Spicing your Beef | Making Biltong – Part 6

Spicing and marinating the beef 

Video Transcript

Hi, guys. Hopefully, by now, you’re following us and you’re up to the same stage. What we’re going to do now, we’ve cut the meat, prepped it. It’s all in steaks, ready to go, and now we’re going to marinate it basically. Probably the most important stage of biltong making because this is where you start the curing process really.

What you want to do, you’ve got your steaks. We need some nice malt vinegar, which is what we’ve got here. Cheapest chips, you know, for what’s this, five litres, it’s a couple of pounds, nothing.

Cameraman:    You can use any type of vinegar, can’t you? Different type of cider vinegar?

Yeah. Any vinegar or what is also nice is you can add a mix of Worcestershire sauce, because that’s got a very strong vinegar base to it, and also Worcestershire sauce is good with beef. So, again, we talked about it in the spice stage about variations. That’s just another variation in your vinegar. Cider vinegar, anything like that. The vinegar itself is the key one.

We’ve got the vinegar. I’ve just poured it in there. It’s a bit easier to work with. Steaks, we just need, basically, a tray to lay everything out. Now, obviously, this is a big tray, big steaks, big bowl of vinegar. Now, if you’re doing this at home or on a domestic scale, just scale it down. Instead of this, use a roasting tin for whatever size suits you. Like we said, if the steaks are too big, cut your steaks to suit your roasting tin. It’s as simple as that really.

If you want to scale it up, go big. Go large. It doesn’t really matter. We’re just showing you here what to do. Basically, roasting tin. Stay there. And of course, the spice that we made up earlier, which is all there, ready to go. So, basically, what we like to do, there’s a lot of basics in this video, but, you know, that’s the way we like to do it. So you want to put your vinegar in first. Just splash that around just so you get a nice sort of spread what’s going on. It is a little bit messy, but, you know, that’s the way it goes.

What you want to try and do is have one wet hand and one dry hand. Use your dry hand for your spice. So that’s the spice we made up earlier. There’s a good mix there. You can see you’ve got the salt, you’ve got the cracked black pepper, coriander seeds. That is a nice mix. So then, basically, in there like that, you just sprinkle it around.

Cameraman:    So you’re spicing the bottom of the tray first?

Yeah. I mean, basically, because obviously you’re going to put the meat in the bottom. So, if I put the meat on the bottom and there’s no spice and no vinegar, it’ll have nothing on it. So you’re just layering it. It’s like a lasagne. You’re just layering it basically. So vinegar and spice.

Cameraman:    Is it true that some people actually soak the meat in the vinegar?

Well, yeah, I suppose they can. I mean, this is how we do it. I mean, this is probably the best way. We’ve had the best results with this. You can absolutely douse the whole product in vinegar, but you’ll just be using more vinegar.

Cameraman:    It does leave a bit more of a vinegar taste to it, though, if it’s soaked, doesn’t it?

Yeah. But it’s all about keeping your costs at the right balance, really.

Cameraman:    Keeping it real.

Keeping it real. So you’ve got your meat, you’ve got your spice. And like we said, you might do this for three or four steaks, individually, in a small tin. Or you might do this for 40 steaks. It just entirely depends on what you’re doing.

Cameraman:    It looks like you’re making a jigsaw puzzle there.

Well, yeah. Jigsaw puzzle or lasagne.

Cameraman:    You’re making it fit to the shape of the tin.

Yeah, so you pick out pieces that are going to help you layer the bottom nicely. You know, there’s a smaller piece. Just sort of tuck it in there. You know, it’s not rocket science. It’s [food] production. It’ll all work itself out. So, again, we’ve layered that. We’ve got a nice place there. Again, vinegar on top.

Cameraman:    I see. You’re going to layer the next load of meat on top of this?

Yes. We just do another layer. So you go meat, vinegar, spice, meat, vinegar, spice, meat, vinegar, spice. And you just do that and fill your tray up. And you’ll find that, by the end of it, you’ll have a good amount of vinegar through the whole mix, anyway.

Cameraman:    So you’re going to be a little bit more generous with the spice on this side, because you’re going to have two layers, aren’t you?

Yep. So, again, spice, just so you get a nice covering. And that’s a nice, good consistency there. Again, layer number two. You know, it doesn’t really matter. This time, we might go this way. It doesn’t matter. So just lay it all in.

Cameraman:    You’re making it a work of art.

Yeah. Simple as that really. Got some nice, big pieces there, which are good for biltong.

Cameraman:    That’s the piece of the salmon you were talking about earlier.


Cameraman:    So you can see the one little, a beautiful piece of meat there.

Yeah. That is a nice, big steak. And then, you know, obviously we’ve got another little small bit here. We’ll just tuck that in there.

Cameraman:    Tidy.

Yeah. So that’s layer two. Again, here we go again. More vinegar. You know and again, like we said with this vinegar, put some flavours in there if you want. A bit of Worcester. You know, it doesn’t really matter.

Cameraman:    You could do, if you wanted to, something like liquid garlic or something.

Yeah. Exactly. Put some flavours in there. So more vinegar. Again, a lot of spice. Just liberally spread that over. You know and this is looking very good just as a marinated product. You know that’s going to be good because of the preps there, it’s looks good, right? Okay, here we go again. Another piece. Right. Now, that is literally, we’ve done that and that’s one silverside.

Of course, you’ve got these pieces here. Little bit left over. That’s your top piece. So just do it a bit locally. A bit of vinegar on these pieces at the top. And again, just a bit of spice over these, because this is the top layer. Just want to finish that off so it blends in. And then, basically, nice. So that’s good to go.

I like to let it marinade. So, you know, I’d probably give this 24 hours in the fridge to marinate till all the flavours work in amongst the meat. The vinegar works in into working its way into the meat, as well. Helps with the curing process. So, yeah, give that 24 hours in your fridge. Cover it over. And then pull it out, and then we’ll go to the next stage, which is all about hanging your meat in your dryer or your local little air box or something like that, which is . . .

Cameraman:    Airing cupboard?

. . . airing cupboard, yeah, which helps in the curing process. So that’s it. Your meat’s prepped, it’s in the fridge. It’s marinating, and the next stage is the drying process. Talk to you then. Bye.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Richard C - March 30, 2015

Hello Daryl

I can’t find video #7 regarding the hanging and drying.

Please would you kindly send me the link.
Great videos by the way!

It’s rey tough to get silverside in HKG. I can get striploin and Topside. Which would you recommend for biltong?

Q2: Do you have any videos showing “Droer vors” making videos?
Spices and meat / fat content to be exact and hog casing diameters? I’m using 20/28 and they seem to be a bit fat. I’ll try filling them 50% next time.


Richard C
Hong Kong

    Daryl - March 30, 2015

    Glad you like the videos…From what was just an impromptu Sunday afternoon of filming, they seem to have gone down well.
    Sadly have not done a drying series of videos as yet. It is something i have been trying to do for ages but not quite got there.

    Thanks for your other questions.
    Topside joint over striploin always. Actually topside is more of a premium cut than silverside and will give you more tender Biltong.
    No Droewors videos either. But in regard to making it, you need to use lamb skins not hog. You know lamb merguez or chipolata style sausages. Lamb skins give you a smaller gauge sausage straight up.
    As for recipes i am sure you can find something online but i would insist on a beef and lamb combination. Also incorporate lots of garlic in your your spice mix. Always worked for us.


Michelle Sharpe - August 17, 2015

Hi Daryl

Thanks for your informative videos. I was wondering what method or machine is best for slicing the biltong on a commercial scale.

Many thanks

    Daryl - August 27, 2015

    We used to use an electric biltong slicer. Just type “electric biltong slicer” into your search engine, then look at the images. Be careful with them as they can be brutal and can take the top of your finger off without missing a beat.


Leave a Reply: