What’s cooking today: Biltong risotto

What’s cooking today: Biltong risotto
Tony Jackman’s biltong risotto, served on a plate by Mervyn Gers Ceramics. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Biltong is fair game for all sorts of dishes. If you can put bacon, pancetta or chorizo in it, you can use biltong instead. So there’s no reason for biltong not to be the flavour hero of a risotto.

What are your Italian readers going to make of that, asked my Chicago buddy when I WhatsApped him a photo of my biltong risotto. This is how we roll in the Karoo, Chicagoboertjie, I replied; you’ve been in America too long. Anyway, biltong can go in anything.

(Serves 4)


500 g arborio rice

200 ml white wine

1.5 litres vegetable stock

1.5 cups thinly sliced soft biltong

½ cup fresh coriander leaves and stems, chopped

1 cup green beans, blanched

250 g crème fraîche

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

Olive oil, as needed

Salt and white pepper

½ a cup grated Parmesan and more for serving


Blanch the green beans in rapidly boiling water for two minutes, drain in a colander, and refresh under cold running water. Set aside. Have your wine and heated vegetable stock to hand, and a ladle.

Pour plenty of olive oil into a heavy, large pan, add the arborio rice (do not wash it first, it needs its starch) and then drizzle more olive oil over. No need to measure, it needs to soak up plenty of it. If you insist on a measurement, at least half a cup. Put the heat on low and stir it around with a wooden spoon so that every grain of rice is coated in oil.

Add the wine a little at a time and stir gently while it is absorbed by the rice. Add the stock a little at a time in the same way. 

Chop half of the biltong into smaller pieces and stir in, season with the garlic powder and onion powder, salt and pepper, and stir in the chopped coriander. Add the green beans and the remaining biltong (intact) and stir in the crème fraîche until it is well incorporated. Simmer, stirring, for the cream to take on the aromatics.

Grate some Parmesan into it and serve with more grated on top and a few extra shavings of biltong. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots. Mervyn Gers has expanded the base for his ceramic ware to New Zealand and Australia, through the Sydney-based iKhaya Collections. For more information, click here.

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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