In My Kitchen – July 2013

Can you believe we’ve now passed halfway though 2013?! Christmas is just around the corner! Time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s a sticky beak into my kitchen this month, thanks to the IMK series, hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

In My Kitchen: is Dads home made Bastourma

Armenian Bastourma

Bastourma, or often spelt Basturma or Pastirma, but not to be confused with Pastrami, is a mouth watering Armenian air dried beef, seasoned with chaman, a spice mix of fenugreek, cumin, garlic, smoky paprika and chili and left to cure for 3-4 weeks. It can be served raw or cooked in a bit of oil/butter and served with eggs as a popular breakfast dish.

Armenian Bastourma

My Dad’s been making Bastourma for as early as I can remember. We’d go and buy a few kilo’s of good quality rump, unsliced and he would spend a good chunk of his day sitting on the kitchen table, dividing the rump into smaller portions and cutting off excess fat. Now the next part of this story will probably turn some people off; he would get the rump portions, and wrap them in a clean cloth, place them between two thick layers of wood, pop them on the driveway and hop into the car. He’d then drive up and down the wood, to squeeze all the blood out of the raw rump. Writing this up today makes me laugh at how many people are going to get squeamish at this.

I can assure you, the wooden planks are clean and sanitized, and the meat only touches the cloth, and the tires of the car never make contact with the raw beef.

The raw beef portions are then left to hang for 2 weeks, in the fridge during warmer months, or outdoors in a custom made box with some fly screen stapled on to keep away the critters.

Once the beef is dry, the chemen spice mix recipe is made and basted over the rump and then it is returned to the box/fridge to dry some more.

The end result is a delicacy, unlike any other delicatessen meat on the market, unique in every way. The flavour can’t be expressed, it really must be tried!! It’s hard to find, but many Italian deli’s will have it if you ask, pretty much all Middle Eastern specialty stores sell a pre vacuumed version for between $45 and $60 a kilogram.

In My Kitchen this month is a jar of Armenian Sweet Eggplant Preserve

Noyan Eggplant preserve

It’s not often you find a product made in Armenia, so I squealed in delight when I saw the Noyan sweet eggplant preserve at Village Grocer Balgowlah over the weekend. Small baby eggplants are cooked and infused in the most delicious fresh vanilla bean syrup, the taste is really something out of this world. Biting into the baby eggplants, they take on a crunchy, almost water chestnut texture and you can only have one at a time, they are so sickly sweet and delicious! The small jar is $8.00 and only contains 5 eggplant pieces but we keep all the syrup too and use it over vanilla ice-cream so nothing is wasted and well worth the money spent. YUMMO!

In My Kitchen this month is a jar of Armenian Sweet Eggplant Preserve

In My Kitchen: Are these colourful little glass jars.


These were my wedding bomboniere when I got married back in 2007. I wrapped ribbon around the base and attached 5 sugared almonds in tulle with a little thank you card for all our guests. Somehow I ended up with a box of 20 left over (I blame Mr. Gourmet Wog for this) so I’ve been putting these gorgeous colourful jars to use, serving dips or sauces in them with carrot sticks or lavosh.


In My Kitchen: Is this humungous stunning single peach rose, from my beautiful friend Tiffany’s garden.

huge orange peach rose

I don’t know what type it is, but I do know I’ve never seen any rose so big! It’s bigger than my hand, see?! It’s been in the vase and continues to open its petals – 9 days and counting!

Edited to Add: The rose is ‘Just Joey’. Stunning.


And there you have another edition of In My Kitchen this year. My previous IMK posts can be found here.


59 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – July 2013

  1. Your kitchen is such a wonderful treasure trove, Lisa! I loved the story of your Dad’s bastourma and those preserved eggplants sound very intriguing. And that magnificent rose, what a beauty.

  2. Pingback: In My Kitchen, July 2013 | What's On The List?

  3. I absolutely love the story of your dad making Bastourma. I bet it tastes amazing!
    I’ve never heard of those little vanilla eggplants, how intriguing. Love the glasses. I think it’s a good thing you were left with a box of 20. They’re so special!

  4. What lovely goodies you have in your kitchen Lisa. We call Bastourma biltong here in South Africa and spice it slightly differently. Your little glass serving bowls are gorgeous – how lucky to have so many left over and your rose is exquisite and I am very intrigued with the preserved eggplant.
    Have a super day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Hi Mandy! I do know Bitlong, our farmers markets sells them, but they’re a lot drier and more like jerky than basturma. I don’t really know what I can compare it too!
      The sweet vanilla eggplant’s are certainly intriguing, again it’s something that definitely needs to be tried 🙂

  5. Absolutely love the colour of the rose . . . and it has been ages since I has bastourma, but loved it and would so lover to taste it again! Yes well, lived for many years in the E Suburbs and if Double Bay was one’s shopping centre you were offered all these wonderful things . . .

    • It’s wonderful how all areas of Sydney have become so diverse and embracing different cuisines and cultures! Is there anywhere in the Highlands you can go to get some Eha? Otherwise you’ll have to make your own or make a special trip up 🙂

      • Possibly Bowral or even Mittagong? But what a wonderful reason [amongst many] to schedule a northbound trip 🙂 ! Have a good weekend . . .

  6. Lisa, I laughed out loud when I read about your dad driving over the rump — couldn’t wait to read it to my husband, who gave me quite a look. You are right, some would be put off, but I love to hear what people will do for great food! 🙂 That rose is gorgeous, I would have to stop and take in its sweet fragrance every time I passed it. So lovely.

  7. Lisa, I think you’re going to have to thank your clever hubby for those glasses – how fabulous to end up with 20 leftover that you get to use at home! Those eggplants are astonishing – in the photo they look like slabs of quince paste. I’ve never seen anything like them! And good on your dad, what a delicacy he makes, even if it’s not the most delicate of techniques to make it! 😀

    • The eggplants are quite similar to candied fruit, could easily be passed off for quince if you closed your eyes!
      LOL yeah, ‘delicate’ is certainly not the word to describe driving over beef rump 🙂

  8. haha! sticky beak..I love it!
    Flattening and tenderizing meat by car is certainly a cooking method I have never ever seen done. Well done on your dad for using his noggin (and car!). I sure wish I could try a piece of that Bastourma!
    Eggplants, well we’ll just say we don’t get along at all but I like the idea….

      • oh, it’s not that I don’t like them but I think I’m a bit allergic to them. I made an eggplant ravioli not long ago thinking I could ‘get over it’ but I still ended up with a reaction 😦

  9. I love what your father did with the rump! I haven’t seen anything like that before. And your glass jars are gorgeous. I can see many uses for these 20 leftovers and they are very pretty and come in beautiful colours – and they’d bring back happy memories of your wedding day too! xx

    • The glass jars certainly bring back lots of memories Charlie! We did all the wrapping of the sugared almonds too so there are memories of the back breaking task of getting over 250 of these jars perfect lol

  10. Love the idea of making Bastourma – wouldn’t it be wonderful to read a recipe book with your Dad’s method of making it? There’s always something different to see in your kitchen – I do enjoy your IMK posts.

    • LOL Anne, somehow I don’t think the editors of cook books would be too pleased to print ‘drive over meat’ 😉
      Thanks so much for your lovely words, the IMK posts are always so much fun, I love seeing the weird and wonderful in everyones kitchens x

  11. Your Dad and his flattening of the rump gave me a chuckle, Lisa. I’ve no doubt he made sure everything was super clean. He was feeding his family, after all. I laughed, though, at the thought of how it was done before cars entered the picture. Ox cart? Boulder? 🙂
    That rose is a beauty — and HUGE! Your friend’s rosebush must be a beautiful sight to see.

    • John you made me laugh out loud! Considering Armenians are one of the oldest civilisations around and have been eating Basturma for a very long time, it’s very likely, very, very likely indeed. Now how funny would that be?!
      I’ve just found out the rose is called ‘Just Joey’ if you’re interested in growing them 🙂

  12. I love this post!
    I think your dad sounds like a very innovative guy- figuring out how to release the blood from the roast. My niece and I ran a couple of roasts through a meat grinder and felt like we were being flooded with the resulting blood. I hadn’t realized how much blood the meat retained until then.
    Your glasses are so pretty – what a treat to have a keepsake you hadn’t planned on.
    I would love to try that eggplant- I’ve only had it as a savoury.
    And the rose is exceptional- the bush must be magnificent.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Air dried beef hung up. I’m not sure what to say! You really come up with the most interesting food Lisa!! The rose is gorgeous though. I hope it smells as good as it looks

  14. Loved this round-up, particularly the bastourma, which I had never heard of… the glasses are gorgeous, and the rose, not sure even which adjective to use…. unreal!

  15. What a fascinating post, Lisa. I enjoy to learning about products I’ve never heard of. I love your little glasses and the gorgeous rose…it is huge.

  16. What a funny story about your dad! You’ve got some pretty exotic stuff in your kitchen.. mine would bore you to tears:D I love that Rose.. that’s not “Just Joey” that should be like “Wow.. Can you Believe that Joey!?” It has a double center or something?? xx

  17. Hi Lisa! How cool is that Bastourma? My best girlfriend is Armenian and I’ve never heard of this! I can’t wait to harass her about it… This actually reminds me a little bit of what my husband makes; South African biltong. Yum. I love those little glass jars too- what a perfect vessel for dip!

  18. Hi Lisa, as you can see I am catching up on my reading. That Just Joey is a beauty!! I am fascinated that your dad drives over the meat. That is something I can do. How many times does he do it?

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