Culinary delights at Hotel Alpin

Forest Lounge, the new restaurant opened in Hotel Alpin in Poiana Brasov, is a Romanian restaurant that will delight your senses and that awaits you with extraordinary traditional Romanian food, including the delicious mutton pastrami.

Initially, before modern refrigeration methods, pastrami was a way to preserve meat. Raw meat was marinated and then partially dried, seasoned with various herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed.

If we look from an etymological point of view the word pastrami, the root is the Romanian verb "a pastra" (to preserve). But it is possible to go much further in history to the Latin "pastor", meaning shepherd. Thus, "pastrami" becomes "pastor’s meat", meaning lamb or mutton. Pastrami was at the beginning a Wallachian specialty of mutton.Pastrami reached various parts of the world, even in the United States, where it was introduced in the second half of the 19th century by a wave of Romanian Hebrew immigrants. Originally, in English it was pronounced "pastrama", a term close to its Romanian equivalet, but then it became "pastrami" likely to resemble the Italian "salami".

Today, the Romanian delicacy can be made of lamb, but also of pork or mutton and along with cheese it even has a festival. Every September, on Queen's Heart plateau near Bran Castle, there is a festival of cheese and pastrami, called "Ravasitul oilor" (Ravishing the sheep). During the event there is a gastronomic exhibition where visitors can taste different kinds of pastrami, and cheese presented by their producers.

Because you probably thought about knowing how such delicacy is made, below you will find a recipe for mutton pastrami and also some recommendations.CLICK HERE Mutton pastrami recipeFor 5 portions of pastrami you will need the following ingredients: a sheep's back and thigh, boneless, 2 large garlic cloves, thyme, salt, pepper and 1-2 glasses of red wine.For starters make from the sheep that you have a layer of about 1 cm to have a perfect cooking (neither raw nor burnt).Separately you will prepared the marinade for the meat.

Peel and crush the garlic, add salt, pepper, thyme and red wine.

Cover the meat with the sauce and put it in a covered container and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days. Daily turn the meat pieces on all its parts to be evenly penetrated by the wine and garlic flavor.

After this, smoke it for 12 hours to beech smoke and after smoking it, keep the pastrami in the freezer. You can cook it on the grill, but also in the pan or pot.

Below there are some recommendations to get delicious pastrami:
  • It is recommended to choose young mutton, barren (meat is fatter and tastier). Be careful not to remove all fat, because it prevents the pastrami to be dry
  • Don’t keep the meat in the smoke for too much time because the smoke could dry it
  • Be generous with the garlic and thyme to give a special flavor 

If you want to have a great traditional experience we are waiting for you at Forest Lounge. You can watch as chefs prepare food right in front of you. In addition, when ordering a la carte, you will receive complimentary mulled wine or boiled tuica.

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