Binnur's Turkish Cookbook

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kidney Beans with Turkish Pastrami Casserole

(Pastirmali Kuru Fasulye)

Kidney Beans with Turkish Pastrami Casserole
1 can kidney beans (540 ml), gently rinsed and drained
1/2 cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, peeled, diced
2-3 fresh green onions, chopped
2 tbsp crushed tomato, in can
3 tbsp butter
1/4 + 1/2 cup hot water
Salt
Pepper
7-8 slices of Turkish Pastrami, cut in 2s or 3s

Cook all the ingredients with 1/4 cup of hot water (except the kidney beans and pastrami) over medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes with the lid on. Then add the kidney beans with 1/2 cup of hot water. Replace the dish with an earthenware pot (Guvec/Terra Cotta) or oven safe dish. Cover the pot with aluminum foil. Make 4-5 holes on the aluminum foil with the tip of a knife.

Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C). Place the pot on the middle rack and cook for about an hour.

Meanwhile fry the Turkish Pastrami slices in a pan with 1 tbsp butter on both sides. Don't over fry them! Then, place them all over the cooked beans. Serve with Pilaf.

Makes 2-3 servings.

History of Pastirma
(Source: TurkishCulture.org)

The Turkish horsemen of Central Asia used to preserve meat by placing slabs of it in pockets on the sides of their saddles, where it would be pressed by their legs as they rode. This pressed meat was the forerunner of today's pastirma, a term which literally means 'being pressed' in Turkish, and is the origin of the Italian pastrami. Pastirma is a kind of cured beef, the most famous being that made in the town of Kayseri in central Turkey.

The 17th century Turkish writer Evliya Çelebi praised the spiced beef pastirma of Kayseri in his Book of Travels, and Kayseri pastirma is still regarded as the finest of all. Good quality pastirma is a delicacy with a wonderful flavour, which may be served in slices as a cold hors d'oeuvre or cooked with eggs, tomatoes and so on. Although pastirma may also be made with mutton or goat's meat, beef is preferred.

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