I first made biltong when I was about 15. My mother had been feeding it to me my whole life but it wasn’t till I went to South Africa that I actually thought it might be possible to make some at home. I made a rather rugged contraption with a cardboard box, some gaffer tape and a lamp of which I’ll try and dig out a photo at some point.
This time I decided I wanted a more permanent solution. The most important part of a biltong box is to have good air circulation. Normally this is achieved with a light bulb at the bottom of the box and holes at both the top and bottom. I messed around with this set up a little bit but found that the lamp heated up my box too much. Back to the drawing board.
I ended up buying an old computer fan and linked it up to a 9v battery which worked well although the limited battery life is a hindrance. First of course one must buy the meat. For the initial batch I went for topside with a standard spice mix of toasted coriander seeds and peppercorns.
I salted the meat for about four hours before brushing it off with a mix of cider and malt vinegar and reapplying the spice mix. The biltong was hung for about four days, but if you like it slightly drier leave it longer.
The most recent batch I made was with corner cut aberdeen angus. Although it’s a noticeable difference, I wouldn’t fork out the extra amount unless it was on offer again. I also tried to experiment a little bit with seasonings but I’ll cover these ones in another article at a later date.
UPDATE: Check out my Japanese style biltong here http://www.jamesh52.sg-host.com/home/charcuterie-and-curing/japanese-biltong/