Kazakh Beshbarmak basically means “five fingers” in Kazakhstan. It is probably the most popular dish in the land. The name five fingers is what is required to enjoy it, all five of them. Typically this dish is made with either horse meat or mutton. Beef is sometimes used but the others are much more common. In fact horse meat is so common in Kazakhstan that Olympians had to beg the Olympic committee to allow them to bring it the games so that they could maintain their normal diet. Needless to say, you can certainly enjoy this dish made with beef or lamb and be authentic. This dish is almost always served on a large platter to be enjoyed by guests on a Darsakstan (either a low table or clear cloth over a rug, on the floor) . Be sure to use all five fingers, it is a real treat and fun to do. This is also almost always served with a bowl of the broth on the side called shorpa. See https://www.internationalcuisine.com/kazakh-shorpa/ for the the proper way to serve it. Also if you don’t have the time to make the noodles from scratch, you can use lasagna noodles as a fine substitute. A delicious main dish from Kazakhstan… Enjoy!
Kazakh Beshbarmak (Boiled meat with noodles)
- 2 1/2 lbs. lamb or beef with bone
- 1 large onion peeled and sliced into rings divided
- 1 bay leaf
- ground pepper
- Water to cover
- For the noodles:
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 to 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- plain flour - about 600 grams
- or you can use lasagna noodles as a quick and easy alternative to making the noodles from scratch.
- Put your meat and 1/2 the onion in a deep enough dish to cover it with cold water leaving enough space on the top so that it doesn't boil over.
- Bring to the boil, constantly removing the foam, Reduce heat to simmer when it starts to boil. Cover it.
- Let it cook for about 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
- Meanwhile, prepare your noodle dough.
- In a bowl mix the sifted flour (300-400 g), the eggs (whisk the eggs before you add into flour), add salt and pour water until a dough is formed.
- Knead pastry, adding flour or water as needed.
- Knead the dough well, wrap in plastic wrap and leave for 20-30 minutes.
- Sprinkle the work top with sifted flour and divide your dough into a few small balls
- Then keeping the worktop lightly covered with flour roll each piece of pastry into a fairly thin layer.
- Keep sprinkling with flour so that it doesn't stick to your hands or work surface.
- Cut into squares (10x10cm). Leave them on a worktop lightly covered with flour. The pieces should not touch or they will stick together. By the time you are ready to cook the noodles it should be dry a bit.
- minutes before your meat is ready, add the other half of the onion (cut in ring shapes), salt and pepper to taste, into your stock.
- Remove the meat and bones, separate as you will only serve the tender cooked meat.
- Bring the stock to a boil for about 7 or so minutes.
- Now cook the noodles in batches in the same stock for about 7-8 minutes. Sieve them out on to the big plate leaving the space in the center for meat. Then add your meat chopped in bite size pieces and put it in the center of the dish. Pour some broth over the meat.
- Sprinkle some chives and parsley to garnish over the top.
- Strain the broth and serve in bowls as shorpa alongside the platter of Beshbarmak
- Beshbarmak is served.