Meet the Producer – Limpopo Biltong

Limpopo Butcher has been making delicious biltong, drywors, and boerewors at their base in Acton, West London since they opened in 2011. Founder Francois Van Der Zee moved to the United Kingdom 14 years ago, but never forgot the traditional biltong and boerewors recipes passed down to him by his father. Growing up in the Limpopo Province, he was always in the bushveld hunting and making biltong with game, beef, etc. He is one of the leading lights of the British biltong industry and we’ve been fortunate enough to stock his magnificent products at Cannon & Cannon for a number of years now. Here’s your chance to learn more about the man himself…

Hi. First things first: where do you hail from?

From Tzaneen, South Africa.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A farmer. 

How did you earn your living before making biltong?

I was a farmer in South Africa, then moved to the UK and started farming in Kent.

When, where and how did you learn to cure meat?

In South Africa growing up, recipes past from generations, my grandfather taught my father who taught me as I will teach my son.

Which flavour of biltong is your favourite?

Butchers Choice, medium, with an edge of fat. 

Can you tell us a little about other typical South African products?

We make a great range of both dry and fresh meat. Drywors (dried sausage), my favourite 5kg Texan steak! Obviously for one. We use South African flavours on British meat. Boerewors (South African sausage ) is a great BBQ meat. A mixture of 80% beef and 20% pork with traditional seasonings. We’ve even gone as far as mixing blue cheese in it which is proving very popular. 

What do British-based biltong makers still need to learn from the South African producers?

You cant rush a good thing, biltong takes time and love to craft the perfect blend of meaty taste with its given flavour.

And do you think we can make it better in the UK?

It’s a different ball game really , the weather can have such an affect on the drying process. In SA its more predictable. In saying that some of the quality of dried meats weather it is biltong or other is really impressive. I think the industry and craft is growing hugely in the UK and its amazing to be part of it.

Rumour has it that Biltong is the ‘new kale’ and is great for you, what do you think about that?

I heard kale is poisonous. Biltong has so many great qualities, it’s a terrific source of protein and a great in-between meal snack! Or pre-meal snack, or pre-breakfast snack! You can eat it anytime and its great!  

Finally, you’ve been told that for exceptional medical reasons you must turn vegan tomorrow – what’s on the menu for dinner tonight?

T-bone steak for a starter, Boerewors and T-Bone as a mains and for dessert a smaller T-bone. The following day will be Chicken and pork. If I want vegetables with my meat ill have a nice side of chicken.

You can get your hands on his incredible Biltong at one of our many market stalls across London or via our website.