How do Mongols preserve meat?

Mongolia is a country with nomadic culture. Our primary food is meat, so I couldn’t pass the opportunity not to write about our favorite food-meat and how to store it.

Borts- dried meat

Borts is typically prepared in winter. Beef or camel meat is used for drying. Meat is cut in 20–30 cm long and 4–5cm wide strips. Its hang on a rope in a shed. It takes several months for the meat to be fully dried. The dried meat can be either kept in strips or it can further be grind for storage. Even small amount of borts makes the soup more delicious. The meat can be stored for at least 1 year.

Shuuz- summer storage

Usually the sheep meat is cut in small pieces and fried on a pan. A lot of salt is added. The meat is cooked until all the juices are re-absorbed. Afterwards the meat is left to cool down at room temperature. When cold, the meat is inserted in a glass container. You have to squeeze the meat until there is no space or air left in between. The meat that is kept in a cool place can be kept 1–2 weeks.

Kaz-horse meat

Traditional Kazakh sausage is usually made from horse ribs. The ribs are rubbed with some salt, spices, pepper, onion etc. It is left outside for several hours for absorption. The ribs are further inserted inside the intestines. They are then tied up from both sides. The sausage is then smoked for 2 days. The meat is ready for storage. Before consumption the sausage is boiled and then eaten. The sausage can be stored around 3 month before cooking.

Frozen Meats:

Hyramtsag-sheep intestines

Sheep intestines, internal organs such as liver, kidney, heart are all cleaned up and inserted inside the stomach. The blood inside the intestines could be also kept together inside the stomach and everything is frozen in winter. The resulting stored intestines can be kept until spring. Whenever needed, you can cut/ chop off some pieces to make a soup. We say that the soup from the internal organs give you strength and energy in spring.

Frozen meat

A whole sheep meat can be stored inside the stomach and frozen. This way can also be kept until next spring.

There are also additional salting and smoking methods…

A Mongol from the land of Blue skies. www.mongoliaFAQ.COM

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