Brandy and Biltong: A great match

Frustrated one day with the price of biltong in stores, I decided to make a biltong dryer from plans off the internet and start making the good stuff myself. After doing a number of food parings with brandy of late, chocolate, florentines, full 3 course meals, I got thinking, I wonder if biltong would pair well with premium brandy….

Brandy and Biltong: Making the Billies

Brandy and Biltong in front of the fire!

I didnt want just any old biltong for these match ups. Rather, Gourmet flavour infused biltong, with flavours to match and enhance the subtle characteristics of my favourite local potstills. So I got to work experimenting with a good chunk of topside beef, and dreaming up combinations that I thought would work.

The main experiments this time around were with Vanilla, Fruit Chutney, Citrus Zest, and Coffee. It may sound a bit odd, coffee infused biltong, and as skeptical as I was putting the meat into the dryer, what came out at the end really surprised me.

A couple of them need some refinement, but overall the vanilla, coffee and fruit chutney biltong came out a treat. And not to waste any time proving a concept, I set about hosting a small brandy and biltong pairing evening with some inner circle critics.

Brandy and Biltong: Tasting the matchups

The Match ups and reasoning for them were as follows:

Vanilla infused biltong and Uitkyk 10 year old Grand Reserve brandy.

The Vanilla undertones in this really special brandy were too good to ignore. Coupled with a good strong spice, and also notes of chocolate in the brandy I thought it would be a great match up. And work it did! The subtle vanilla in the biltong really brought out the vanilla in the brandy, and vice versa. A really good pairing:

The Coffee infused and Oude Meester 18yo

Fruit Chutney infused Biltong and Laborie Alambic Potstill Brandy

The Laborie Alambic is really one of the more unique tasting brandies I have tried, and this may have a lot to do with a portion fo the base wine used being made from red grapes. It has really strong fruit, but deeper richer fruits than normal, and I thought that this would match up well with the fruit chutney infused biltong. Overall I was happy, the match up worked, and definitely had balance, but I have some better ideas for improving this match up, and perhaps trying it out with a few other brandies to test against.

Coffee infused biltong with Oude Meester Souverein

One of the stand out characteristics of this superb extra matured brandy is the strong undertone of mocha that sneaks off the nose and tickles the palate. Previously this pared really well with Tiramisu Chocolate, So It had to be first choice for the Coffee Biltong. And for me, the best of the pairings by far. The coffee flavours really amplified in each other, and also release a number of other subtle senses in the brandy not previously found. A real win.

Brandy and biltong: The results

Overall, heaps of fun, and the pairing was deemed a success by all. Back to the recipe board for the next batch of flavour infused biltong, and after a few more trails am sure it can be something I can roll out at corporate or social tastings should it be requested by the tasters!

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