Quick Bites from Pender

Howard’s Biltong

In Howard's Eats, Recipes on April 13, 2010 at 5:03 am


Howard wants me to let everyone out there know that I’m the one calling this Biltong — NOT HIM.

We may have followed — (to a T) — the hundreds years old recipe dictated to him by a Boer grandmother during his time in South Africa in the late 80’s, but because I subjected the marinated beef to 90 minutes of smoke in our smoker/dehydrator it was NO LONGER AUTHENTIC.

Now that the necessary disclaimer is out of the way, I assume it’s safe to continue.


We used Bottom Round (beef) — not our first choice (that would have been flank) — and we sliced it on the bias and across the grain into strips about 1/4″ thick.

Then we toasted some coriander seeds until golden and fragrant, and coarsely ground them, together with an equal amount of peppercorns, in a coffee grinder.

Next, we very lightly sprinkled powdered cloves onto the base of a level-bottomed container.  On top of that went a thick layer of coriander & pepper.

Using one hand, we quickly dipped each strip of beef into apple cider vinegar.  With the other hand, we sprinkled a little salt onto each piece before laying it on top of the spices.  Between each layer of beef, we sprinkled more coriander & pepper.  We covered the last layer of beef with the last of the spices, and another very light sprinkling of ground cloves.


The beef went into the fridge, covered, for 6 hours.  Then we flipped the container onto its lid and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, we loaded it onto the racks, and after a couple of hours air drying, it went into the smoker.  Ninety minutes of smoke (my mistake), then 3.5 hours of straight dehydration.

And voilà:  Smoked Biltong.  Spicy, tasty, but not quite authentic.  Shall we call it fusion cuisine?


  1. Whatever you want to call – love biltong and love your recipe! Awesome!

  2. This looks so good! How long was it supposed to be smoked for? I’ve never had Biltong so I haven’t a clue….

    • Rochelle,
      Biltong isn`t smoked, just air dried — so if you`re really particular (like my hubby), then technically this is actually beef jerky with biltong seasoning 😉

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