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Old 25th April 2007, 8:47 PM   #121
Kippa-Dee
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Recipe? Salt, Spices, hang outside in a sack for 3 days ?
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Old 25th April 2007, 10:56 PM   #122
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well it's been 48 hours since hanging and my biltong is now harder than god damn jesus (a god damn hard jesus that is). I guess that's because I used a bulb in my drying box - being in QLD I was afraid the humidity would cause drying problems but now it seems I may have overcompensated.

Anyway pretty happy with results, because I love it super chewy -
am cheerfully munching away on it now. Going to think about making a cupboard sized drying box in the future (not as much work as it may seem, I am retrofitting an old cupboard) before doing a truely humongous 2nd batch (this was only only ~1.5kg)

Things I did differently because I was lazy:
a. Used white vinegar because I couldn't find any brown
b. Only seasoned with salt & pepper
c. Didn't dip in hot water before hanging up
d. Hung up in a cardboard box (box was used to store computer case) and put a light inside


Couple of questions:
1. some (not all) of my pieces have lots of white strands holding together the meat. Is this the sinew? Is this indicative of poor quality meat (I used the cheapest rump I could find, which was $6/kg).

2. my folks are majorly concerned about food poisoning , and have me a little worried as well. They are nagging me to heat up the next batch in the oven before hanging it (based on [url=http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Jerky_and_Food_Safety/index.asp]this article[\url]). Does anybody have any comments on general food poisoning risks caused by hanging raw meat up in the open, specific food poisoning biltong/jerky related experiences, or on that article?

love how i'm asking #2 after having eaten a third of my batch. Might get the answers firsthand early tomorrow morning
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Old 26th April 2007, 9:09 AM   #123
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Bulbs are pretty common. We used our one when we built our 'box, and thats in Melbourne temperatures.

Indeed, that white stuff is fat and sinew. Pretty common, especially in the really dry stuff. Grab several week old stokkies, and it's rife with them.

Good meat? Don't cheat yourself. At my deli, for a 100gram pack, we're paying around $8 or so. Thats $80 a kg. That means the meat he's used is costing around $30 to $40 a kg. Similarly, when buying in bulk, we're paying around $35 a kilo. You're looking then at meat which is costing around $20 a kilo.
The cheap shit doesn't try properly. You want good taste, buy good meat. Cheap and nasty will never cut it with any delicacy, ever.

Finally, food poisoning? Ever watched Jamie Oliver's cooking shows? The hunks of red meat that he very very quickly singes to 'seal' in the flavor? So raw that bloods dropping off them? Hell, we sell rare roast beef that drips blood when you squeeze it. My girlfriend's brother is a chef, and just last week cooked up steak that was pink and oozed blood in the middle. Although I avoided these bits, and felt ill looking at them; I can assure you I didn't have food poisoning.

Considering the old recipes were a bit of flavoring, saltpetre (Used to make gunpowder, for god's sake!) and a bit of vinegar, and then hung up for 3 days outside to dry with flys and shit on them; and then transported and munched on for months on end as a source of quick energy; I very very much doubt you'll get sick from your batch.
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Old 26th April 2007, 2:46 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kippa-Dee View Post
Finally, food poisoning? Ever watched Jamie Oliver's cooking shows? The hunks of red meat that he very very quickly singes to 'seal' in the flavor? So raw that bloods dropping off them? Hell, we sell rare roast beef that drips blood when you squeeze it. My girlfriend's brother is a chef, and just last week cooked up steak that was pink and oozed blood in the middle. Although I avoided these bits, and felt ill looking at them; I can assure you I didn't have food poisoning.

Considering the old recipes were a bit of flavoring, saltpetre (Used to make gunpowder, for god's sake!) and a bit of vinegar, and then hung up for 3 days outside to dry with flys and shit on them; and then transported and munched on for months on end as a source of quick energy; I very very much doubt you'll get sick from your batch.
ok. I am not a food preparation/hygene expert, but I suppose my concern is not the 'raw' part (I love raw steak) but the fact that with biltong, you are leaving it out at room temperature for a few days for something to potentially develop on it. I am pretty sure if you did this with regular steak, something would - at least, I would not eat a steak which was cooked rare and left outside at room temperature for 3 days - so presumably something in the biltong treatment process prevents/protects against this.

My question is, is this protection adequate/effective? Note that in saying the above I am not trying to argue yea or nay, I would simply like to get some sort of idea - but the 'steak is fine hence biltong is fine' analogy doesn't really fly for me, hence I am seeking other explanations.

Similarly, I don't really feel that the fact that biltong was prepared through certain practices in the past automatically validates these as hygenically acceptable nowadays. If they used to dry it with flies on it in the past and didn't have any problems, I am still not comfortable with the idea of having flies on mine.

I think this applies to just about any type of food and practice, not just biltong. However, in the case of dealing with raw meats, I feel like it warrants extra concern because the potential consequences are somewhat multiplied.
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Old 27th April 2007, 8:27 PM   #125
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This kind of preservation of food has been used for 1000s of years, saltpetre as mentioned is a major part of gun powder but is what was used to 'corn' beef so it could be preserved for winter. I think the washing of the blood from the meat and vinegar and salt helps prevent nasties growing on the meat.

happy chewing

PS
I suppose if your really worried you could use a UV light to help kill the nasties.
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Old 28th April 2007, 4:38 PM   #126
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Think of science when you want answers. Anything overly salty, or acidic will not let bacteria grow.

So because Biltong and Jerky have high salt and acid contents in preparation, then they will be completely fine if they have been properly and adequately prepared.
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Old 28th April 2007, 5:03 PM   #127
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mmm im rhodesian and i love biltong

we also have used kangaroo, works just as nice as beef
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Old 1st May 2007, 5:38 PM   #128
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Default For the paranoid...

I've done several batches at different times of the year and have yet to poision any of the 30+ people who have tried mine.

The curing/marinading process ensures that you are unlikely to get mould, even if you DO get mould a quick wipe over with vinegar sorts it out.

DO NOT HEAT IT IN AN OVEN! you will cook the meat and you may as well toss it because it will taste like shit.

If you have given the meat between 6 and 12 hours on a sufficiently salty/vinegary marinade you will have no problems.

look at the how-to at Dudeworld.com as a guide ( http://www.dudeworld.com.au/HOWTO.BILTONG.HTML )

That should sort you all out

PS: Dont go looking for Lancer at the Dude World Forums, he's long gone... (dont ask)

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Old 3rd May 2007, 11:52 AM   #129
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with regards to drying, is there any preference to leaving it in the sun/out of the sun?

at the moment i am still using my cardboard box with a lamp inside it, but i'm concerned because the lamp makes it kind of warm
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Old 4th May 2007, 12:25 PM   #130
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Default Sun or no sun?

not that I can tell...

Having it in the sun may result in the fat seeping a little as the surface warms up but I havent found it affects the flavour to any large extent.
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Old 7th May 2007, 6:43 PM   #131
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found a place in Melb for biltong
Chappies
189 Booran Rd
Caulfield Sth

Still have NOT tried all types but the ones I have tried still don't taste how i remember it. But nice
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Old 7th May 2007, 10:46 PM   #132
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Most delis will stock the Protea Foods brand, I know we do.

Alternatively - try South AFrican shop, one in Templestowe and one in Caulfield. Unfortunately, Cape Town Trading in boronia shut down
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Old 7th May 2007, 10:49 PM   #133
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I'm yet to find a place in the Geelong area which sells biltong (which is a shame, I love the stuff), even the west of Melbourne would be fine.

I could make it, but I don't think my folks would like having the stuff around the place (and it's been a bit damp to have it outside lately, IMO).
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Old 18th May 2007, 11:28 AM   #134
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beautiful biltong at Barossa Fine Foods in the central markets for all us adelaideans. about $50 a kilo They also sell awesome jerky for $38 a kilo if you buy at least a kilo. Pays to ring ahead for it though.
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Old 18th May 2007, 1:09 PM   #135
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My parents make beautiful stuff in summer, but in winter the temps are too low (SA)

Whats the feasibility of making the rack to incorporate a globe/similar to simulate the summer warmth, i think its prob mid 20's that work
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