The cost of living increases daily and nothing reflects the effects of food price inflation more starkly than the price of biltong. All biltong is locally made so there’s no hiding behind the exchange rate as the usual excuse for price increases. Yet, biltong can fetch hugely high prices with game biltong over R200 per kg and normal beef biltong coming a close second behind it. Perhaps the makers of biltong rely on South African’s passion for the delicacy that drives them to buy it in spite of the high prices.
You can cut the cost of biltong right down by making your own and it’s very easy to do. Here’s how:
- Order a Speedy Biltong Maker from DaisyFresh Home Products for R140 plus postage. Go to DaisyFresh.co.za and click on biltong maker.
- Buy up to 4kg of Topside or Silverside from your butcher and get him to cut off the excess fat and cut it into biltong strips. Alternatively, some Spar shops carry ready cut and packaged biltong meat so you can choose your own. You’ll currently pay about R50/60 per kg.
- You can also buy biltong spice from many Spar shops, ready packaged in 1 kg packs. ‘Jagveld’ spice is a good one and so is ‘Safari’.
- You can marinade the meat in wine or vinegar by placing the strips in an oblong dish. Leave soaking in the wine/vinegar overnight.
- Drain off the liquid and spread the spice mix over the meat and pat it down with your fingers. Do not add salt.
- Open up the biltong maker and assemble it. Instructions are included.
- Put an aluminium foil square drip catcher in the bottom of the biltong maker under the light bulb. This will catch the drips and preserve the life of the biltong maker.
- Use the plastic hooks provided to skewer the meat and hang the strips from the dowels supplied.
- Switch on and wait 24 hours then check to see whether it’s ready. The biltong maker is extremely quick so make sure that you do not over cure the meat. With practice you’ll become an expert at it as it does depend on how heavily the biltong maker is loaded and how well you prefer it cured.
- If you bought your 4kg topside for R50 it cost you R200 and a little extra for the spices, vinegar and electricity. Your 4 kg biltong might have cost you R160 per kg or more in the shops so you will save about R425 on each consignment of 4kg you make. Although the biltong maker is made of food grade cardboard it should last you a long time if you take care of it. i.e. don’t sit on it, for example.
Here are some pictures of the biltong maker:
If you’d like to order one please contact DaisyFresh Home Products at www.daisyfresh.co.za