African Biltong given a Scottish twist

The traditional South African delicacy of Biltong has been given a Scottish twist to add a bit of spice to the country’s traditional culinary customs.

Braw Biltong is made from top quality grass-fed Scottish beef marinaded in a delicate mix of vinegars and spices before being air dried for up to six days in a kitchen in the Fife town of Crieff.

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However, without the same heat from the African sun a small concession has to be made to the drying process which, in Scotland, takes place in specially created climate controlled cabinets.

The result is a tasty, nutritious delicacy which is attracting attention from health conscious athletes, home cooking enthusiasts and restaurateurs alike.

The brainchild of Scotsman Chris McConville and his South African business partner Lloyd Jankielsohn the business launched in January is already selling to customers across the UK and mainland Europe.

“We started making biltong for ourselves at home as a snack because we couldn’t find anything close to the real thing in Scotland,” said Chris, whose wife is South African.

“Most of the mass produced stuff in the shops is more like beef jerky than biltong and there is a huge difference in taste as far as we were concerned. A lot of stuff uses lower quality cuts of meat which is tougher and needs more sugar and marinades to break down the proteins. That makes it more heavily flavoured, more chewy and less healthy than it could be.”

Biltong was originally made in South Africa as a way of preserving meat in the heat. They used to cure the meat, marinating it in spice and vinegar, before hung out to air dry in the hot climate of South Africa.

Read more about Braw Biltong in the April 2018 issue of Scotland Correspondent magazine. The only FREE magazine about all things Scottish enjoyed every month by thousands of readers in more than 45 countries.