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Basturma slices on a black rimmed white plate.
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4.78 from 9 votes


A fragrant air dried beef that is cur paper thin and served in breakfast, lunch and ever dinner. An exciting cured meat recipe that takes some time to make but the end is so worth it.
Prep Time30 mins
Cure and season for40 d
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast
Cuisine: Armenian, Egyptian, Mediterranean
Author: Amira


For the meat:

  • 2 pounds of eye of round beef. Note1
  • 1/2 cup of Kosher salt.

For the seasoning:

  • 1 medium red bell pepper. Note2
  • 2 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/2 cup fenugreek fowder. Note3
  • 25 garlic cloves, about 3-4 large garlic heads. Note4
  • 1/2 cup sweet paprika.


  • Wash the meat with cold running water then pat dry with a paper towel.
  • With a knife, poke the meat to make some holes/slots all around.
  • Rub the kosher salt all over the meat then place in a glass dish with sides to contain the liquids that will come off your meat.
  • Place a heavyweight over, something like a dutch oven or a heavy cast-iron skillet. Refrigerate the meat for 3 days or if your home temperature is not exceeding 65-70F, you can leave it out for 24 hours. Make sure to turn it daily and drain the blood released.
  • After the 24 hours, you will find your slab flattened and got darker.
  • Wash the meat thoroughly with cold water opening the cuts that you've made previously to wash the salt from inside and pat dry.
  • Cover with a cheesecloth and hang it for 3-5 days until the meat becomes very firm. Make sure the air flows around it freely. If you want to hang in the fridge you will need about double that time.

Make the seasoning mix:

  • In your food processor pulse the garlic, salt, bell pepper, paprika, and the fenugreek powder you also may need little cold water until it comes to a moist paste consistency or a thick pancake batter.
  • Cover the meat completely with the mixture make sure to go around the ribbon or the twine you are using to hang it from.
  • Hang it freely for another month at this point the spice mixture should be dry to the touch.
  • Slice thinly and serve on your charcuterie, make Basturma omelet, stuff in phyllo pies or make a Basturma filled savory cookies.


Note1: a tender beef cut with fat trimmed and not too thick is required. At the time of making this recipe I could only find chuck roast cut, it was not too bad but it was not the best. Some people say filet Mignon works the best, I haven’t tried this though as I am still waiting for a sale.
Note2: this is to moisten the coating while giving it a more red color. Note3: this is what gives bastirma its famous smell along with the garlic.
Note4: I know it sounds daunting but it is really a key flavor.

Serving suggestions:

Slice basturma paper think and serve on your charcuterie, make Basturma omelet, stuff in phyllo pies or make a Basturma filled savory cookies.
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