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pastrama (NOT pastrami)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
does anyone know much about this romanian specialty? all i know for sure is that it seems to be middle eastern in origin and is related to but very different than pastrami.

would be interested in any information and, if possible, authentic recipes.
post #2 of 19
Well, I called my mom whose got some Ukranian background and from Poland in the off-chance she might know. Unfortunately pastrama does not seem to be a meat or food from those countries that she ever recalls or has heard of. I did get her secret family recipe for the head cheese though.

Good luck on the search, Ron!
post #3 of 19
Found a few links you might be interested in.
Also called Pastourma.

First link just has a description of it...

Second link contains a detailed recipe with pictures.
post #4 of 19
Here you go
Found this on Google

Pastrama has an appearance of pastrami but is cured beef with a paste of spices around it. We used to call it camel meat and perhaps historically that is what it was. This is sliced and eaten cold as an appetiser or baked with cheese and tomato sauce to make saganaki pastrama. It can also be found in pastramatopita, which is a pie, made with pastrama and cheese. In the Athens Central market there are shops that specialize in loukaniko and smoked meats. On the island of Kea one of the specialities is smoked pork loin.

Here is the link
post #5 of 19
That looks like one of those interesting pieces of meat to try. Not sure if it would meet my taste buds satisfaction but would love to hear more about it or how it tastes.
post #6 of 19
mmmmmmmmmmmmm...............pastrama........uuuuuu uugggggggghhhhhhhh!

post #7 of 19
Here's one I found in a powerpoint format. Actually, the lady in the presentation resembles your avatar wink.gif
post #8 of 19
OK...ya'll really got me going on the pastrama thing...but I'm learning a lot.

It seems in Romanian, the word "pastrami" is actually a verb, not a noun as we use it.

If I am preparing meat myself...(1st person) I "pastramo" the meat. If my wife is doing it, (2nd person) she will "pastrama" the meat.

Isn't it amazing how little it takes to amuse me in the morning? lol
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
hey, thanks for the information, guys! i'll do some more reading from the links provided and see whee this goes.

as someone who is interested in historic and ethnic foods from other lands, this one tickled my interest....
post #10 of 19
Please let us know what you find out about this
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
will do - i've got one more resource to check out today and will post what i find.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
as promised, here is the information:

traditional romanian pastramă is a cured, semi-dry smoked meat, hisorically made from sheep but also made from pork, beef or presumably any other animal that produces sizable cuts of meat. it is not to be confused with pastrami, which is cured and prepared in a very different way and has a very different flavour.

the time-life series, foods of the world," has this to say about pastramă:

the origins of pastramă reach far back into history, when the ottoman empire ruled wallachia and moldavia for hundreds years. the occupying turks imported their own dried meat, called pastirma or basturma, which was made from slabs of beef slabs of beef rubbed in a spice paste and then air dried in high mountain curing houses. this method of preparation was eventually adapted by the local citizenry.

pastramă is traditionally made by employing a dry cure; this is achieved by rubbing a cut of meat with a seasoning mixture consisting of crushed black pepper, nutmeg, sweet red pepper, saltpeter, salt, sugar, crushed allspice and garlic. some forms also include cinnamon, ground cloves and ground coriander seed. the rub is applied consistently over several weeks as the pastramă cures, traditionally in the mountain air. once this process is complete, the pastramă is smoked for flavor and as an aid in preservation.

pastramă is traditionally served sliced very thinly, much the same as spanish serrano ham or italian prosciutto, or grilled as mentioned above. because it is well-preserved, it travels very well can can be employed in a number of ways.
research on pastramă included this interesting account in the 10 may 1921 publication of the wisconsin rapids daily tribune:
now, all we need is a traditional romanian recipe for this. the greek one looks very clsoe. and good!

if anyone has any romanian contacts and/or can find a recipe and method for pastramă (as opposed to pastrami), please post.

i would very much like to try this with deer!
post #13 of 19
thx for the info.........not sure about the not being able to swallow it part.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
rob - if you're referring to the quote from the visitor, i wonder if there wasn't a bit of hyperbole involved. either that, or perhaps the texture was so different to him that he didn't know what to do with it.

i've heard that south african biltong has the texture of chewing gum, the process for pastrama seems similar, which may account for it, as well.
post #15 of 19
it didn't sound like it was a taste issue......more of a texture like you said. i waonder if it is like "smoked meat" flavor gum...............

post #16 of 19
Now that pastrama does sound really good. I might just have to try it too if I ever get started curing meat. After I cure a whole prime rib first and get my refrig back from the wife doctor's office.
post #17 of 19

hey Tasunka, I know all about pastrama or I wouldn't call myself a Romanian


So, had fun reading(not all) your comments, but

PASTRÁMĂ, păstrămuri, Noun s/pl.  is mainly the meat from: sheep/goat/pig/goose, that is mutton/goat meat/pork/any poultry meat (most usually will be mutton/lamb meat), which has to be salted, smoked, dried, and strongly seasoned (pepper, paprika,thyme, pressed garlic, 1/2 cup of white wine. Can be either dried in the sun, but most usually marinated like this for a week before actually grilling it or anything else.(eg. baking, chopped and added to pizza, etc.)

Just as English has so many phrases, Romanian does too, Latin rooted it is a wonderful language spoken by wonderful people if I can say so myself.

So actually PASTRAMA is the name of thus prepared meet, but you can encounter the word in many collocation such as:

A tine la pastrama(keep someone in 'pastrama'), meaning keeping somebody in jail; or, a pune la pastrama( set it to 'pastrama', more or less), meaning kill somebody; or, a se face pastrama (even harder to translate, to transform into 'pastrama'), meaning lose a lot of weight...

So this is only to give you a glimpse, and it was a little researched by myself and taken straight out of the Dictionary.


Enjoy if you decide to cook it, and even if you are not!

Happy Eating to all!

post #18 of 19

I found it by chance and it spark Interest ( i was born in Romania) i found this article in a Romanian and with the power of google  This was translated

in the next weeks i will  a tray my hands on Romanian  pastrama from lamb.


A little history
If you want to know who prepared the first pastrami, we risk ourselves on Moat brains, because the problem is not at all clear. However, what matters ultimately is that most sources indicate Romanian pastrami as a product prepared from meat of sheep or goats, salted, seasoned and dried in smoke, served grilled and then roasted. The drug was imported from other kitchens, and similar preparations that gave similar names: the Turkish, Greek and Hebrew. Longer prepared pastrami and pork, beef, venison (deer, deer) and goose breast. These variants are consumed cold and sliced.
Pastrami American, called "pastrami" is prepared and consumed
similar. " The Concise Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition "shows that the product Romanian pastrami.

cookbooks Western believes pastrami cooked as a delicacy especially red meat, especially of head and chest by means of breast bud, to use more technical names. Raw meat was placed in brine, then dried partially seasoned with various herbs and spices (garlic, coriander, pepper, paprika, cloves, allspice, mustard seeds, etc..), Then smoked. It was a technology for preserving meat, because, once, to kill an animal present a real problem. May be used in place or had found a way to conserve. Almost the only method used before the twentieth century was salting because salt in large quantities can kill bacteria and keep the meat for a long time.
There are two methods of curing. The meat was covered with salt from the outside and it was allowed to circulate for several weeks. The method was called "dry curing".
The second method was to use a brine (salt correctly calculate the percentage imersând a potato in the brine, if it floated, was enough salt brine) and immersing the meat in it for several weeks. The method was called "wet salting."
Even so there were plenty of failures, because bacteria were sometimes time to act before the salt to start to take effect. The best method was salting is made ​​in winter, the salt to get respite for a few weeks necessary to penetrate the meat fibers.

In the New World product and the word "pastrami" were brought waves of immigrants coming from Romania Hebrew in the second half of the nineteenth century. The word "pastrami" with which Americans call the product comes, say some sources, in Yiddish ("pastrome") taken from Romanian, from where, according to some sources would have taken over and the Russians ("pastroma") and even Turkey ( DEX but this contradicts the version - see above).

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

in order to tie up a loose end, here's the link to this project finally getting put to action:


any input is welcome....

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