Dehydration


Looking at the title of this post I'm reminded that every year in January I resolve to drink more water.

To be honest, pretty much every 2-3 months I resolve to drink more water. I know I'm dehydrated, I just never seem to get thirsty. It's been a problem, even as a kid, I used to get sick from not drinking enough. I've been hospitalised for it more than once!

I need a program to keep me on track. One of the most useful things I ever did was set alarms during the day to remind me to drink. I wonder why I stopped doing that...

Anyway, this post is not about that kind of dehydration. This is about my brand new Excalibur food dehydrator.
Isn't she beautiful?

Well, she would be, but I couldn't afford the black one so I had to get white.

Anyway, it's incredibly functional, even if not particularly beautiful.

So far we've made vegetable crisps (which the children could not get enough of) and dried onions (I had a glut of them that needed to be preserved in some way) and I'm about to make biltong.

I'll be honest, I've never eaten biltong, despite both my children and my husband being addicted to the stuff. Something about eating raw meat has just never appealed to me. However, as I read through various recipes online it actually started to appeal a little more. For a start, it uses a ton of corriander powder; I've never been close enough to know this, but I LOVE corriander! It also has worcester sauce, I love worcester sauce!

Unfortunately it takes twelve hours of marinading before you can put it in the dehydrator even, so it's going to be at least 24 hours before I get back to you with results, but the recipe looks good.

In case you want to give it a try, here's what I did:
  1. Cut some nice meat into strips (I used steak, which was possibly a little extravagant, but it was all the beef I could find; Chicken biltong sounds like a death warrant and we ate the lamb last night)
  2. Put some brown sugar, rock salt, bicarbonate of soda and ground Corriander in the bottom of a bowl.
  3. Lay strips of meat over the mixture and sprinkle more of it on top
  4. Pour brown vinegar and worcester sauce on in a 2:1 ratio and watch it bubble
  5. Once it's settled add another layer of meat in the same way and repeat until your all done
  6. Cover with cling film and set in the fridge for 12 hours
The next step is to lay it all out nicely on sheets in the dehydrator and leave it for another 12-18 hours, checking regularly. You need to decide how 'wet' you like your biltong to be, so there's no real time/recipe. Hopefully mines going to look something like this:

I'll let you know how I get on.

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