Elk Bitlong

Wild Game Charcuterie Recipe, with Chef Alan Bergo

Master forager and culinary hero, Chef Alan Bergo crafted the elk biltong demonstrated in this UMAi Dry charcuterie recipe.

For a wide variety of wild game recipes, check out his site, ForagerChef.com for culinary inspiration--and an escape to the woods. Click here for his page with tips on dry aging game meats.

About the Recipe

If you like making charcuterie at home, or even just like a good bag of jerky, you’ll love biltong. Just think beef jerky, but softer, more tender. I learned about the South African charcuterie through a friend who’d lived there, and, after a bad biltong craving, built a curing chamber specifically for it at home.

If you’re not familiar, biltong is made by cutting meat into slabs about an inch thick, seasoning, with black pepper and coriander, and allowing to dry for 1-2 weeks or so. Typically the meat used is beef, specifically the cut called the “silverside” in the U.K. or what we’d call the top round. In my case, I cut up an elk, using the same muscle, and it worked like a charm. Other venison, like whitetail deer, will give the same result.

About the Chef

This recipe is by Chef Alan Bergo, a culinary industry veteran, former executive chef of Minnesota's acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at foragerchef.com.