Yea, We Have to Do This
That was the decision my buddy David Seigler and I have come to as we have enjoyed copious amounts of every critter you can imagine, along with some veggies and starches on occasion. Of course during our hang outs we also consume a delicious amount of “adult beverages”, hang out with our dogs, work on home food production systems and generally eat ourselves into a meat coma.
Over the past year we have really started upping the game, cooking game collected by rifles and road kill alike. We realized about twice a month we get together at my place, eat amazing food and then generally don’t remember exactly how we made it. So one day we thought of the idea to do an online cooking show, came up with a few ideas and during a plate of fried muscovy duck breast, twice fried Japanese purple sweet potatoes and Gochujang infused mayo, we stopped killing martinis long enough to commit to this adventure, in that moment we simply said, we have to do this!
Our goal is to include something we either grew, sourced locally, shot, caught, foraged or bartered for in every episode, which should not be a problem.
So What is Biltong and Why “Biltong for Breakfast”?
Most people will tell you that biltong is an “African form of jerky”, these people are NOT to be trusted. To say biltong is a form of jerky is like saying a fine prosciutto is a form of pork jerky. Yes it is that bad. The good news is while up there with the finest cured meats, by using only red meats and a unique process biltong is ready in 4-7 days vs. 6 months or more for many cured meats that use pork.
Biltong was started by the Dutch Boers in South Africa, it is a basic form of dry pickling in a manner of speaking. There are only 5 ingredients in traditional biltong. First a red meat of your choice. Beef is fine, venison is great, if you can get bison more power to you, elk, you get it, red meat. No squirrels, rabbits, chickens, pigs, RED MEAT ONLY. The meat is cut about 1 inch by 1 inch thick or even thicker, not thin like jerky.
You then lightly coat the meat in apple cider vinegar, and salt it about like you’d salt a soft pretzel, you add fresh ground black pepper and ground coriander. You hold the meat chilled over night in the fridge. The meat is then cured not directly dehydrated.
In the bush this is done in the dry season by hanging the meat in a shaded area with good airflow. In modern times you simply hang the meat in an air conditioned room with good air flow. Wait 3-4 days and start checking it for doneness, just a bit pink in the center is great. But if you go thick enough you can nail it with a steak house medium rare this is off the hook.
So why did we call this show Biltong For Breakfast. Well, it certainly isn’t that the show is going to be about biltong all the time. It is more that we both are cooks, not bakers. We don’t bake bread, make cakes, whip up cookies and crap like that. No instead we focus on meats, veggies, some starches and copious amounts of top shelf adult cocktails. We are also big on fish, game, wild caught, home grown, etc. So the name just seemed fitting. The man who serves you Biltong for Breakfast is not likely to want to show you how to make a bunt cake, or some other such sugary nonsense.
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