Developed in South Africa and a staple in many African countries, biltong consists of strips of cured, air-dried beef or game. Though its keeping properties are the same, it is a finer form of jerked meat than American Jerky. The best biltong has been compared to the Prosciutto of Italy.
Traditional South African dried meat called “Biltong”. Rooibok (kangaroo and Ibok) , Krokkedil (crocodile) Giraffe etc.
It is typically made from raw fillets of meat cut into strips
following the grain of the muscle, or flat pieces sliced across the grain. It is similar to beef jerky in that they are both spiced, dried meats, but differ in their typical ingredients, taste and production process. The word biltong is from the Dutch bil ("rump") and tong ("strip" or "tongue").
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
While biltong is renowned for being chewed as a snack, it can also be diced up into stews, added to muffins and pot bread. Biltong-flavoured potato crisps have also been produced.
Biltong can be used as a teething aid for babies. Some retail stores offer a mild form of biltong especially for this purpose which does not contain the spices used for flavouring.[citation
Conserving and Storing
It is typically dried out in the cold air (rural settings), cardboard or wooden boxes (urban) or climate-controlled dry rooms (commercial). Depending on the spices used, a variety of flavours may be produced. Biltong can also be made in colder climates by using an electric lamp to dry the meat, but care must be taken to ventilate, as mold can begin to form on the meat.
A traditional slow dry will deliver a medium cure in about 4 days.
An electric fan-assisted oven set to 40-70 °C (100-160 °F), with the door open a fraction to let out moist air, can dry the meat in approximately 4 hours. Although slow dried meat is considered by some to taste better, oven dried is ready to eat a day or two after preparation.