We hope you are adventurous and want to make your biltong spice mix. It’s a great way to personalize the flavors in your biltong.
First, choose a base flavor. This could be garlic, onion, paprika, coriander, or any combination.
You can also experiment with other spices, such as cumin, caraway seeds, nutmeg, and more.
Next, add at least a little bit of heat. Cayenne Pepper is popular for adding a kick to biltong spice mixes. You can add other peppers, such as jalapenos or habaneros, if you like hot things!
Then, don’t forget about the sweet side! Brown sugar is often used as a sweetener in biltong spice blends. Or you could go for something more exotic, like honey or maple syrup, to give your mix some extra depth of flavor.
Finally, you’ll need to balance out the flavors and ensure that all the ingredients are evenly mixed.
Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl and then add liquids one at a time while stirring continuously until all the ingredients are blended into a paste-like consistency. Or you can just put them all in a blender or food processor and blend them till they’re a paste.
These spice mixes will last you forever if you use common sense: store them in an air-tight container and keep that container away from heat and light. They won’t go bad, but they’ll lose their potency.
Once you have your biltong spice mix ready, it’s time to use them!
How to Use Biltong Spices
Preparing biltong is a fun and engaging process. You will discover the various spices you can mix with different meats to achieve delicious flavors and customize the dish to fit your taste.
Step 1 – You only add the biltong spices after the meat is ready to dry
This is beyond the topic of this article: but be sure to thoroughly season the meat with rock salt and let it sit for at least an hour. The more time it is left to sit, the saltier your biltong will be.
A light coating of seasoning is all that’s needed to flavor the meat — no need for an excessive amount. No need to add too much spice, as the flavor will develop during the seasoning period. Optionally, you can add a layer when hanging it up to dry.
When the time is up, use a knife to remove any extra salt – DO NOT PUT THEM OR HOLD THEM UNDER WATER.
Then grab some vinegar and Worcestershire sauce (optionally if you want). Apple cider vinegar is best, but any kind will work.
To marinate the meat, add some vinegar to a bowl. Submerge the strips briefly to coat them in the vinegar mixture. Make sure to coat the meat thoroughly. Raise the biltong to allow the vinegar to drip away.
Step 2 – Determine the herbs based on what kind of meat you’ll use.
Meats require different seasonings, so choose the right one for your dish. For instance, beef and game meats such as kudu, springbok, or ostrich will require more robust flavors, such as cumin and coriander, whereas poultry may need something more delicate, like paprika or nutmeg.
If this sounds exotic for where you’re living, you can make great biltong with a rabbit!
If you want to take things up a notch, you can make your custom blend of biltong spices! All it takes is combining some of your favorite herbs and spices in equal parts until everything is well blended – think smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion flakes, thyme, and oregano.
When adding hot or spicy ingredients to your biltong, it’s best to use small amounts and taste as you go. This way, you can avoid the hassle of rinsing off the Pepper or flakes if it is too spicy.
Step 3: Sprinkle away
Once you’ve chosen the right seasoning for your meat, it’s time to prepare it.
You want to have your biltong spices pre-mixed and ready to use, so all that is left to do is sprinkle them onto the meat before drying or curing.
To properly season the meat, lightly spread the spice with your hand to cover the entire surface. The spice will take on a different hue as it penetrates the meat.
Using a dry rub method, you’ll need to mix the seasoning with other ingredients like salt and oil to create a paste-like consistency before rubbing it into the meat evenly.
Spice should completely coat the meat.
When arranging meat in a tray, put the thicker pieces at the bottom and the thinner pieces at the top. The extra pressure helps to force the spice into the meat.
Now it’s time to enjoy!
Sprinkle your homemade biltong spice mix onto your favorite meat or marinate them a bit before leaving them to dry or hydrate or slowly heat them in the oven or biltong box.
The possibilities are endless for creating unique flavors with your special blend of spices!
This article is part of a Biltong Spices series: