Armenian Basterma (Dried Cured Beef)

Recipe by Mark Marcarian
READY IN: 792hrs
YIELD: 2 pounds


  • 1
    slice beef (about 2 lbs.)
  • 14
    cup bagged granulated salt
  • Chairnen mixture
  • 3
    tablespoons chaimen
  • 2
    tablespoons paprika
  • 12
    teaspoon red pepper (optional)
  • 12
    teaspoon salt
  • 12
    tablespoon black pepper
  • 12
    tablespoon kimion (cumin)
  • 12
    teaspoon allspice
  • 3 -4
    garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1
    cup water


  • Select very tender cut of beef from rib part, about one and a half inch thick, any length you desire (approx. 8").
  • Insert heavy string through one end and make a loop.
  • Rub meat with salt and let stand in refrigerator for 3 days placing a heavy item on top and turn once a day.
  • Wash meat well with cold water and leave in clear water for one hour.
  • Then drain and press between towels to remove moisture.
  • Continue until meat is quite dry.
  • Hang in cool airy place to dry about two weeks.
  • Combine all above ingredients to make the Chairnen.
  • Add water a little at a time to make thick paste.
  • Soak meat in it for 2 weeks.
  • Hang in airy place for 2 more weeks.
  • May be used immediately, refrigerated, or frozen.
  • NOTE: A cheese cloth casing may be used to slip meat into before hanging.