Fall brings with it cooler weather more suitable for making biltong. This season I aim to evolve the process by improving the adhesion of spices, making less of a mess and reducing waste — using vacuum seal bags.
The biltong shown on the cutting board here was made earlier in the year, I like it pink and moist. Yum!
Yesterday I prepared four thick slices of round roast, cut along the grain (it’ll be cross cut to serve smaller slices). Coriander, salt and pepper were ground in a coffee mill and rubbed into all surfaces of the steaks, then lightly sprayed with vinegar and vacuum sealed* in plastic bags for twenty-four hours of curing in the fridge. A bath of vinegar and spices thereby avoided. Hopefully when the meat comes out of the bag the spices won’t wash off — there being very little vinegar in the bag. Therefore also less waste and mess.
After marinating for twenty-four hours, the steaks are hung up in the drier — which is now humming away like an alien incubator, or a funky lamp, in the dining room. Sure enough, I was able to hook the slices out of their plastic bags with minimal mess, 99% of the spices still clinging to the meat. I simply zip locked the disposable bags and tossed them into the trash. Meat hooks made out of paper clips — which I’m inclined to re-cycle .
*The vacuum sealer originally intended for experiments in sous vide.