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Biltong Stew

Biltong can be so much more than the strips of air-dried carnivore-bait we all know and love Freedes for Africa on the Blog, part of the Guardian Africa Network Biltong stew: wonderful, and ridiculously easy to make. This recipe uses a well-loved ingredient: biltong. Biltong is very much like beef jerky, a type of cured meat. There are various varieties, but beef is very common. You can also get biltong made from game meat. The biltong stew concept first came about after my husband mentioned eating it with sadza whilst visiting a friend. The very first time I made the stew, it turned out to be just as wonderful as I had hoped it would. The most amazing thing was how ridiculously easy it was to make.

1 tablespoon Veg oil

300g biltong

1 onion (chopped)

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon ginger (freshly grated)

2 tablespoons tomato concentrated puree

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tomatoes (chopped)

cayenne pepper

1/2 cup water

Biltong is a much loved South African delicacy made with dry cured beef or game meat and flavored with spices such as whole coriander seeds. The spicing of biltong has been attributed as a Dutch invention, however, the act of drying meat as a form of preservation has been practiced in Africa for centuries and is still the case presently. It is most useful, even today, in regions which are deprived of electric power for refrigeration. Hence when a meat stew is made in these areas, it is quite typical to use dried meat or biltong with a little peanut butter to make a stew. The addition of peanut butter to enrich the stew is most likely done because meat is not normally affordable, therefore another source of protein is sought to supplement that which would have otherwise been consumed from the meat. Making this stew is easy because all of the ingredients can be consumed as is, therefore not much cooking time is required. Serve with a side of vegetables and salad or rice.


By Freda Muyambo