We all have a favourite cut of meat when choosing a steak or roast, but do you pay as much attention to the cut used in meat products like Biltong?
As a general rule, the farther you go from the hoof of the cattle the more tender the meat, making it better for eating with minimal preparation. This is because the more the muscles are used, the tighter the muscle fibres become, with less fat marbling to maintain tenderness and contribute to flavour.
Braw focus on making great Biltong, so we won't get into other meat products, but certainly some of them should be avoided if you care about quality meat!
The most common cuts used in the production of Biltong are Topside and Silverside as they generally provide a balance between cost and tenderness, with Topside being the more tender of the two.
There are a couple of things to be aware of which relate to the cut of meat used:
Some Biltongs use sugar in an attempt to break down proteins and improve the tenderness of cheaper cuts of meat, but this compromises the health benefits of Biltong.
Fat is key to adding flavour in meat and especially Biltong. The lack of fat in cheaper cuts often leads producers to use excessive amounts of flavourings which leads to a product that only vaguely resembles real Biltong.
For those that really care about the quality of their meat, there is Braw's Proper Biltong, made from the D Rump cut. This comes from closer to the middle of the cow where the steak cuts are found and offers a fantastically tender and well marbled piece of meat, as seen in the popular rump steak.
There are of course many other factors that affect the quality of your Biltong including the age of the cattle, the breed and how it was reared, and we'll come on to those in future posts.
Happy Friday meat lovers!