Chef's Quick Tip: African Biltong Recipe

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This week, Mike Geller from Mike's Organic shows Tina Redwine how to make natural and healthy recipes. 

African Biltong Recipe

Method:

1. Any meat can be used to make biltong, but I prefer to use Venison, Elk or Beef. If using Beef, use a leaner and less expensive cut like a top round. Trim all fat from the meat before you cut your strips!

2. Slice the meat against the grain. The "grain” of meat is similar to the grain of wood, so you want to cut across them, not with them. If you slice with the grain the biltong will be tough.
* Mike’s Tip
Slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick are appropriate. The thinner the strip the less time it will take to dehydrate, and the thicker the strip the "chewier" your biltong might be.

3. A marinade can be made to allow your Biltong to taste just like it does in Africa…but play around with the ingredients if you want to change the flavor. See my recipe below!
* Mike’s Tip
Marinate the meat overnight so the flavor can fully absorb into the meat

4. Remove the oven cooking grate and arrange the meat strips on it. Doing this over a sink is a good idea because the marinade will be dripping off immediately, so less will drip in the oven.

5. Line the bottom of the oven with tinfoil so when the meat drips it won’t stick on the oven

6. Set the oven temperature as low as it will go. Ideal temperature is 140 degrees (f) which will dehydrate the food without cooking it. My oven only goes down to 170 (f) degrees but works perfectly.

7. Using a wooden spoon (no plastic- it could melt), prop open the oven door to vent. This lets air circulate and dehydrates the food faster. If you have an oven circulation fan, this could be helpful as well but I have not used one before.
* Mike’s Tip- It will take 2-6 hours to make the biltong depending on slice thickness and oven temperature. My batches are around 4 hours long.

8. After about 2-3 hours check for doneness. Take a piece of biltong and bend it. If it bends easily or feels juicy it needs more time. When it starts to stretch or the fibers tear it is nearly done.
* Mike’s Tip- You can let a strip cool out of the oven for 10 minutes and do this test again. When warm, the biltong is easier to bend, so cooling it first can let you know if it is dry, just like jerky.

9. This is the fun part! Remove your Biltong from the oven and let it cool for approximately 30 minutes. While it is cooling hang up your “Biltong Line” which can be a clothes line or small rope. Fashion some “S” hooks out of wire so one end can be hooked into the meat and one end can hooked over the line.

10. Let your biltong hang for 24 hours until it is fully dry and then put into Ziploc bags for storage, up to 3 months.


Mike’s Biltong Marinade


3-4 lbs lean beef or game meat
5 tbsp cider vinegar
2.5 tbsp coarse salt
2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
2 tbsp coriander seed
1.5 tbsp brown sugar

 

Contact:

Mike’s Organic

Mike Geller/Founder

 

 

 

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