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Armenian spicy cured beef commonly eaten throughout the Middle East


(Aslo spelt as Pastirma, Bastirma, Bisterma or Bestorma)


1-1.5kg Boneless Beef, 3-5cm thick (preferably girello cut)
1/2 cup Salt

1/4 Cup Ground Paprika
1/4 Cup Ground Fenugreek Seed
1 Tblsp All Spice
1 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
5 Cloves Garlic, crushed, finely minced
1 Cup Cold Water


  1. Using a large needle thread a twine sting doubled through the mid-top section of the meat (this will be used to hang the meat when curing).
  2. Using a fork, pierce the meat all around, and then rub the salt all over the meat.
  3. Place meat in a deep ceramic or glass dish, placing a heavy item on top and refrigerate for 3 days, turn daily and drain the blood that is released.
  4. On the fourth day, wash the meat thoroughly, then soak in cold water for one hour, drain and pat dry using paper towels.
  5. Place the meat inside a cheese cloth bag and hang in a cool dry place for 2 weeks to cure.
  6. After the 2 weeks, combine all the ingredients of the paste in a bowl to form a smooth, thin paste.
  7. Cover the meat completely with the paste then hang the meat in a cool dry place for 2-3 week to dry.
  8. After drying the basterma is ready to eat, slice the basterma into paper-thin slices to serve (refrigerated or freeze after cutting).

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