As the title suggests, Basturma is a popular Middle Eastern breakfast sausage. Basturma is usually served with eggs. The Basturma recipe I'm going to be sharing with you is much quicker to prepare than the traditional way of making this tasty Middle Eastern sausage.
Why This Recipe Works
This homemade recipe is so much simpler than the long process needed to make store-bought basturma. However, the taste is quite similar. This means you don't have to wait days to enjoy this delicious sausage!
I don't have many memories of my childhood. However, the memories I do have usually revolve around food. Big surprise, right?
I have wonderful memories of eating masgouf, and memories of my aunt Alice's delicious custard. I also have memories of my dad bringing home basturma. This was always exciting because it wasn't something we had often.
The fact that mom didn't make her own basturma made it even more special. These days you can buy it on Amazon like everything else.
How to Make Basturma
Place meat in a medium-sized bowl. Add garlic and spices to the meat. Use your hands to distribute the spices throughout the meat.
Fry a small portion of the meat and adjust the spices if necessary.
Feed the meat through the casings, if available. If not, wrap the meat in saran wrap, and freeze partially to make slicing easier.
Place the slices on a tray and freeze them before storing them in a ziplock bag
A choice cut beef fillet is covered with a thick layer of salt and cured for a few days. During this time, a heavy object is placed on the meat to aid in pressing the moisture out of the meat. This is done in order to remove as much moisture from the meat as possible.
The salt is then rinsed off, and the meat patted dry. A paste is prepared using a mixture of spices. This paste is slathered on the meat, forming a thick crust.
Lastly, the meat is pierced with a hook and hung up in a cool location to air dry. The entire process can take anywhere from two weeks to a month to complete. You know what I say? Ain't nobody got time for that!
The taste of Basturma is a little hard to describe. There's nothing else quite like it. However, if I had to try to describe the taste, I'd say the flavors resemble that of shawarma.
Basturma is highly seasoned with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. Additionally, it has a strong garlic flavor, and a bit of a spicy kick from the cayenne pepper.
It's important to mention that the Iraqi Basturma I remember from my childhood is different from Armenian Basturma.
Armenian Basturma is cured, sliced, and enjoyed as a cold cut or appetizer. Moreover, the spices used are not the same as Iraqi basturma.
There are some tools, however, that you may find helpful in preparing basturma
• The first thing I recommend is a Meat Grinder
• Next, you need the sausage-making attachment
• You also need sausage casings to stuff the meat into
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Middle Eastern Breakfast Sausage (Basturma)
- 1 ½ lb. ground lamb or ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
- ½ tsp. Middle Eastern 7 Spice
- ½ tsp. paprika powder
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. cardamom powder
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- Place meat in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add garlic and spices to the meat. Use your hands to distribute the spices throughout the meat.
- Fry a small portion of the meat and adjust the spices if necessary.
- Feed the meat through the casings, if available. If not, wrap the meat in saran wrap, and freeze partially to make slicing easier.
- Place the slices on a tray and freeze them before storing them in a ziplock bag.
- To cook, simply defrost a few slices, and fry in an oiled pan, along with some eggs.