Making Mutton Charcuterie with Alan Bergo
About the Recipe
Bastirma, sometimes called Pastirma, is a very old, traditional and most importantly, delicious piece of lamb or goat charcuterie from Turkey and Armenia. If you like cured meats like salami and prosciutto, then you'll really appreciate this recipe.
More or less, it’s a chunk of meat (traditionally beef) that’s salted for a few days, then soaked in water, rubbed with a paste of spices, and allowed to age. The end product is a salty, aromatic cured meat with an unmistakable aroma of garlic, fenugreek, and paprika.
Sourcing the Mutton
Looking to buy lamb or goat online? We recommend sourcing from Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table.They raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.
About The Chef
This recipe is by Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at foragerchef.com.
Homemade Lamb, Goat, or Mutton Bastirma
Dry-cured lamb, goat, or mutton in the style of Bastirma: rubbed with a spicy, aromatic paste of garlic, paprika, and fenugreek.
Recipe works with both UMAi Large Charcuterie Bags and UMAi Small Charcuterie Bags
Premixed Curing Salts Blend
½ teaspoon Instacure #2
2 lbs mutton, lamb or goat, in one large roast trimmed roast from the leg
5 garlic cloves
¼ cup filtered water
2 tablespoons fenugreek
¼ cup paprika
1 teaspoon chili
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
UMAi Dry Supplies
Mix the salt and instacure #2 and cover the roast, then refrigerate, turning occasionally for 1 week.
Drain the meat and soak for in cold water to cover by 1 inch, changing the water at least 4 times, for at least 12 hours.
Pat the meat dry and reserve.
For the spice paste, grate the garlic cloves or mash to a paste, then mix with the water. Grind all the spices in a spice grinder, mix with the water-garlic paste, then rub all over the meat.
Put the salted meat in either a Charcuterie Small or Large UMAi dry bag, seal with a vacuum sealer and refrigerate on a cooling rack to encourage good circulation for another two weeks
After 2 weeks of curing, you can slice and enjoy the meat (cut it as thin as possible). Traditionally it's enjoyed on buttered toast, or with eggs, as in the omelet recipe in this post.
Note: UMAi Dry recommends tracking a starting weight and target weight loss of 35-40% for food safety. This may require more than two weeks of drying.
After cutting into the meat, it should be wrapped in cling film and stored as you would ham or salami. It will last for a month, or longer.