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Growing Up with Biltong and Rugby

Growing up in South Africa was interesting, My Father loved Rugby, the Curry Cup was on every Saturday in winter.

So, the Saturday before the first game my dad would go to the local butchers and buy meat to make biltong.

He used the biltong recipe found on Love Biltong and I would help him mix the spices and the vinegar until we had the right blend.

He would put his finger into the mixture and pop it into his mouth and look at me while his tongue interpreted the mixture, sometimes he would add more coriander or pepper.

Then the used to dip the meat into vinegar and let it rest for 3 minutes and pull it out dry it off slightly and then dip it into the spice mix. We would turn the meat over quickly and then put the other side into the spices. Dad would then press the meat down to make sure the whole piece was covered in spices.

Then we would put the meat into the fridge for a few hours. Dad always used the same white bowl. He said it was better not to mess with tradition, whenever I asked why we used the old bowl.

Dad would then pull the meat out the fridge and dip it into the spices on more time. He put the meat back into the bowl and then we marched to the garage.

In the garage, he put big metal hooks through the meat and then he hung the hooks in the rafters, He would hook all five pieces and put them 3 inches apart.

He would then stand back and smile as the soon to be biltong hung free. We could come inside and wash everything and talk about rugby. He was always so excited about it.

During the week, nothing much happened besides school for me and work for him. On Saturday morning, it was different he would be up at 6am straight into the garage. He carried the biltong like it was his prize into the house.

He would always show me the pieces of biltong and comment which one looked better and why it looked better. He then got the biltong slicer out from the bottom cupboard and then he would crank the handle and had slice all the biltong sticks.

After all the biltong, had been cut, he would then share it out between me and him and that was our stash for the weekend. In the afternoon, we would watch the rugby game and eat our biltong. It was such a lovely time of my life. When I think about those times it always brings back good memories for me.

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Biltong Origin

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