Life in South Africa revolves heavily around meat. Braais, potjies, spit braais, Sunday roasts, biltong – the one thing most South African social activities all have in common is an abundance of meat. If you’ve moved to the UK, it’s probably one of the things you miss most about home because meat over here just isn’t the same as it is back there. South Africans living in the UK will be thrilled to know – if they don’t already – about a little gem from back home that has been meeting the meat needs of Saffas since 2004 – Snoggy’s Butcher Shop & Food Market.
What’s the story behind Snoggy’s Butchery?
If you’re looking for an excellent South African butcher in London, look no further than Snoggy’s. Specialising in biltong, droëwors, boerewors, seasoned steaks and meats, and South African groceries as well as alcohol products – you’ll find all the tastes of home you didn’t even know you missed yet.
Yoland Wallace, former owner of Braeside Meat Market in Parkhurst, Johannesburg first opened Snoggy’s doors to the public in Putney in January 2004. It wasn’t long before the store was famous for its delicious biltong and titillating boerewors. Today, they’ve been making biltong for more than 20 years, and their incomparable flavours and consistent quality have made Snoggy’s a favourite destination for South Africans (and Londoners!) to feed their biltong and droëwors addictions and to buy incredible grass-fed succulent steaks and delicious South African meats. You’ll also find everything else you’ll need to recreate the ultimate South African braai or potjie in your new home at Snoggy’s – with a wide range of beers and groceries (Chakalaka! KOO creamed sweet corn!) from back home.
Where can you find Snoggy’s?
For the best meat, biltong and droëwors, seasoned steaks and braaivleis, you’ll find the Snoggy’s main shop at 367 Upper Richmond Road and their second outlet in Wimbledon Station, where you’ll be welcomed and assisted by friendly staff, well-versed in the South African culinary arts and cuisine. Snoggy’s products are also sold at Max’s outside East Putney Station and at Picollo outside Putney Overland in Putney High Street. Snoggy’s has even gone global, with an outpost now owned and operated by Kerry Venter in the Pelican Waters Shopping Centre in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast in Australia.
Snoggy’s Butcher in Putney
- Call them: 020 8876 2050
- Find them: 367 Upper Richmond Rd, London SW15 5QJ
Snoggy’s in Wimbledon
- Call them: 020 8944 9585
- Find them: Wimbledon Station, London SW19 7NL
Looking to make your own biltong? We’ve got you covered. Simply buy your meat from Snoggy’s Butchery and follow the recipe below.
What is the best meat to use to make biltong?
While the possibilities for biltong are endless – think turkey, bacon, venison, ostrich – the most common meat used in South Africa is beef. It’s relatively cheap, widely available and generally much cheaper than game. For the best biltong results, it’s advisable to use only the finest beef cuts such as fillet, sirloin, or steaks cut from the hip, like topside or silverside. While you can still use other cuts of meat, the quality isn’t as good, which will affect the outcome of your biltong endeavours.
How is biltong made?
If you’re a South African living in the UK, learning how to make biltong like it’s made back home is an essential survival skill that will save you money and ensure your popularity among your friends.
Here’s what you need to know about biltong preparation:
- Once you’ve selected your ideal cut of meat (and it’s recommended that you purchase at least 2 kilograms of your meat selection) you’ll start by removing excess fat.
- This ensures that the drying process isn’t hindered by wet fat and will increase the shelf life of your biltong. It isn’t necessary to remove all fat; you can leave some for flavour if you wish.
- When cutting your slices, don’t cut them too thick or this will lengthen the drying time. What you’re looking for is a cut that’s roughly 20cm in length, with just over a centimeter in thickness. Longer strips work out to be more efficient, taking up less drying space, which means you’ll need fewer drying hooks.
This is a tried-and-tested basting and seasoning recipe for approximately 2kg of meat.
- 250ml vinegar (for basting)
- 1/2 cup ground coriander
- 2 Tbs ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs sea salt
- 2 tsp paprika
- The simplest way to prepare your meat for drying is by basting and seasoning it at the same time. Do this by splashing a layer of your basting mix and sprinkling over the seasoning spices at the bottom of a wide, flat dish.
- Lay your meat strips flat in your dish, top with an equal layer of basting and seasoning, along with any additional spices you fancy, such as paprika our peri peri can be added according to your preference for spicy flavouring.
- Let the meat marinate for 2-4 hours in the fridge before they’re ready to be dried.
The magic of biltong is in the drying:
- Humidity is the enemy, when it comes to dehydrating your meat (obviously!) which means that it’s wise to have a specialised drying chamber – like a biltong maker, which you can either buy or DIY, that makes it possible for you to control the heat and keep away flies. Creating the ideal environment for drying is critical, especially in colder climates.
- Depending on the amount of meat involved and the drying method you’ve chosen, completing the drying process for your biltong can take anywhere between 24 hours and 10 days. Personal taste is also a factor, as some like their biltong still wet and bloody, while others prefer theirs to be a challenge for their molars.
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