Turkey Pastrami

2015-01-03
  • Yield : 30 servings
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 45m
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Ingredients

  • 6 quarts water (3 quarts hot water and 3 quarts ice water)
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 3 cups kosher salt
  • 20 bay leaves
  • 20 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried thyme
  • 6 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • Two 12-pound turkey breasts, skin on, split
  • 2/3 cup juniper berries, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 cup black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 cup coriander seeds, coarsely ground

Method

Step 1

For the brine: In a large pot, combine the 3 quarts hot water, the brown sugar and kosher salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour in the 3 quarts ice water. Add the bay leaves, garlic, thyme, black peppercorns, cloves and juniper berries. Cool the brine down to 42 degrees F, then add the turkey breasts. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Step 2

For the dry rub: Mix together the ground juniper berries, black peppercorns and coriander seeds. Remove the turkey from the brine and wipe off the spices before drying with paper towels. Rub the dry rub onto the breasts, with more of the dry rub on the skin side. Double wrap the turkey breasts in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Step 3

Preheat a smoker with mesquite chips for 10 to 15 minutes. Place the turkey breasts, skin-side down, on the racks. Smoke until the breasts reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, about 3 1/2 hours for a large breast.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the turkey breasts to a roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap the roasting pan in plastic wrap and chill overnight before slicing for serving.

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