Armenian Basterma (Dried Cured Beef)

“This is Armenian cured spiced beef. It is a wonderful, spicy beef jerky. Serve with Pita bread and Armenian string cheese. Heaven. You must serve this very thinly sliced as humanly possible. It is a rare delicacy.”
2 pounds

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 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


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

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