Make Your Own Biltong!

 Rugby without biltong is not much fun, especially if you are a South African ex-pat living somewhere far away where nobody has heard of the stuff of your dreams.

In fact: Life without biltong is simply wrong!

If there is no local butcher that makes the stuff, nobody that can sell you a couple of sticks, or some sliced magic.

If your supermarket stocks those horrible shrink-wrapped offerings masquerading as real biltong. (They should be avoided at all costs, even if you are desperate!)

And you are even vaguely adventurous –

Make Your Own!

It is easy.

Your own biltong, using my recipe, is much tastier than the bought stuff anyway.

And so much cheaper than buying the stuff from the butcher, who adds at least 200% to the cost of the raw materials!

There is no rocket science involved! You do not have to be a MasterChef, or even remotely capable of making toast.

You do not have to be a Master Butcher either.

I have been making my own biltong and droëwors (dried sausage) for more than 35 years.

When I lived in-land where the climate was drier, in the winter months I hung my biltong on wire stretchers in the roof of my motor garage.

When I did not have a garage, I hung it in a spare room on clothes-horses.

All it needs is adequate circulation. Windows open, a fan…….

Now that I live down at the coast where humidity is a problem, I dry my biltong in a home-made drying box. (A simple design, with a small fan and an electric light – Instructions will follow!)

If you want to make your own, download the instructions from my Dropbox facility by following the link. There are even photographs to help you prepare the meat.

The Drying Box Method.

I have had one failure in more that 35 years, I made a batch in late August in the middle of what I thought was the final cold snap of our winter and the weather turned hot the day after I hung the meat up to dry, and then the rain came.

The meat spoiled as a result of the high humidity and damp conditions.

I built my drying box as my fallback option, to use in damp conditions or when summer had arrived and I wanted to ensure that the flies and bugs could not get to my biltong . (Once the surface of the biltong has dried, the spices keep the bugs way, but you have to get it to that stage!)

The box you see in the photographs is about 1m x 0,5m x 0,5m and provides sufficient hanging space for almost 20 kg of fresh meat. I will post some pictures and vague instructions for those that want to build their own box. My friend Bruce who lives in England, ordered a box from a carpenter in London, but that is the Rolls Royce option – Just make your own!

And it is cheap!

Have a go!

Make Your Own Biltong!