500 g beef fillet; ½ cup ground fenugreek seeds; 3 tbsp sweet paprika and dry chilli pepper; 2 cloves garlic; 2 bay leaves; 1 tbsp sugar; 1 tsp cumin; 1 tsp allspice; 50 g salt; 1 tsp peppercorns
Basterma (Բաստուրմա, Basterma, Pastırma)
Mix the salt with the sugar, ½ tbsp black pepper and the broken bay leaves. Dry the fillet with some paper towel and rub it with salt. Place it in a bowl, cover it over and leave it in a fridge. Leave it to salt for 24 hours, turning it over occasionally. Meanwhile prepare the chaman: cover the fenugreek with boiling water and mix it until it is the consistency of thick cream. Leave it to cool and add the garlic puree and herbs ground with a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar. Mix it until smooth, cover it over and leave it to stand in the fridge overnight. In the morning wash the salt from the fillet and dry with some kitchen towel. Thread some cotton through the meat from one side to the other and tie the ends together. Rub the chaman all over the fillet so that it forms an outer coating between 5-8 mm thick. Hang it in a draught (or in front of a fan) for a couple of days and then place it in a cool dark place for 4 weeks for it to mature. Serve sliced thinly.