Trimming your Beef for Biltong Steaks
Hello. ! Daryl here again. Biltong Solutions. What are we going to do now? Well, we’ve covered spice, we’ve covered what type of meat to actually buy to make your biltong, and now we’re going to go on to the actual cutting itself, the prep work. So, as we said before, we talked about silversides, and what we’ve got here is a whole piece of silverside now, taken out of the packet and drained of its blood. You’ve got two sides, which is that side up, and then you’ve got the other side, which is the fat side. What you want to do is lay the fat side down on your surface, and it doesn’t really matter which way it’s facing you, this way or even that way. It just depends on whether you’re left-handed or right-handed really. So I’m going to do it this way.
Now, the first thing you’ll notice is, generally, with silversides, you are going to get a big strip of sinew or like ligaments between the muscles, and that’s what this piece is here. It’s very tough.
Camermanman: Very chewy.
Daryl: Very chewy. And basically, you wouldn’t want it in your mouth. So we want to get rid of that first. There’s a piece here, and, generally, there’s another piece around this area here. So that’s what we’ll do first. So, really, what you want to do . .. oh, knives, you want to have a boning knife, which is to do a bit of knife work, for getting in close, and then you’ve got a steak knife, a regular knife, for doing the long cutting of the meat itself.
Cameramman: The boning knife’s good for the sinew, isn’t it?
Daryl: Yeah, exactly. The boning knife is for sort of trimming up odd bits here and there really. So that’s what you want to do. Any sort of gristle, sinew, you want to take it off now, because it’s going to end up in your product, and you don’t really want to be eating that. So first thing you do, you can take a bit of the surface fat off, that’s fine, but you want to get under the sinew. And the easiest way to do that is if you actually go, if you see there, you can go under the sinew itself. Use your boning knife and get under the sinew. Now this sinew is tough, believe me. I mean the knife will cut it, but you can actually use it as a guide to take the sinew off. Now, get your finger in there, if you like. Obviously, be very careful, but slightly angle your knife up, and you will find that your knife will be guided along the sinew itself, and it will actually help. It should come off all in one piece, because, effectively, you’re just taking off the sinew. See, there you go.
Cameraman: Just a little bit more trimming there, but . . .
Daryl: Yeah. But, I mean, that’s it. Basically, that’s what you do. When you’re cutting up and the sinew is guiding your knife along what you want to take.
Cameraman: So, as you said, you angle it up. You don’t have much meat waste, then, by the looks of it.
Daryl: No, because you’re following the sinew, and you’re not really taking the meat. I mean, there’s always . . . your first strip will always be the big one, and then you have a bit of secondary. It’s up to you entirely how much you want to take off. You’ve got a bit of sinew here. It’s entirely up to you to what extent you want to trim your silverside up.
Cameraman: The first couple of times you do this there might be some big chunks come out.
Daryl: Well, yeah, I mean, even if you consider that waste. I mean, you might be a person who doesn’t like any gristly bits or sinew in your product. That’s fine. Cut it to your specification. We’re just saying, we’re showing you how to do it really. There’s obviously a bit more here. Generally, that’s not too bad. There is a little bit of a gristly bit there. We’ll take that out. We don’t like to eat that.
Then, I like to sort of turn the meat around, and you’ll find. . . well, actually I’ll show you. There’s another piece of muscle here. It’s like an eye of meat, which runs just there.
Cameraman: They sometimes call that the salmon, don’t they?
Daryl: Yeah, salmon, that’s exactly it. But, really, what you can do, you’ll see this flappy bit here, and you’ll see there’s actually a natural grain joined to the meat. If you just sort of follow this here, you’ll see that it sort of splits.
Cameraman: I know some people don’t even cut that out, because you can cut right through it.
Daryl: Yeah, it’s entirely optional really. I just like to take it off, because ultimately . . .
Cameraman: You strive for perfection.
Daryl: Well, yeah, perfection, of course. But ultimately, it gives you two pieces of meat. I mean, that’s a nice little round piece of meat, which we will cut.
Cameraman: That’s the salmon.
Daryl: That’s the salmon, and this is another piece of prep work. There is another little bit of gristly bit here. So you’ll see that, and we just like to take that off, because, again, you can see that vein of sinew running down there. All right. Go on.
So that’s it really. Yeah, we have two pieces of meat ready to go. That’s your preparation, removal of sinew, and then what we’ll do in the next video, we’ll show you how to actually cut the meat itself, ready for making the biltong.
Okay, thank you.
Got on to Video 4 – Cutting your Beef for Biltong