Biltong recipe

By Wild Chef Anders Klint on 2014.06.17 In Snacks

Biltong is a thicker, moister beef jerky with a secret ingredient: coriander. It provides a nice change from beef jerky, it’s home made so it doesn’t have chemicals and preservatives and in my opinion it tastes far better. The only problem is having to share it on the trail!

This recipe calls for the beef to be marinaded overnight.


  • 1 kg boneless beef roast
  • Apple cider vinegar (about 1/4 cup or so, plus a bowlful for rinsing in step 5)
  • Worchestshire sauce (about 1/4 cup or so)
  • 1 tbl sp rock salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (to soften meat fibers)
  • Coriander; roasted, ground. If you can’t find it roasted, plain ground coriander is ok but not as flavorful. A coffee or spice grinder will grind roasted whole coriander. Roasting them yourself is easy: 175 degrees C on an ungreased cookie tray for about 3 to 6 minutes = until aromatic.

    Marinade: apple cider vinegar & Worchestshire sauce
    Salt mixture: salt, sugar, pepper and baking soda

    1. Thaw the meat until you are able to slice it with very sharp knife – it should still be quite frosted. This ensures clean, neat, uniform thickness of slices. If you slice the meat with the grain, the biltong will be chewier, if you slice it against the grain, it will be easier to tear. Slice the meat into 1/4 to 1/2 cm thick slices. Cut the slices into any size you want. Trim off excess fat – too much fat, and the biltong will become rancid more quickly.
    2. Mix rock salt, brown sugar, pepper, soda.
    3. Marinade the meat in a large baking pan. Sprinkle little salt mixture on the bottom of the pan. Add a single layer of meat, sprinkle with salt mixture, then vinegar and Worchestshire sauce. Add just enough salt mixture, vinegar and Worchestshire to get the salt mixture to fizz. Not too much! Not too little! Repeat layers, ending with the salt-vinegar-Worchestshire on top. Use it all so so that in the end you have run out of the salt mixture.
    4. Marinade 12 hours in the fridge, not much longer than that. If you marinade too long, the meat dries out too much. If you marinade too little, the meat has not cured enough and will be flavourless and will spoil faster.
    5. Quickly dip each piece of meat in a bowl of apple cider vinegar to get off excess salt – not all the salt, just the excess salt. Lay in a dehydrator in single layers – no overlapping. Sprinkle with coriander. Dehydrate about 4 hours; the meat should be pliable but not gooshy and definitely not dry. If it’s stiff and hard while still warm, it has dried too much. Once the pieces have cooled, they should be fairly stiff but still at least a little flexible. I always eat a piece or two to test.
    6. Store the meat in ziplock bags with a paper towel to absorb condensation in fridge or freezer. If you freeze it for a long time, it tends to dry out a bit more. In warm and humid conditions the biltong will spoil very quickly.

    I recommend you to make a small batch (about 1 kg meat) to start with, to get the feel of things and to adjust ingredients to get the taste and texture you want. Make also sure you don’t prepare too much in one go, so that all of it does not fit in the dehydrator and the rest of the meat marinades too long and becomes too dry.When I do a big batch, I sometimes do as much as 6 to 8 kg in one go. 1 kg of fresh meat doesn’t make a lot of biltong (probably only about one small freezer bag)!



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