Ten days have passed and our steaks are now hard and beautiful like diamonds. These steaks are a one of a kind; they’ve undergone a profound transformation from red meat flesh, to rock hard biltong bars.
The sad reality here is an underlying issue of steak inequality.
This is the most physically demanding day by a long shot. In the first few hours of the day we lug over 1000 kilos of tubs filled with steaks, vinegar, spices and love. We pour out all but the steaks. The 50 kg tubs are delicately farmers-walked down a slippery set of stairs.
Once the ol’lumpa meat’s been cleaned up and the eye’s been removed, we now cut our steaks. For a few pseudo-reasons it’s essential the steaks be cut with the grain, the main reason being that once the steaks are dry, they're put through the slicer and cut across the grain, meaning the final slices of Biltong are easy to tear and chew.
This first step in our process is very labour intensive. Fortunately, we all wanted to work in an abattoir when we grew up, so it’s a dream come true. Tom and Luke's double degree in economics and finance are true assets, they never lose count of how many cuts we’ve gone through. I’ve even once heard Tom count to well over 100!