Pastirma: an age long dried aged meat recipe

Discussion in 'Food Storage - Canning/Freezing/Butchering/Prep' started by Correy, May 25, 2016.

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  1. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    The name "pastirma" comed from the turkish phrase "pastirma et" which means compressed meat. As rumor hasi it, the technique comes from the practice of turkish horseriders to hang meat from the sides of their horses' thighs, where it has hit by the horse's thigh as it galloped and pickled by the horse's sweat.
    Not very appetising, huh?

    The actual modern recipe is nothing like that. The general concept of the recipe is to
    • salt dry the meat for four days,
    • then wash the salt off,
    • put it in a cointainer to be compressed for some additional days,
    • then it's hanged in a cool dry place with preferably circulating air,
    • afterwards it's covered with a spice paste called Chaimen sauce,
    • then lastly it's hanged for one more week until completely dry.


    Pastirma can be made with lamb, beef, goat ,pork , camel and buffalo meat. I guess you could even use moose meat, basically it's done with meat from large animals in general.

    To process the meat, you'll need:

    1. A large slab of meat,
    2. a sting of kitchen string or thin rope,
    3. coarse salt
    4. a large bowl,
    5. a cheese cloth (that's a loose-woven gauze-like cotton cloth),
    6. some latex gloves (if you don't want the cayenne to burn you for the rest of the day)

    How to do it:

    We process the meat by tying its one end with the kitchen string first. That will enable us to hang and move the meat wherever we want. Coat the meat with coarse salt and leave it in the bowl for 4 days. After those days, wash the salt of under the water for about one hour. You can either leave it under the tap hung from the string with the water running for one hour, or simply submerge it in a large bowl of water, changing the water every 15 minutes (it's best to do the former one though). Then wrap the meat in a cheese cloth like a package, place the package into a plate, cover with a board or a large plate (depends on how big the meat slab is) and place something very heavy on it. -By then it's good to have the Chaimen sauce ready in order for the flavours to really mix homogeneously in the sauce.- Make sure to change the cheese cloth 4 times in 2 days (That means every 12 hours).
    When that step is over, put on the gloves, lay the meat on a plate and really cover it up with the Chaiman sauce. You want to make a covering of about half an inch, or close to that. Mind to cover every last bit. Keep the meat there for 8-10 days, by then the Chaimen sauce will dry around the meat and become very sturdy. Afterwards hang the meat again for 7 -8 days until pretty dry.

    Pastirma s maintained either by being hung from the ceiling from its string, or inside a plastic wrapping or container in a cool dry place. Make sure not to remove the Chaimen sauce, as it insulates the meat from the outside air.


    To make the Chaimen sauce, (chaimen simply means cymin) you'll need:
    • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of meat of choice, Fillet Minion or another tender meat.
    • 3 Tablespoons Fenugreek
    • 3 Tablespoons Paprika powder
    • 1/2 Tablespoon Salt
    • 1/2 Tablespoon Black pepper
    • 1/2 Tablespoon Cumin powder
    • 1/4 Tablespoon Cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 Tablespoon Allspice powder
    • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
    Mix those ingredients together in a bowl, and then turn them to paste either with a mortar or with a bladed mixer.


    How to eat:
    After the pastirma is done it can be eaten as it is, or fried, or inside other kinds of food. Note that the spices give in its characteristic intense taste and for this reason pastirma is eaten in very thin slices.
     
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  2. danil54grl

    danil54grl Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for sharing your recipe. I love pastrami and it is expensive to buy at the store.
     
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  3. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Danil,

    Please confirm: "pastrima" is our "pastrami" ?

    Admittedly not familiar with term "kitchen string".

    Must censor Corrie's recipe. If Madam Prag learned that a thin rope could be used - my supplies are precious - every Forum Member west of the Greenwich Meridian and east of French Frigate Shoals would hear our "discussion" in Virginia.
     
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  4. danil54grl

    danil54grl Well-Known Member
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    From what I know, one is normally made with beef and one is out of pork but basically same concept.
     
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  5. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Danil,

    That's what I thought.

    The pastrami relative was corned beef.

    I am now in the mood for ... more restrictions just placed on area restaurants - back to tree nuts.
     
  6. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    Thanks for the recipe and information. Always looking for ways to preserve meat that doesn't involve canning or freezing. I would appreciate any other recipes for meat that your willing to share.

    Dale
     
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  7. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    From what I understand, and I spent a bit of time researching this this morning as I enjoy both making and eating cured meats of various types - while pastirma/basturma and pastrami have similar names and are similar in many ways to me it is like comparing biltong and jerkey. The concept is similar but the preparation, method and end taste are rather different. To someone who prefers biltong to jerky (blasphemous I know) the difference is quite profound.

    Pastirma is NOT cooked while pastrami IS. Both can be made with different meats not just beef or pork. Different including water buffalo and horse.

    If anyone is interested in the differences between the preparation of pastitma and pastrami (or biltong and jerkey) I can post them on here. Just thought I would avoid boring everyone unless requested.

    I had to go back and edit the whole thing after realizing my spell check did not like the word pastirma LOL
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  8. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    YES!! PLEASE!!

    I'm going for a cow elk this fall along with a deer, so new recipes would be greatly appreciated.

    Also wondering if anyone has used venison, elk or moose to make prosciutto.

    Dale
     
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  9. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    I'm going to put recipes and differences in a few posts as I am doing this around home chores like painting and laundry LOL.

    As stated before the big difference between pastirma and pastrami is that one is cooked and the other is not. Pastirma also takes a lot more patience as the curing takes much more time.

    There is a perfectly good explanation and recipe for pastirma in the original post but I will put my preferred one below as well as a recipe for pastrami. We all know that google can give about a million versions of each though.

    On the topic of biltong vs jerky again the big difference is cooking. Biltong is not cooked where as jerky is usually put in a dehydrator or oven with a set temperature. Jerky will last longer than biltong as more fat is removed and it is more throughly dried.

    I must also state again that my recipes for biltong and pastirma are NOT cooked. This will freak out people like the CDC, FDA etc I am still here so my dried meats haven't killed me yet, or even made me sick, but this is your warning LOL. Biltong and pastirma have been around for 100s of years and are still in use widely regardless of how much the CDC may disapprove. One recipe is Egyptian and the other South African.
     
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    1. Dalewick
      Thank you Rebecca!
       
      Dalewick, Jul 29, 2020
  10. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Rebecca,

    Great info ! Thank you.
     
  11. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    Homemade Pastrami (this is the one that gets cooked)

    A couple of notes first:

    For the really off grid people, I don't own a fridge so when the recipes call for a fridge I simply use nature, as such I only do this in spring or fall when the ambient outdoor temperature is below 5 degrees Celsius

    I say beef in the recipe but you can substitute anything from camel to water buffalo if you like and have available LOL.

    • 1 cup coarse salt
    • 1/4 cup pink curing salt(Prague mix #1)
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 2 tbsp pickling spice
    • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
    • 1 tbsp whole mustard seeds
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 3 to 4 pounds beef brisket (or any cut you like I honestly use what I can get but the more tender the better)
    Spice Rub ingredients
    • 1/4 cup ground coriander
    • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
    • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
    1. To make the brine add 3 quarts water to a large stock pot. Add the course and pink salt, honey, coriander, mustard, garlic, granulated and brown sugar and the pickling spice. Bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat once boiling.
    2. Add 3 quarts ice water to a container. Add the brine mixture and put in the fridge to cool.
    3. Trim the fat off the meat leaving 1/4 inch or less.
    4. Submerge meat in the cool brine and leave in the fridge for 5 days turning regularly.
    5. Make the spice rub by combining the coriander, pepper and paprika. Evenly rub into all sides of the meat.
    6. Add 3 cups of water to a roasting pan and place a rack in the pan above the water. Place the meat on the rack and cover well with aluminum foil.
    7. Pre heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until internal temp is 200 degrees or for 3 hours.
    8. Carve into thin slices and keep in the fridge.
     
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    1. View previous comments...
    2. danil54grl
      Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! And explaining the difference of the two. I would love to see more recipes on curing meats. That is one thing I have not ventured into but would love to learn along with smoking meats.
       
      danil54grl, Jul 29, 2020
  12. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    Homemade Pastrima (no cooking)

    Not all that different from the original one on this post but this was give to me by a step sister in law(don't ask lol) who married an Egyptian (definitely don't ask) and apparently this is very popular there.

    • 2 pounds eye of round beef (or cut and meat of your choice). You don't want excessive fat so trim off the extra.
    • 1/2 cup kosher salt (sometimes slightly more is required)
    • 1 medium red bell pepper
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup fenugreek powder (I have to get this off Amazon)
    • 25 garlic cloves
    • 1/2 cup paprika
    1. Wash the meat and pat dry
    2. Cut small slits all over the meat
    3. Rub the kosher salt all over the meat ensuring some gets in the cuts as well
    4. Place meat in a bowl and place a heavy object on top of it (I use a cast iron skillet with a bag of rice in it).
    5. Place the bowl, meat and the weight in the fridge for 3 days or if you have somewhere the temperature is below 60 F leave out for 24 hours. Regardless of which method turn the meat regularly and drain any blood released. The meat will flatten and get darker during this time.
    6. Wash the meat thoroughly including in the cuts to remove the salt. Pat dry.
    7. Cut a hole near the top and thread twin or string through to aid in hanging.
    8. Wrap the meat in cheesecloth and hang for 3 to 5 days or until very firm. Air circulation helps. Double the time will be necessary if you hang it in a fridge.
    9. Mix the seasoning. In a food processor mix the garlic, salt, bell pepper, paprika and fenugreek powder. Your looking for a thick moist paste so add a tiny amount of water if required.
    10. Cover the meat thickly with the paste including around the string.
    11. Hang for a month by which time the spice paste should be dry to the touch.
    12. Slice thinly and serve plain or added to salad or omelet etc
     
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  13. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Aren't we talking about a form of jerky here?

    In the South, it was salt pork hams and such. You'd hang salt pork in cool dry places. The exterior would grow gross stuff. You'd take a thing that looked a bit like a rasp -- long thin piece of non-smooth steel back into the ham all the way to the bone. Pull that out and smell it. You could tell if it had gone bad. We checked ours that way. The salt seemed not to kill folk. My kin lived into their 80's and beyond ... if they survived childhood, which was a big "if".
     
  14. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    Biltong could be called a form of jerky...just different preperation. But the other two...pastrami and pastrima you keep the whole 2 to 4 pounds of meat whole in one big chunk while being brined/salted cured etc where as I understand it and made it, jerky is cut into thin slices, seasoned and cured in an oven at low temperature. Pastrima is also rather spicy as compared to the jerky or ham I have had.
     
  15. Rebecca

    Rebecca Master Survivalist
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    And since I finally have time LOL the last recipe is for Biltong.

    Biltong is a very subjective food. If you ask 10 southern Africans how they like their biltong in terms of dryness, spice etc you are going to get 10 different opinions.

    Here is the recipe as I have written it down. Afterwards I will list adjustments I make to my personal taste.

    • 2 Kg beef (approximately 4.5 pounds)
    • 125 ml red wine or malted vinegar
    • 1/4 cup coriander crushed
    • 2 tbls black pepper
    • 2 tbls salt
    • 2 tsp paprika (optional)
    • 2 tbls brown sugar (optional)
    1. Cut meat into 1 cm thick strips
    2. Vinegar bath for 4 hours
    3. Layer with spices and refrigerate for between 4 hours to over night
    4. Hang in Biltong box for 2 to 4 days
    5. Note that with biltong you do not remove the fat at all unless their is more than about an inch.
    Adjustments:
    I have made biltong from beef, kudu, ostrich and white tail deer and all came out fine.
    I brown the coriander seed in a dry pan before crushing as it adds extra flavor.
    Add 2 tbls chili flakes at request of husband
    Cut meat 1.5cm to 2 cm thick as we prefer the middle less dry. In a survival situation thinner and dryer will last longer but as it is currently this quantity will barely last a week before it's all eaten so doesn't matter right now.
    I leave it over night to really get the flavor in.

    A biltong box is simply a box where you can hang each piece of meat from a small meat hook. The box has plenty of holes covered in bug mesh to allow ventilation. The fancy store bought ones come with a 60 watt globe and an extractor fan. Mine is homemade and just has a solar fan. The box however is not a requirement and I know people who hang it to dry in their unused closet or garage. 150 years ago they hung it on tree branches to dry.
     
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  16. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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