How to cook basturma

Published: 15-Mar-2011 (21:07); Viewed: 5631; Difficulty: 8 out of 10

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How to cook basturma
Basturma, also known as pastirma, is an air-dried, strongly seasoned beef. Basturma is a well known food in Turkey and Armenia. It is almost impossible to find this lovely example of Ottoman cuisine in UK, therefore if you'd like to try it, you should cook it by yourself.

step-by-step instructions

  1. The best basturma should be cooked from fillet steak, but other fat-less tender beef-cuts are also acceptable. We can recommend topside/top rump joint. Central part of this cut is fat-less and reasonably tender.

  2. Cut meat into 1.5x3x10 inches bricks without any big inclusions of fat or tendons. Because meat is very flexible, these measurements are very approximate. The approximate size of each piece will be about half-kilo.

  3. Cover meat with the mixture of coarse sea or rock salt and finely crushed dried bay leaves and freshly milled black pepper. For each kilo of meat take 100 gr of salt and 2-3 bay leaves.

  4. Place meat into shallow tray, cover with linen fabric and press with few kilo weight. Put this tray into the fridge for two days. Turn meat from side to side each 12 hours. Dry out any liquor in the tray. If linen towel became very wet, change it.

  5. After two days, prepare main seasoning. One of the most important ingredient is Fenugreek, which is widely available everywhere. The amount of spices give below will be enough for 1.5-2 kg of meat.
    • 100g Fenugreek powder
    • 50g Paprika powder
    • 25g Chilli powder
    • 10g Cumin seeds
    • 5gr Coriander seeds
    • 5g Cloves grounded
    • 10g Black pepper
    • 1 and half Garlic bulb
    Ground all seeds, crush the Garlic and mix with other ingredients.

  6. In a bowl mix spices with plenty of water, until it will be porridge-like consistency. Leave for 30 min, check and probably add some more water. In some original recipes you should use red wine instead of water, but not for the first time.

  7. Wash meat from the rest of salt and bay leaves. Dry meat pieces with strong paper towel and fasten rope to one side. Later this rope will be used for hanging meat for drying.

  8. Cover meat with spices mixture and leave for 30 minutes in the tray.

  9. Basturma should be air-dried at low temperature. Because it not always possible to find such place in modern houses, it will much better to dry it in the artificial air flow. It is very easy to make an aero-dynamical pipe from cheap fan, black bag, an old cardboard box and sellotape.

  10. Hang meat, covered with spices, inside the aerodynamic box, switch on the fan and leave for 2 weeks.

  11. After two weeks basturma will be very dry and ready to eat. For serving slice it as thin as possible.

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by: Librarian
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tags: beef; dried food; fillet steak; ottoman cuisine

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