Biltong à la Sid
- Ready in: 3 hours 40 minutes plus dehydration time
- Serves: 6
- Complexity: easy
- kcal: 161
- 2 kg topside steak
- ½ cup SIDS LOW SUGAR RASPBERRY VINEGAR
- 1 tbsp SIDS HOT WORCESTER SAUCE
- ½ cup coriander seeds, ground
- 2 tbsp black pepper, ground
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp SIDS CRAZY SALT
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Cut the beef into strips about 4 cm thick. Pack the meat into a smallish bowl, so that it fits tightly. Add SIDS LOW SUGAR RASPBERRY VINEGAR and SIDS HOT WORCESTER SAUCE then leave for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the coriander and pepper together in another bowl. In a third bowl, mix the salt, SIDS CRAZY SALT, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together.
Remove the meat from the marinade, but reserve the marinade for later use.
Add the beef to the bowl of spices, mixing it around until evenly coated. Save any spices that don't stick. Bury the spiced beef in the salt and the sugar mixture and leave it for 3 hours. Remove the beef from the brine and dip it back into the reserved vinegar marinade for another 5 minutes.
Remove the beef from the marinade and using the vinegar, wash all the salt off (don't skip this bit or the biltong will be unbearably salty). Squeeze the beef to remove as much liquid as possible. Roll in the spices once more. The meat is now ready for drying.
Place beef in a de-hydrator and set for 40oC. Leave going for several days until the meat is 'as tough as old boots!'
Slice thinly but evenly to serve.
Hint: Chicken can be substituted for beef.
History: Indigenous peoples of Southern Africa, such as the Khoikhoi, preserved meat by slicing it into strips, curing it with salt and hanging it up to dry. After European settlers (Dutch, German, French) arrived in southern Africa in the early 17th century, they improved the curing process by using vinegar, saltpetre and spices including pepper, coriander and cloves. The need for preservation in the new colony was pressing. Building up herds of livestock took a long time but with indigenous game in abundance, traditional methods were available to preserve large masses of meat such as found in the eland in a hot climate. Iceboxes and fridges had not been invented yet. Biltong as it is today evolved from the dried meat carried by the wagon-travelling Voortrekkers who needed stocks of durable food as they migrated from the Cape Colony north and north-eastward (away from British rule) into the interior of Southern Africa during the 'Great Trek'. The meat was preserved and hung to be dried for a fortnight after which it would be ready for packing in cloth bags.