Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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biltong a dried, or dried and smoked, meat of southern Africa which exists in two principal forms.

Biltong made from beef is formed by taking a good piece of muscle 45–60 cm (18–24") long and 15 cm (6") in diameter, with no tendon and just a little fat, and trimming it into an elongated oval shape. It is then rubbed with salt, pepper, coriander seed, and fennel seed, moistened with vinegar; left to marinate for a few days, then hung up to be wind dried, and finally hung in the chimney to be smoked. Leipoldt (1976) writes: ‘the result should be a dark-coloured, firm, elongated piece of dried meat, which cuts easily and when sliced is a tender garnet-red segment, surrounded by a thin, more darkly covered integument that need never be pared off before eating. Its taste is deliciously spicy.’