Kazakh Cuisine

To find an authentic Kazakh recipe I went to one of the Russian cooking portals and found recipes posted by people who live in Kazakhstan. That part was easy. Next I wanted to find something that is relatively easy to cook since I learned that most recipes in Kazakh cuisine are pretty involved. I was lucky that the Kazakh’s flagship dish, Beshbarmak, was a relative no-brainer.

Beshbarmak
I didn’t have high hopes for the dish that came out. Mostly because I’ve never made pasta dough before. My dough turned out to be a little too thick so I had to add extra cooking time. Nevertheless the dish turned out to be exceptionally tasty. My guys couldn’t stop eating until there was nothing left. No wonder this is the most popular dish in Kazakhstan.

There are numerous variations of Beshbarmak, and it could be prepared using basically any type of red meat – lamb, beef, horse meat and even pork. I cooked with beef.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb beef
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions (or parsley)
  • salt and pepper to taste

It is very important to choose the right meat. I chose beef that is used for roasting. In the original recipe the meat should be prepared a day before or at least 12 hours before cooking. Meat is covered in salt to get the excess blood out and kept in a refrigerator. Better yet, use kosher meat (all work is done for you).

Wash the meat. Put meat in a large pot filled with cold water and set to boil. The pot should be quite large because you will be using the stock from the meat in further cooking. After the meat is boiled, very carefully remove the foam and reduce the heat under the pan to low. After 2 hours, add salt to taste. Meat, on average, will cook for 3 hours (until very tender).

While the meat is being cooked, prepare the dough with flour, 3 eggs and 1/2 tsp of salt. Dough should look like a dough for making noodles. Cover it with plastic wrap and set aside for about half an hour.

Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each part of dough very thin adding layers of dough on the towel and cover, preventing it from drying up.

Take out meat from the broth, cut it into bite size pieces, put in a bowl and cover to keep it warm. Strain broth into a large bowl. Cut onions into half ring pieces, add a little salt and pepper. Put onions in a medium bowl and add some of the broth to cover them (use the upper part of the broth, where there is more fat). Set aside.

Add water to a large pot (the one that is used to prepare pasta) and bring it to boil. Cut the sheets of dough into 2×2 inch diamonds or squares and put them into boiling water. Cook like you usually cook pasta. When ready, place strained pasta on a large serving plate. Add a layer of meat over it. Take out onions from broth, straining excess water, and place them over pasta and meat. Garnish with spring onions, parsley or dill.

Beshbarmak