Sunday, 22 May 2011

Making a biltong box!!!

I have wanted to get stuck into this project for AGES! At first I was just going to make a biltong box for us but then I thought that it would be the PERFECT 30th birthday present for my brother :)

Bit of biltong info: Biltong is a delicious dried meat from South Africa. Biltong evolved from the dried meat carried by the wagon-travelling Voortrekkers, who needed stocks of durable food as they migrated from the Cape Colony north-eastward into the interior of Southern Africa during the Great Trek.

So back to business :), first I had to find the right cupboard/cabinet. After searching in IKEA and other furniture shops with no luck, I had made the decision to buy some wood and build a box HOWEVER, I just happen to drive past a second hand furniture shop and saw the perfect sized box!!! I was so excited :)
I took it into the garden straight away and started stripping the veneer which was peeling off.
It had been used to store records :) Obviously I had to take those dividers out as well as the shelf which was just way too high.
I am not sure if you can see it from here, but I drilled a row of holes at the top and the bottom along the side of the box as biltong is air dried meat so we need air holes :)
Googs helped with the sanding.

We then painted it and stuck on some playing cards for fun. You can see the top air holes better in this picture.
I cut some piping for the rails, drilled more holes in the shelf and placed the shelf back in at a lower position.

I found this little fan too! Biltong boxes usually use a light bulb at the bottom but a friend of mine, who has a biltong box, only uses a fan. I guess we will know soon enough if it works :) I did give my brother a light fixture if he wanted to add it.

Varnished. Finished! We gave this to my brother along with all the ingredients that he would need. My parents gave him a voucher for the local butchers, he was one happy bunny :)

After Hubby saw the finished box, he REALLY wanted one too, so I went to that same second hand shop and found another cabinet.
I had nothing to do externally to this one. I took out the top shelf, drilled holes in the top and bottom and in the bottom shelf, drilled a hole in the back at the bottom for the fan's cord, cut the poles and added them at the top.
In the shop where I went to buy the fan, I just so happened to walk past the lighting section and noticed a lamp that had smashed, I asked them if I could have it. So I got back and added another hole at the back and added a light!

Here it is, a bit of a dark picture.

We were so excited to use the box that Hubby went out to the butchers and the shops that day :)

We used Mark Blumberg's recipe.

We roasted half a cup of coriander seeds.

And then crushed them - hmmm smelt so good!
half a teaspoon of pepper
1/4 cup of brown sugar
And not quite a tablespoon of coarse salt. Mix together and spread out in a dish.
Sprinkle vinegar on meat - we used silverside cut of beef and red wine vinegar. And place on spices.
Cover meat with spices, cover, and leave to marinate for a few hours or cover and put in the fridge over night. We were to excited to leave it in over night. We stayed up until after midnight so make sure that we put the meat up as soon as possible :)
Once finished marinating, take the meat and quickly dip into some vinegar. Then place on meat hooks- we used paper clips as meat hooks.We put tin foil on the shelf and some kitchen towel to catch the initial dripping. And hung the meat up!!! We have to leave it to dry for 4-7 days!!! Oh it is so exciting :)
The biltong the next morning.
And here it is after 36 hours. Only 3ish more days :)))


Kelly said...

Now you have Mark and I full of anticipation too! Tell me straight away when the time is up how that biltong turns out. Yes, we sure know why you are so excited by this!!

Moogie said...

Oh I will! I wish you lived closer, you could have tried some :)
Brian has been looking up recipies for droewors, so stay tuned ;)

dorinalouise said...

wow! i'm impressed! that was a lot of work! enjoy your delicious meat!

Pip said...

what a fun and educational thing to try!! i can't wait to read how it tasted!!

Ny Biltong said...

Having biltong is just one click away. All you need to do is to go to New York Biltong online and choose from various slices and flavorings. You can be creative with your menu and can surprise your guests as well by serving this as a chip. They have customer service that is friendly and will answer any queries that you have about the appetizing product. Call them now and start serving the best meal ever!

Blogger said...

I've just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the best virtual strippers on my desktop.