Pastrami Enveloped in Paper
4 slice of Turkish pastrami (Pastirma)
4 slice of tomato
1 cubanalle pepper, sliced
Half of small onion, sliced
3 half-moon shaped lemon slices
2 tsp butter
Cut some parchment paper spread some olive oil at the middle part. Place the Turkish pastrami slices in the middle of it. Arrange tomato slices, cubanelle pepper and onion on top. Place the lemon slices on top as well. Sprinkle butter and some salt all over (picture). Fold the parchment paper over the top and the sides to prevent the juice from leaking out. Place the pocket on the oven tray.
Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Cook for about 15-20 minutes on the middle rack. Then remove the tray and place the pocket in a service plate. Open up the paper, serve with freshly baked Turkish bread.
History of Pastirma
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.