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Turkish Pastrami and Egg Pide

Turkish Pastrami and Egg Pide

Turkish Pastrami and Egg Pide

A classic pide – Turkish boat-shaped flatbread – is filled with cheese, topped with flavorful meat and baked egg. It’s a brunch dish to die for.

Pide is a boat-shaped flatbread made from a simple yeast dough, rolled or stretched into an elongated or round shape and then topped with a variety of ingredients before baking. Common toppings include minced meat (often lamb or beef), sausage, cheese, vegetables, and egg, which are seasoned with spices like sumac, paprika, and red pepper flakes.

Pide is deeply integrated into Turkish culinary traditions. It’s not only a popular everyday meal but also a festive dish often associated with special occasions and religious festivities, such as the month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, pide becomes a ceremonial food, specially prepared for iftar—the meal to break the fast.

In this dish, we are filling our pide dough with classic Turkish pastrami, cheese and eggs – turning it into almost the perfect brunch dish. The recipe is included in one of our favorite books on Turkish cuisine – John Gregory-Smith’s Turkish Delights: Stunning Regional Recipes from the Bosphorus to the Black Sea.

Get to Know Pastirma – Turkish Pastrami:

Now, before we go on, we need to talk about Turkish pastrami – or “pastirma”. Turkish pastrami, is quite different from its American counterpart. It’s a highly seasoned, air-dried cured beef that is a staple in various dishes in Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine. And while they are similar in name, there are profound differences in its preparation and seasoning compared to the American version, which typically involves a brine-cured beef that is then smoked and steamed, heavily coated with a mix of spices like black pepper, coriander, mustard seeds, and garlic.

Turkish pastirma, however, is covered with a thick paste called “çemen” made from garlic, fenugreek, and other spices, and is not smoked or steamed – but air-cured, creating an almost prosciutto like consistency.

For this recipe, you can embark on an ambitious journey to create your own pastirma, and or you can take a shortcut and get as close as possible to the “authentic” experience without having to wait 2-4 weeks for your meat to be ready.

To make things a little easier – but still delicious – you’ll finely slice some beef tenderloin (or another lean beef cut), season with fenugreek, garlic powder, black pepper and paprika – and then quickly pan fry on very high heat to create a similar flavor profile as the real thing.

Now, if you want to go on a true Turkish culinary adventure – here’s how you can make pastirma at home. Heads up, it’s a project – but totally doable and the end result is absolutely delicious.

Lastly, you can obviously also BUY pastirma from your local Turkish or Middle Eastern grocer – if you have access to that.

See Also
Beer Cheese Soup with Roasted Root Vegetables


How to Make Pastirma – Turkish Pastrami:


Ingredients

  • Beef (preferably a lean cut like eye of round): 5 lbs (2.27 kg)
  • Sea salt: 1 cup (290 g)
  • Water: Enough to cover the beef
  • Garlic: 10 cloves, minced
  • Ground fenugreek: 2 tbsp (15 g)
  • Paprika: 1 tbsp (7 g)
  • Ground cayenne pepper: 1 tsp (2 g)
  • Ground black pepper: 1 tsp (2 g)

Step-by-Step Guide


Curing the Beef

  1. Prepare the Beef: Trim any excess fat from the beef and cut it into long, thick strips, about 2 inches wide.
  2. Salt Cure: Rub the beef thoroughly with sea salt. Place the salted beef in a large container, cover with water, and let it sit refrigerated for 5 days to cure. Change the water daily to remove excess salt.
  3. Rinse and Dry: After curing, rinse the beef strips under cold water to remove the surface salt. Pat them dry with paper towels.

Seasoning with Çemen Paste

  1. Prepare Çemen Paste: In a bowl, mix the minced garlic, ground fenugreek, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply the Paste: Coat each strip of beef generously with the çemen paste.
  3. Wrap and Press: Wrap the coated beef strips in cheesecloth. Place them in a cool, dry area and press them under a weight (like a heavy cutting board) for 24 hours.

Air Drying

  1. Hang to Dry: After pressing, hang the beef strips in a cool, ventilated, and dry place. The ideal air drying process can take 2-4 weeks, depending on the climate and the desired dryness.
  2. Check Regularly: Check the beef periodically to ensure it dries evenly and does not develop mold. If mold appears, wipe it off with vinegar.

Storage

  • Once dried, pastirma can be sliced thinly and used immediately, or stored in the refrigerator wrapped in paper or cloth to prevent moisture buildup. It will keep for several months.

Recipe Notes

  • Ensure the environment for air drying is sanitary to prevent contamination.
  • Fenugreek is essential for the authentic flavor of pastirma but can be adjusted according to taste.
  • This process requires patience and attention to conditions to ensure the best quality and safety of the cured meat.

Turkish Pastrami and Egg Pide


How to Make Turkish Pastrami and Egg Pide


Prepare the Pide Dough

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Mix in warm water and olive oil until the dough begins to form.
  3. Knead the Dough: Transfer to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Let it Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Shape and Prepare Pide

  1. Preheat Oven: Set the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Divide the Dough: After the first rise, punch down the dough and divide it into 4 equal pieces.
  3. Shape the Pide: Roll each piece on a floured surface into a large, thin oval shape. Prick the surface with a fork.
  4. Add Filling: Arrange pastrami and cheddar cheese in the center, leaving a ¾-inch border.
  5. Form the Boat Shape: Fold the edges over the filling and pinch the ends to create a boat shape.

Bake the Pide

  1. Initial Baking: Place the shaped pide on the prepared sheet and bake for 7 minutes.
  2. Add the Egg: Carefully crack an egg into the center of each pide and return to the oven.
  3. Final Baking: Bake for an additional 4-5 minutes until the egg is set.

Recipe Notes

  • Ensure the oven is fully preheated before baking for the best results.
  • The dough should be thin; if it tears, just pinch it back together.
  • Adding the egg later prevents it from overcooking.

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Turkish Pastrami and Egg Pide

Turkish Pastrami and Egg Pide


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: John Gregory-Smith
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Description

A classic pide – Turkish boat-shaped flatbread – is filled with cheese, topped with flavorful meat and baked egg. It’s a brunch dish to die for.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Pide Dough

  • All-purpose flour: 3 cups (360 g) plus extra for dusting
  • Warm water: 1 cup (240 ml)
  • Instant yeast: 1 tsp (3 g)
  • Sugar: 1 tsp (4 g)
  • Salt: 1 tsp (5 g)
  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp (30 ml)

Filling

  • Turkish beef pastrami: 5 oz (140 g)
  • Cheddar cheese, grated: 2 cups (packed) (about 225 g)
  • Eggs: 4
  • Turkish pepper flakes, for seasoning

Pastirma – Turkish Pastrami

  • Beef (preferably a lean cut like eye of round): 5 lbs (2.27 kg)
  • Sea salt: 1 cup (290 g)
  • Water: Enough to cover the beef
  • Garlic: 10 cloves, minced
  • Ground fenugreek: 2 tbsp (15 g)
  • Paprika: 1 tbsp (7 g)
  • Ground cayenne pepper: 1 tsp (2 g)
  • Ground black pepper: 1 tsp (2 g)

Pastirma Alternative:

  • 5oz beef tenderloin, finely sliced
  • 1/3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1/3 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

For the Pastirma

Curing the Beef

  1. Prepare the Beef: Trim any excess fat from the beef and cut it into long, thick strips, about 2 inches wide.
  2. Salt Cure: Rub the beef thoroughly with sea salt. Place the salted beef in a large container, cover with water, and let it sit refrigerated for 5 days to cure. Change the water daily to remove excess salt.
  3. Rinse and Dry: After curing, rinse the beef strips under cold water to remove the surface salt. Pat them dry with paper towels.

Seasoning with Çemen Paste

  1. Prepare Çemen Paste: In a bowl, mix the minced garlic, ground fenugreek, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply the Paste: Coat each strip of beef generously with the çemen paste.
  3. Wrap and Press: Wrap the coated beef strips in cheesecloth. Place them in a cool, dry area and press them under a weight (like a heavy cutting board) for 24 hours.

Air Drying

  1. Hang to Dry: After pressing, hang the beef strips in a cool, ventilated, and dry place. The ideal air drying process can take 2-4 weeks, depending on the climate and the desired dryness.
  2. Check Regularly: Check the beef periodically to ensure it dries evenly and does not develop mold. If mold appears, wipe it off with vinegar.

Storage

  1. Once dried, pastirma can be sliced thinly and used immediately, or stored in the refrigerator wrapped in paper or cloth to prevent moisture buildup. It will keep for several months.

Pastirma Alternative:

Making a Simple Substitute at Home

  1. Thinly Slice the Beef: Choose a lean cut of beef and slice it thinly.
  2. Season and Cook: Season with a mixture of garlic powder, ground fenugreek, paprika, and black pepper. Quickly pan-fry the slices in a very hot skillet with a little oil just until cooked through.

For the Pide Dough:

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Mix in warm water and olive oil until the dough begins to form.
  3. Knead the Dough: Transfer to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Let it Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Shape and Prepare Pide

  1. Preheat Oven: Set the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Divide the Dough: After the first rise, punch down the dough and divide it into 4 equal pieces.
  3. Shape the Pide: Roll each piece on a floured surface into a large, thin oval shape. Prick the surface with a fork.
  4. Add Filling: Arrange pastrami and cheddar cheese in the center, leaving a ¾-inch border.
  5. Form the Boat Shape: Fold the edges over the filling and pinch the ends to create a boat shape.

Bake the Pide

  1. Initial Baking: Place the shaped pide on the prepared sheet and bake for 7 minutes.
  2. Add the Egg: Carefully crack an egg into the center of each pide and return to the oven.
  3. Final Baking: Bake for an additional 4-5 minutes until the egg is set.

Notes

Pastirma Notes:

  • Ensure the environment for air drying is sanitary to prevent contamination.
  • Fenugreek is essential for the authentic flavor of pastirma but can be adjusted according to taste.
  • This process requires patience and attention to conditions to ensure the best quality and safety of the cured meat.

Pide Notes:

  • Ensure the oven is fully preheated before baking for the best results.
  • The dough should be thin; if it tears, just pinch it back together.
  • Adding the egg later prevents it from overcooking.
  • Prep Time: 90 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Turkish
View Comments (4)
  • Used a mix of cheddar and mozzarella, and it was cheesy perfection! I did the sliced beef, and it turned out really well – tasted so delicious.






  • Felt like I was back in Turkey! Really delicious, I buy my pastirma at my local “world” grocery store. Awesome recipe!






  • Arrr! This pide was a treasure trove of flavor. Loved the step-by-step guide. Really authentic, although I didn’t actually make my own pastirma.






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