Throughout the southern countries of Africa, Biltong reigns as the most popular way to preserve meats of any kind. Be it kudu, ostrich or beef, Biltong is a kind of jerky you just can't get enough of. Spices and seasonings vary slightly but this recipe uses signature flavors of coriander, black pepper and vinegar to replicate traditional Biltong. Although Biltong is almost always cut thick and air dried - sometimes in the open-air, sometimes in special "Biltong-boxes," - we are using hot smoke to preserve the meat in this recipe. This is more of a Biltong-inspired jerky recipe anyone can easily create with any available meat.
2 pounds meat (beef round, sirloin, flank or a venison roast)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
Slice meat, cross grain into 3/4" - 1" slices.
In a small skillet, toast coriander seeds on medium heat, stirring constantly until toasted.
Grind toasted coriander seeds and peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder. In a small bowl, mix ground coriander, pepper and salt until combined. In a shallow dish or seal-able plastic bag, toss sliced meat with vinegar. Rub spice mixture into meat until thoroughly coated.
Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place meat onto elevated smoker racks, leaving space between each piece of meat. Air dry, uncovered in the refrigerator overnight 8-24 hours.
Biltong will have a more traditional texture the lower the temperature in the smoker can be kept. Try to keep the smoker under 160 degrees. This can be done by opening the smoker occasionally to let out heat or by propping open the smoker door. After 2-3 hours, turn slices of meat over and continue to heat without chips until Biltong reaches desired doneness/texture. Keep smoker temperature low to prevent over-cooking or hardening of the outside of the meat. Biltong can also be finished in a food dehydrator set to 130 degrees if desired. The dryer the Biltong becomes, the longer the shelf-life. Slice Biltong before serving. Keep refrigerated or freeze for long term storage.
Recipe by: Tiffany Haugen