Biltong recipe with Chillies

Spicy biltong made with chillies

Spicy Biltong recipe

Biltong (similar to Jerky in the USA) is a South African dried meat much loved by most Southern African people. Countries from that part of the globe, including Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. Besides, loving Biltong are also great fans of Chillies. Most of them grow substantial quantities of African Birds-Eye and other Chillies.

While this is a recipe for spicy Biltong, it can also be used to make Chilli strips. These are a thinner variant of Biltong, made by drying 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) strips of beef until they are pretty dry. They are not sliced in the way Biltong is for serving, but generally eaten as sticks

This recipe calls for beef, but Biltong can also be successfully made from venison. Seeing as venison can be tough, it is advisable to add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to the ingredients below when making Biltong with it.

Let's make some biltong:


You will need the following for ( depending on dryness) between one and one and a half kilograms of Biltong

  • Silverside beef – 2 kilograms (preferably with some fat).
  • Chilli Powder – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Coarse salt – four tablespoons
  • Coriander seeds - 2 tablespoons ( crushed)
  • Black pepper – One tablespoon (coarsely ground)
  • Chilli flakes – one teaspoon
  • Cider vinegar – 150ml
  • Brown sugar – one tablespoon
  • Worcester sauce – 50 ml

Making Biltong is quite a lengthy process, because the meat needs to be marinated in vinegar and Worcester sauce, and then cured in salt with spices and sugar for at least three days, if using a Biltong box or longer ( five days plus)  if drying it conventionally. It is best to use a Biltong box in countries that don't have dry climates. Biltong needs to be dried in a cool, dry environment with good air circulation to be successful.

To make the Biltong
  1. Cut the meat into strips about 2 inches (50 mm) wide and an inch (25 mm thick).
  2. Place into a clean, shallow dish or bowl
  3. Mix the vinegar and Worcester sauce
  4. Pour this over the meat
  5. Cover the dish/bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for two hours.
  6. After two hours, turn the meat over and put it back into the fridge for another two hours.
  7. Mix the remaining ingredients.  Remove the meat from the vinegar
  8. Sprinkle a layer of the salt/spice mixture on the bottom of a shallow dish. Place a layer of meat on top of this. Sprinkle with the salt mixture. Continue in this fashion until all the beef has been coated on both sides, ending with a layer of the salt mixture on top
  9. Cover the dish with cling film and allow the meat to cure in the salt/ spice mixture for 3  hours in the refrigerator.
  10. Remove from the fridge and wipe off any excess salt sticking to the meat.
  11. Hang the Biltong up on hooks in a cool, dry place for 5 to seven days with good air circulation, or cure it in a Biltong box for three to four days.

The length of time you dry it for is according to your personal preference. Some people like very dry Biltong, while others like it to be slightly wet. Once dried, store in the refrigerator or vacuum pack