Borts-Dried Meat

Borts

Borts is a Mongolian specialty consisting of dried meat from cow, goat or camel.  Borts is more nutritious and even more tastier than other modern field rations. The meat is cut into long, thick strips, then hanged on a rope to dry until it develops a slightly brownish color. The dish was invented as a way of preserving meat during the long, hard winters. When it`s ready, it gets broken into smaller pieces and can be kept for months, or even years.

The Mongolian nomadic lifestyle and local climatic conditions gave rise to specific methods of specific preserving meat. The most widespread one is air drying method which is called `bortslokh` in Mongolian.

The fresh meat is cut into long strips, 2-3 cm thick and 5-7 cm wide. The strips are hung on strings under the roof of the Ger, where the air is free to circulate. After about a month the meat is dry. It has turned into hard and small sticks which feel like wood and have taken on a brown color. The volume will be shrunk so much.

The dried Borts is broken into small pieces or ground to a coarse and fibrous powder. It is stored in a linen bag which allows contact with air. Nowadays Borts also gets industrially manufactured, and can be bought by the kilogram in paper bags.

Many Mongolians carry some Borts when travelling or when staying abroad for a while as a souvenir from home. Because of its excellent storage capability it can be taken almost anywhere without problems.

Also just a pinch of borts is able to nourish 3-4 people in a soup form.

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