I may have set my hopes a little too high with this one. I have fond memories of Biltong and I must say that while the result of Round 2 – Kangaroo Biltong is very edible and will most certainly be gone by the end of tomorrow, it’s just not quite the flavours I was hoping for.
The appearance is pretty much what I expected– long sticks, visible pieces of coriander (although there is a lot of coriander – if you don’t like coriander, this is definitely not the recipe for you). It has also got quite a ‘kick’ due to the fairly large chunks of black peppercorn, but I find this quite pleasant and there’s a rather good aftertaste. The coconut sugar has resulted in only a very slight sweetness. The maple syrup used in Round 1 was a lot more noticeable and I’d probably give this a go the next time I make Biltong (yes, there will be a next time, as I’m determined to reproduce the joy that is great Biltong) in addition to about 2 tsp less coriander.
I had the dehydrator on for 5.5 hours and rotated the racks and the meat once (i.e. I turned the meat itself over so it would be evenly exposed to the hot air). I reckon this was the perfect amount of time for the kangaroo. It’s dry and chewy; bendable but not snap-able. It’s dried a lot more evenly than the eye fillet did even though the strips were bigger and twice the thickness. I presume this is because kangaroo is a lot leaner than beef.
I will definitely be using kangaroo for jerky again. It’s easy to make into strips, tastes much the same as beef and is a heck of a lot cheaper by the kilo than eye fillet.
I’m tempted to give Kevin and Annie’s Jerky (from my trusty handbook “Just Jerky, The Complete Guide to Making”) another go as it was very enjoyable in Round 1, but there’s another called Jerk Jerky with lots of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) along with a nice touch of sweet and tart in the marinade coming from lime and orange juice. It’s also got a good couple of tablespoons of diced Habanero pepper which should give it one hell of a kick!
Stay tuned for Round 3 (assuming all that Habanero doesn’t kill me). Also, if you have alternate Biltong recipes, please post them in the comments section below!