thin window foam for a tight seal to keep critters out and a plexiglass inspection window in the front.

    Was also thinking about installing a small computer fan top rear to increase air flow. Do you think the fan is overkill?
  4. 4t64rd

    4t64rd Fire Starter

    USED to sell... I was partner in a mail order jerky business, and we ordered from Sweaty Teddy, we were the only place outside of Southern Michigan you could get it... Which is probably why it isn't around anymore.

    It was one of our best sellers, had a picture of Ted on a buffalo, with the saying "We test drive all our meat"

    It was very tasty and was moist, the hot flavor was VERY hot. We had one customer from S.Africa that ordered some just to see if it was biltong like here was used to, he said it was more jerky flavor, than biltong flavor.

    I'm going to do a search for "pemmican", another jerky-like process to preserve meats.
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Biltong Box completed

    Will try this recipe tonight.This is a modified recipe, I will give feedback and post more pics next week! Wish me luck
    [font=&quot]Ingredients [/font]

    [font=&quot]3lbs London Broil[/font]
    [font=&quot]½ c Balsamic Vinegar[/font]
    [font=&quot]¼ c Apple Cider Vinegar[/font]
    [font=&quot]3 c warm water[/font]
    [font=&quot]1 tbsp Worcestershire[/font]

    [font=&quot]Biltong Spice:[/font]
    [font=&quot]4 teaspoons: Sea Salt or Kosher Salt[/font]
    [font=&quot]2 heaping teaspoons: Coarse Black Pepper[/font]
    [font=&quot]4 teaspoons brown sugar[/font]
    [font=&quot]7 teaspoons coriander seeds or 4 teaspoons ground (Roast seeds)[/font]
    [font=&quot]1 teaspoon smoked paprika[/font]
    [font=&quot]1 teaspoon Garlic powder[/font]

    [font=&quot]1) Roast coriander seeds and mince in processor, in a bowl combine salt, pepper, sugar, paprika and garlic powder, partition spice as follows; Put 3/4 of the spice in a bowl and 1/4 of the spice in a salt shaker, set aside.[/font]
    [font=&quot]2) Cut long strips of meat approx 1/2 to 1 inch thick with the grain, any length is ok[/font]
    [font=&quot]3) Place Balsamic vinegar in a Glass bowl then add the meat, coat meat liberally place in the fridge for 30 minutes.[/font]
    [font=&quot]4) Remove meat and coat liberally with 2 thirds of the spice reserving the other third, place meat in a plastic [/font][font=&quot](no metal)[/font][font=&quot] colander in fridge overnight. 12 hours, pouring off any excess liquid.[/font]
    [font=&quot]5) Combine 1 qt warm water and ¼ cup cider vinegar and dip the meat to remove excess cure and spice pat dry and brush with Worcestershire sprinkle a bit of spice on both sides, and hang in Biltong box for 3-5 days.[/font]

    [font=&quot]Variation 1: Substitute Balsamic Vinegar with Red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, 2 tablespoons of My Rub Recipe.[/font]

    [font=&quot]Variation 2: Substitute Worcestershire sauce with red hot mix and add 2 tablespoons of rub to the 1/4 spice mix.[/font]
  6. lose the water - totally unnecessary
  7. well the recipe contains several unnecessary steps. but that's your choice :) washing off all the lovely spices is just daft. and sticking it in the rfridge for 12 hours again pretty pointless, as is watering down the marinade.
    whats with the big hole in the front of the box ?
    have you covered that with clear film ? - which would be a clever idea.

    an extra fan would also be a good idea - though unnecessary. might speed up the drying time a tad.
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Took your advice and did not wipe off spice or use the water to wash off excess spice.

    My observations as follows:

    Day 3 took out a thin and thick piece and sliced. The taste of the spices were good, I did not care for the texture or flavor of the interior meat.

    Day 4 took out a thin and thick piece and sliced. The taste of the spices were good, I did not care for the texture or flavor of the interior meat.

    Observation: Flavor of the spices were good but I did not care for the meat especially sliced, but when i took a thin piece, almost like a beef stick and tried it, I liked it a lot more than it being sliced.

    Conclusion: If I made Biltong again I would slice the strips 3/8 x 3/8 and serve them as sticks.

    As far as forgetting Jerky, not this Boy

  9. Well it does depend on what sort of texture you're after. For decent thickness strips of meat I tend to dry for 4-5 days, but if you want it chewier leave it longer - I've left biltong in the drier for a week before now.

    Got some pigeon breast in at the moment (finally tracked them down in the freezer). First pic is the breasts hanging 2 or 3 to a strip. Second pic is after a day and a half.
    Now I like it this soft. But I'll leave it in the box for another day and a half to firm up the interior (small pieces of meat like this don't take long). The one in the picture was really good :)

    There's no hard and fast rule on how dry you make biltong. just personal preference. me I like it all the way from really moist (okay I'll eat it right after marinating and spicing before it even goes in the dryer) right up to hard as nails.
    The dryer you make it - the longer it lasts :) (mainly 'cos of all the chewing that needs to be done).

    Yeah sqwib looking at the slices you made and vacpacced - it's pretty moist. Don't be afraid to leave it in the dryer for longer - all dryers will dry at different rates so there's no 4 day rule.. The interior should really end up a lot darker than that - look at the pigeon I've cut - I'd say that your biltong wasn't much dryer than this and this is way to 'wet' for most people - so leave it longer next time :).
    Love the dryer though, particularly the see thru window. And yep personally I never slice it for storage and for eating I tend to cut it with the grain and either have lumps or sticks. But for storage - I mainly just cut the whole thing in half and freeze.

    When you buy it in packets in the shops it's usually sliced so thin it's got no chew to it at all. Me I like it like savoury chewing gum - got to be something to work your jaw :)
  10. iheartjerky

    iheartjerky Newbie

    Thanks for the post!

    I have NEVER tried Biltong...i really need to. I have had a Biltong recipe submitted to me on my site but i have never made it. The more i read about it, the more i think i need to know more about it!

    Two Questions:
    Do you have more Biltong recipes?
    Are there any Biltong products available for purchase in the US?

  11. More biltong recipes ?
    Umm, well not really.

    I do tend to vary the marinade - the pigeon were marinaed in a mixture of balsamic, black rice and white wine vinegar.
    The spice mix was the standard. Salt, brown sugar, coriander, black pepper, garlic powder mix.

    Now both the vinegar and the salt, pepper, sugar and coriander are essential if it's going to be biltong.

    I use only one process - because it works better than anything else I've seen. It's biltong :)
    You'll get different processes and different (secret ssshhh) spice mixes. But without the vinegar, salt sugar pepper and coriander and the air drying - it wouldn't be biltong.

    There are other south african recipes that use the same spice mix - I'm guessing the boers had an excess of coriander :)
    And at some point I'll be posting those over in the sausage thread.

    Droewors for example are an absolute pain in the backside to make and get eaten so fast you'll blink and miss it. BUT even my mum - who just doesn't go for the whole jerky and biltong thing - likes droewors.

    Essentially sausage made from fatty lamb and beef with both vinegar and biltong spice, stuffed into lamb casings and dried for up to 2 weeks till they're so dry they snap.

    Sounds easy ?
    Bear in mind the vinegar partiatuially cooks (without any tenderising) the minced mixture. It's like trying to stuff solid meat down the thinnest tube on the sausage stuffer. It was VERY hard work. I had to lean all my weight on the handle at times (and I'm a very trustworthy chef ;-)
    But yeah they eat great, but you can make them :)

    There are also boerwors - similiar to the droewors - but without the vinegar and stuffed into pork casings. Them I'll make again :)
    Anyway - got to go do some work.
    Go back to the start of this thread and read my method/recipe and look at the pictures.
    That works - first time, every time. :)
  12. smokedcaveman

    smokedcaveman Smoke Blower

    I like droewors, and you're right, those things vanish VERY quickly.
  13. right - here's the pigeon. 3 1/2 days in the dryer. Went in last thing saturday night and came out first thing wednesday morning.
    Compare the colour with the day and a half picture (included at bottom of post).

    This to my mind is just about the perfect state of dryness. It's still chewable but without the almost jellylike texture that I suspect sqwib didn't like.
    Aim for this very dark red colour in the centre of your biltong and you can't go far wrong.

    Now biltong if not frozen or vacced will continue to dry - at this stage it won't go off, but if left lying around will just turn into hard dry sticks - good for hiking trips but not as edible as it could be :)
    So seal it or throw it in the freezer as soon as it's at the consistency you like and out of the box.

    Commercial butchers will tell you you need nitites/nitrates to get biltong this colour. I'll just tell you that it's concentrated haemoglobin and just use salt :)
    Guess whos right ;-)
    Leave out the toxins - they serve no useful purpose.

    I've packed them into 2 breast snack packs (okay I admit it was an excuse to play with the vacpacker - but still practical as well lol) and put them in the freezer.
    Biltong doesn't actually freeze as there isn't enough water left to from ice crystals. It just gets cold and hard. Ten minutes out of the freezer and it's chewable again. If you don't vac it and just shove it in sealed bags - it won't get freezer burn - not enough water left. And will keep indefinitely. (assuming you forget it's there - otherwise you'll eat it quite quickly :)
  14. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i believe i made something similar this week in my little chief -

    in an attempt to make "jerky chunks" out of cubes of deer meat, i brined and then smoked/dried the meat until the chunks were hard on the outside. you could stillsqueeze them a bit, but the outside could just as well be leather.

    biting the chunk led to a soft, chewy pink center, that looked and felt (but didn't taste) like chewing gum. it was different and i gotta admit i liked it quite a bit; at least as much as i like conventional jerky.

    had i used biltong seasonings and dried the emat rather than smoking it, i believe the result would have been very similar to curious aardvark's biltong.

    next step is to try this using traditional spices and seasonings, perhaps not smoking it.....
  15. zopi

    zopi Smoke Blower

    I had some biltong from a south african steak house in the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai
    last winter...good stuff! Had not really thought about making it..but since I have an
    80 qt soon as I get done with drying peppers for the year I'll make some.

    That steak house, incidentally was excellent..was there with an acquaintance of mine from south Carolina...he's not too adenturesome...chicken strip kind of guy...I had tatare for lunch..about 2/3 lb of really good ground tenderloin...
    ever see a black guy turn green?
  16. zopi

    zopi Smoke Blower

    ok..decided to BBQ some beef today, so in snatching random chunks of meat out of the freezer to play with, I picked out an oyster roast to make biltong out of...made pretty much with the recipe in post 1 above, cut meat in 3/8 to 1/2 strips and will begin drying in the big dehydrator after a bit...
  17. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    zpoi - let us know how it turns out.

    i am unfamiliar with the term "oyster beef?"
  18. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Haven't heard of oyster beef either, would be interested in finding out what cut that is.
    Good luck on the biltong.
    So what was it that took you to the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai?
  19. zopi

    zopi Smoke Blower

    Oh..duh...Oyster cut london I understand it it's the round end of a london broil...i'm not much of a butcher though....

    I'm in the Navy, and my ship was deployed to the can get tired of Dubai really quick...but it is a nice city.

    That south african steak house in the mall rocks...the tartare was excellent.

    Tasted my Biltong a little while's not gonna make it...the operation was a success but the patient got eaten..I'm glad I have a big dehydrator, because I'm not very patient...<G>
  20. autoferret

    autoferret Meat Mopper

    My good friend lives in africa. He brought some biltong home. it was good but way over dry'd, i like jerky better. Also brough home some Kudo jerky.

    YUMMY! slowing eating all of the tasty animals from around the world!

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