Authentic South African Beef Biltong
If you haven’t gotten your hands on the most delicious dried meat snack in the world, you should go out and grab a bag of biltong. It is one of the healthiest ways to enjoy meat any time of the day and quickly became part of many snack circles. What was once only meant for travelling has now found its way travelling with biltong moves from the kitchen to the couch, and it’s way better than catching a movie with a bag of chips. This yummy snack is a long way from where it originally started, but its travel has brought along with its flavour and convenience that we can all enjoy worldwide.
What is biltong?
Biltong started as beef meat that the South African Boers rubbed in a salt, spice and vinegar mixture to keep it fresh on long journeys, and it has now turned into a snack that people enjoy even on the go. With no refrigeration available in the 1800s, salt was the primary way to make sure anything stayed fresh. If not years, the trips took weeks, and farmers could not cultivate livestock quickly, which introduced game meat. Biltong has since taken a turn in various flavours, and meat sources used to produce it. Fish, chicken and bacon have been added to the list of delicious biltong varieties found in different countries.
Biltong often gets compared to beef jerky, but they couldn’t be more different aside from the meat source. Unlike jerky, biltong is not dehydrated and is repeatedly rubbed with sauce and spice or sugars. Biltong is a healthier snack with no preservatives and sugars. It is a lump of softer meat, easier to store and eat. Everyone, young or old, can enjoy it, and besides the health benefits, it can quickly be taken as a snack on long road trips or outdoor adventures because there is no sauce used to make it so that it won’t get sticky and it won’t get stale.
Besides being good for snacking in front of the TV or having it on a road trip, biltong also makes a good ingredient in different food recipes. There are also handy recipes showing you how to make biltong at home and home to enjoy it in a hot or cold meal. You can purchase a biltong meat dryer online for anyone who wants to make a hobby out of this meat snack, and the ingredients are simple enough for you to get it from the local supermarket. If you follow all the instructions, you could have your biltong ready in as little as four days. The longer you leave it in the dryer, the chewier it will become. Throw it into a salad or place it on a cheese board and serve it with wine as a starter instead of the ordinary fish most people opt for entertaining their guests. Children will love it in their lunch boxes.
A Southern African tradition is to enjoy biltong with beer while watching sports. Many biltong stores sell out over the holidays with the biltong gift baskets. Why not be a part of that tradition and share it with loved ones. Surprise someone with a biltong hamper that you can secretly have sent to them at the click of a button.