This is a southern-Africa dried beef. It differs from beef jerky because it is significantly thicker and fattier, and is both marinaded and dried for much longer.
TODO - I don't know if any steak marinades could be repurposed for biltong.
George Bruno's Biltong (Southern Africa) ∞
3 lbs beef roast
- It doesn't have to be a prime cut. It can be cheap.
Cut it very thick. 1/2 an inch thick.
Each piece is about the size of a small ribeye.
- FIXME - what size is that?
Leave the fat on
See also Steak marinades
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp of brown sugar or honey
- .. or an appropriate amount of a replacement like stevia.
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp coarse ground pepper.
- Combine in a big bowl until all salt and honey/sugar is dissolved.
Coat the thickly sliced meat in a bowl, cover, then let sit overnight in refrigerator.
- Sit for 24 hours
If using a circular "top-down" dehydrator, make sure you alternate them so there is lots of space before them.
This didn't have enough liquid to marinade in the way I'd expect, so I put the beef in an air-tight container, mostly filled it with water and will turn it occasionally.
I added chopped fresh garlic.
160 degrees for 8-12 hours.
- In his written recipe he said 12-16 hours.
- After trying this, I insist on that longer time!
- Trim some fat off, and just keep it aside for snacks.
Cut into strips
- Cut along the grain
- Cut on an angle
-- This is called "cutting on the bias" and it makes it even more tender.
- store it in a ziplock bag
- fridge: 30 days
freezer: 90 days
One guy said to store it in a brown paper bag.
First batch ∞
- A very simple mix of ingredients.
- I used a pretty boring ~1.25 kg slab of not-lean beef.
I ended up cutting the meat much smaller and thinner.
- I don't understand the whole grain thing, so I just winged it based on the fat that was on the edge of my meat.
- I also used fresh crushed and chopped garlic.
Can this even count as a marinade when it actually doesn't cover the meat?
- I filled a waterproof container with the meat more with water.
- I didn't like the idea of "diluting" the marinade, so later I added more coriander. (not part of the recipe) I also added a good cup of soy sauce and a dash or two of liquid smoke.
- The meat floated and the top slices didn't changed color like the rest did a few hours later, so I inverted a part of a fruit-saver container and put it under the lid to push the meat down. I learned someone else did this with a ziplock bag of water, but my solution is reusable and easier.
- I ended up using four disposable gloves.
- It made my house smell quite strongly, but it dissipated very quickly. I think it was my pouring out the marinade which did it; I can optimize that and reduce smell. I also think it was the liquid smoke responsible for that. I'm going to experiment with the marinade in the future.
- It's really oily!
- Because I cut them so thin, I tried drying them at 157°F for 8 hours.
I put the fatty bits I cut off back into the dehydrator for another 1 1/2 hours.
- Very tasty!
- Even after extra dehydration, these were oily and wet. They taste great but are quite "heavy" because of the fat.
- I put the regular bits in ziplock bags and the freezer and they were moist enough to cause freeze on the inside. That turns into runny condensation right away. So there is absolutely more moisture which could have been removed, perhaps with a slightly lower temperature so as to not harden the outside so much so quickly, and at least a couple of hours more. Maybe I can start low then raise it to 160°F for the latter half..
- I marinaded in a 2L sealed glass container.
- The meat floated a little in my jar, so I pinned it down with a bit of a plastic lid. This worked spectacularly well.
I ate it for a few days straight. Measuring my ketones I did slightly dip into ketosis at the end.
Second batch ∞
- Since my first batch with a roast of about 1.25 kg took only half my dehydrator, I'm trying two.
I cut off a lot of the excess fat before marinading.
- Previously, I found it hard to find and remove (and set aside) anything fatty.
- It's a good thing, because it turned out to be hard to fit all the pieces on my drying racks.
- I'm trying the LEM - Backwoods Jerky Variety Pack, and it turns out that one pouch is for five pounds of meat.
I had fresh garlic laying around, so I decided to throw that in the marinade.
- It took a lot of work to bother with it, so I'll definitely get a grater or crusher thing.
I chose to not add additional liquid, leaving half the meat exposed. It quickly turned color, which annoyed me. I think I'll be getting a 4L pail and trying harder to submerge it all.
- I used two containers of large/long tupperware, and I regret it. The meat needed to be turned which wasted another disposable glove.
It was challenging to fit everything on my drying racks, but I managed for that huge amount in my six racks!
- This volume is an extremely efficient use of time.
I began drying at 150°F then (after I believe 2h30m) I raised it to 160°F.
- My thought was: A high temperature tends to somewhat seal the outside more, preventing good drying from the middle.
- I dried for 12 hours.
It came out much flatter, crispier and harder.
- Overall I don't like it compared to my previous batch, though I bet it would keep longer.. not that it will last a week since I'm going to make this my only food for a while, to see if I can dip into ketosis fully.