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Basturma is a favored Russian appetizer, a delicious marinated beef dish, served with lettuce and olives.

Basturma Public Domain

Basturma Recipe-

  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 lb. beef sirloin fillet, thin sliced
  • Black and green whole olives, for garnish
  • Fresh romaine lettuce, for serving
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground course sea salt
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped onion, basil, vinegar, salt and pepper, to make the marinade.
  2. Put the sirloin slices in the bowl, and toss and mix until all slices are well coated, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to marinate at room temperature for a good 6 hours, stirring and tossing every hour or so, to ensure even marinating.
  3. While the meat is marinating, soak some wooden skewers for at least 2 hours in water.
  4. To cook, either use a charcoal grille, with the coals ashy white hot, or your oven on highest broil heat. Take the meat out of the marinade and string the slices onto the skewers, packing them tightly together. If using the oven, place the rack 4 inches from the heat source, if grilling, directly over the pile of white hot coals, and turn them over now and then until the meat is cooked to your desired level of doneness. For rare meat, allow about 7 to 8 minutes; for well-done allow about 12 minutes, but this could vary depending on how thin your meat is sliced.
  5. To serve your Russian Basturma, place a bed of romaine lettuce on a serving dish, slide the sirloin slices off the skewers onto the bed, and garnish with some black and green whole olives, then whet your appetite with this tasty treat, because we have lots more courses to come, of authentic Russian cuisine!