It’s Biltong Weather Again

For me here in the States, that is: it’s getting cooler and the beef won’t get funky in the heat and kill me. Of course it might still, because as Wikipedia notes, biltong is a kind of cured meat from South Africa: the “curing” being salt and a brushing of cider vinegar. The word biltong comes from the Dutch words “bil” (rump) and “tong” (strip or tongue) from the days of yore when pioneering South Africans sun dried their meat during The Great Trek of the 1830s, eastward and north-eastward away from British control in the Cape Colony. (Johannesburg)

I dry my “rumpstrip” in a wooden box with a 60-watt bulb in the bottom. My ex built it for me. I hang the beef for about three days using eight inch cable ties. The hooks I used to employ rusted out, this is better. I like my biltong “wet,” that is to say, on the raw side, more taste, if you know what I mean. Of course, you’re probably making a face, unless you’re South African and then you’ll understand. The biltong back there is much tastier, not sure why—the beef isn’t as hormoned-out?—and the strips much bigger than my dinky little Supermarket specials. The Americans who’ve tried my biltong love it. Of course, I have them sign a waiver—just kidding, but I probably should.


  • Beef (Preferably Round steak)—1-inch thick
  • Rock Salt
  • Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • Coarse Ground Coriander
  • Vinegar (preferably Apple Cider vinegar)

Sterilize all your hooks, knives, and working surfaces by washing well in hot water and soap.

Cover both sides of the meat with rock salt and let stand for an hour.  The longer you let it stand the saltier it will become.  Scrape off all the excess salt with a knife (don’t soak it in water!).  Cut into two-inch strips then brush (do not dip) with the vinegar, just so the meat is covered. Let the excess vinegar drip off then sprinkle with pepper and coriander and hang.

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