Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

ChefCrash

Basturma, Pastirma, Бастурмa

Recommended Posts

An Armenian, Turkish, Russian cured cut of meat. Usually made from beef, it's cured, dried and coated with a highly spiced mixture called Chemen.

This is a piece I bought at Bedo's in Burj Hammoud (a neighborhood with a large Armenian community).

Basturma_1.jpg

While in Beirut this past summer, I got a basturma recipe straight from an Armenian grandmother. I was even told where to buy the ingredients in Burj Hammoud.

IMG_4295.JPG

The stuff in the can is a red food coloring.

IMG_4293.JPG

While most recipes call for the fillet, I decided to go with an eye of round. This was about 4lbs and I sliced it in half to end up with 2 thinner pieces.

Basturma_3.jpg

I laid the pieces on a bed of kosher salt and covered them with more.

Basturma_4.jpg

Basturma_5.jpg

I placed them in the fridge for 4 days. The pan was drained every day, I'd say the meat lost about 3 pints of liquid. This is what they look like on the last day.

Basturma_6.jpg

As per the instructions, the meat was rinsed and soaked in water for 1 hour.

Basturma_7.jpg

The slabs were dried and wrapped with cheese cloth and pressed between two cutting boards in the fridge for 2 days.

Basturma_9.jpg

To my surprise there was no liquid released after the pressing. In fact the cheese cloth was barely damp. The meat was pretty firm.

I had skipped the step in which I was supposed to insert a twine through the narrow (thin) end of the meat to hang them with. Here my wife had a clever idea. She used a crochet needle to poke through and retrieve the twine.

Basturma_12.jpg

Basturma_13.jpg

I wasn't about to hang these outside so I took them to work and hung them in a keg cooler.

Basturma_15.jpg

Directly in the air flow from the evaporator.

Basturma_14.jpg

They hung for 15 days.

Next: Making the Chemen and coating the meat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to the further descriptions and what it tastes like. Thank you for chronicling the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far the pics look pretty enticing ... keep us updated!


There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After hanging this is what they looked like. Very firm.

Basturma_16.jpg

Chemen, I think, literally means Fenugreek in Armenian, but has become the word to describe basturma's coating which contains other things.

The recipe for Chemen:

6 T Fenugreek

1/2 C Paprika

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp Black pepper

2 T cumin

1 1/2 tsp Allspice

6 Cloves garlic

1 tsp boya (arabic for paint:)

Enough water to form a paste.

Not surprisingly similar to many on the web. I really wasn't concerned about the chemen since I can taste and adjust. It's the curing method that seems to be different from one recipe to the next.

Used a microplane on the garlic.

Basturma_17.jpg

After mixing the dry engredients the mixture didn't have the deep red color I thought it would have. I almost added more red paint. I'm so glad I didn't. As soon you start to add water this is what happens

Basturma_18.jpg

Wow!

Basturma_19.jpg

I was told to use gloves for this part, but what do they know.

Basturma_21.jpg

My hands were red for a week.

P9201000.jpg

Those hung from September 19 til October 22

This is one of the slabs, the other will continue to hang until I need it.

The basturma looks right and taste great. A tad too salty.

One reason why internet recipes turned me off is that they all have different salting/soaking/hanging periods. Some say to cover with salt and others say to just rub the meat with as little as 2 T of salt.

In my case, if I ever do this again, I'd salt for the same period ( the meat has to cure right?), and soak for a longer period or perhaps change the water once or twice.

Basturma_22.jpg

I'm happy with the cut of meat I chose, it's identical in texture to the store bought one pictured in the previous post. I really don't think the commercial stuff is made of fillets or ribeyes as they claim. After all the processing the stuff sell for about $9 usd/lb.

Basturma_23.jpg

So if you live some where basturma, UPS, USPS, Fedex or DHL do not exist, and you really have a hankering for some, or if you're just like me, then try this.


Edited by ChefCrash (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome job documenting the process. Definitely copying this. Thanks for sharing.

Question: What's in the boya? Plain old food coloring?


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome job documenting the process. Definitely copying this. Thanks for sharing.

Question: What's in the boya? Plain old food coloring?

Thanks guys

The can reads "Colorant Ponceau. I had to google it my self. I read the wiki description. Basically is a red food coloring used in industrial foods preparation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mashallah! :biggrin:

These look awesome. I don't think I'll ever do this (multiple reasons why), but this looks a LOT better than the bastirma I can get from the Lebanese and Turkish shops. How does it compare to the best in Beirut?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I'm craving Bedo's basturma sandwiches! I made basturma before using the online recipe from Len Poli. It was pretty good, but not exactly right. Tasted more like an Armenian falvored Bresaola :smile:. That recipe uses a thick purtion of sirloin which also workes great. Yours looks much like the real thing and I will have to try it now.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks great. I've been wanting to do this meat for a while and your post has given me the impetus to try.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Turkish at least, boya is a very general term. You dye cloth with boya. You paint pictures with oil boya. You color foods with food boya. You paint your house with boya. If your hands get stained, they're "boya"ed. :)

  • Like 1

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a detailed video on how to prepare basturma. Enjoy!

He's making basturma we're not familliar with. The kind we like can be made in four days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Grishna
      Coppa is a classic italian delicacy of matured cured meat. Not as widely known as prosciutto and, in my opinion, not  justifiably. The curing time takes weeks, as it should
      for a well matured and multilayered flavour. Good things come to those who wait, but while you do, why not treat yourself to a quick fix  of cooked coppa? Here is what I do:
      Salt the meat in 2% dry rub (nitrate salt and regular salt 50/50) in a vacuum bag for 5 days; Rub dry herbs and spices (whatever comes to mind). The meat will be sticky, so it's easy; Cook on rack above a tray in the oven on fan setting at 80 celcius to internal temperature 67 celsius.  This will take a couple of hours. When internal temperature reaches 60 -ish I add some boiling water in the tray to speed up the heat delivery; Cool in the fridge overnight; Enjoy. This is a seriously moreish ham.
       
       
         
    • By devinp
      I just finished curing my first lomo, and all looks/smells/tastes great except a couple sections inside the lomo that could be black mold?  I kept the exterior clean from mold (I had mostly white and some green pop up during curing, but wiped with vinegar to keep clean).  This picture shows one of those spots closer to the edge in the fat, but there was a second near the middle of the loin that I cutout already.  Unless I find more substantial sections, I think I'm good just cutting away those parts, but would love second opinions..  Thanks.
       

    • By CarsonWyler
      I'm looking for guanciale, preferably in the Sonoma County area but am willing to travel a bit or order online if necessary. Any ideas?
    • By Glen
      Looking to learn and ask questions about home curing meats.  I have an 11 lb batch of genoa salami going and it is my first batch.  Worried about the PH level not dropping as needed.  Need some advice.   I followed the Marianski recipe exactly.  I have a pH meter and the starting point was 6.15pH which I thought was unusually high.  2.5 months in, I am about 73% of starting weight yet my pH is only 5.88pH.  My curing chamber is consistently at 57deg. F. /80% humidity.  My pH tester seems calibrated properly using the calibration solutions.  I am using the meat probe adapter and just sticking it in the salami until the tip is submerged etc...Thanks in advance for any suggestions or reassurances. 
       
      Glen

    • By liuzhou
      It is possibly not well-known that China has some wonderful hams, up there with the best that Spain can offer. This lack of wide -knowledge, at least in the USA, is mainly down to regulations forbidding their importation. However, for travellers to China and those in  places with less restrictive policies, here are some of the best.
       
      This article from the WSJ is a good introduction to one of the best - Xuanwei Ham 宣威火腿  (xuān wēi huǒ tuǐ) from Yunnan province.
      This Ingredient Makes Everything Better
      I can usually obtain Xuanwei ham here around the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival, but I also have a good friend who lives in Yunnan who sends me regular supplies. The article compares it very favourably with jamon iberico, a sentiment with which I heartily agree.



      Xuanwei Ham
       

      Xuanwei Ham
       
      more coming soon.
       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...