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Homemade Biltong | The Easy Way

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Homemade Biltong

Now that we've established carrots and hummus is not a high protein snack... let's delve into one of the highest protein snacks on the market. Homemade biltong is a game changer. You can also buy it from the shop... we'll get into both.

Biltong is a dried beef snack. You can find it at any supermarket and many petrol stations and convenience stores. I highly recommend choosing biltong over a bag of chips, any 'protein' bar (that is likely more sugar than protein). The store bought stuff does however come with the caveat that it is incredibly high in salt. No bad thing, but probably not ideal to rely on as a staple.

Canterbury Biltong is my favourite brand by far. 98% Beef with very little added. You can grab it from pretty much every supermarket in New Zealand. Ideally steer clear of Jack Links which is full of sugar.

Here is a way you can make biltong at home...

The Benefits of Biltong:

- Around 27g of Protein in a 50g Serving (amazing!)

- Very little fat

- Absolutely no carbohydrates or sugar

- It is incredibly filling

Ingredients For Homemade Biltong

- Beef Steak

- Lots of it as it shrinks considerably when you remove the moisture

- The cheap cuts!

- Venison - if you're a hunter!

Spices & Curing Ingredients For Homemade Biltong

- Herb & Spice blend of your choice

- Vinegar (Balsamic, Brown, Apple Cider - your choice)

- Bicarbonate of Soda/Baking Powder

- Salt, Black Pepper, Coriander

Traditionally biltong or beef jerky has a lot of a lot of salt and sometimes some sugar too. We made our latest batch with very little salt, and some brown sugar for the kids version. Why? They are running around ALL DAY LONG and have a very different looking day to us.

Homemade Biltong Preparation Method

- Toast the coriander seeds in a pan

- Crush the coriander in a mortar and pestle with the black pepper and salt

- Slice the meat into small strips

- Coat in the spice blend and vinegar and leave to cure for an hour or longer in the fridge

The Vinegar softens the tough cuts of meat so this element is important. It also adds flavour.

Now... for the cooking/curing process. We have a biltong maker - literally a wooden box with a light bulb in, where you can hang the steaks from the top. This takes 2-3 days to cure.

A faster method? We just bought a ($60) dehydrator.

For this method you only need around 6-8 hours or to leave it overnight.

Rather than the traditional method, to use a dehydrator you pre-slice the meat, across the grain and simply add it to the trays and turn it on....

Once it is fully dry to touch on the outside and relatively stiff in texture, you're done!

Homemade Biltong Snack Packs

My tip is to divide up the biltong you've made into ready to go snack packs of around 50g each. If you don't do this (like Scott...) you are at risk of simply picking your way through it over the course of the day. No bad thing! But unhelpful if you wanted it to take to work or last all week.

Ensure it is dry before you put it in a sealed container. Once it is you can store it in the pantry, the fridge or even the freezer if you want it to last longer. It defrost super quickly so this is a great tactic if you want to take it to work for lunch/snacks.

Any questions on this topic, feel free to let me know.

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