Turkey Pastrami on Pumpernickel

Total Time:
170 hr 20 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
168 hr
Cook:
2 hr

Yield:
4 sandwiches
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • For the brine:
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup juniper berries, crushed
  • 1/4 cup freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 (5-pound) fresh bone-in turkey breast
  • For the rub:
  • 1/2 cup juniper berries
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup hickory chips
  • For the sandwich:
  • 8 pieces pumpernickel or dark rye bread
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
  • 2 tomatoes, ends trimmed, sliced in 8 (1/4-inch) slices
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
Directions
For the sandwich:
  • For the brine: In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil all ingredients except the turkey. Simmer until sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool completely. Double a one gallon re-sealable bag and fill with brine. Add turkey, seal bags and place in a shallow pan in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. (Just in case of leaking, check occasionally.) Remove breast from brine and rinse and dry well.

For the rub:
  • Pulse all the ingredients in a spice grinder or food processor until it becomes a coarse paste. Rub mixture all over turkey breast. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate resting in a bowl for 24 hours.

To cook:
  • Soak the chips submerged in water for 15 minutes. Place oven rack to position 4 inches below broiler. Preheat broiler on high. Drain chips and place in a 2 pound aluminum loaf pan. Broil the chips for 5 minutes, stir broil another 2 minutes. Remove to lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place turkey skin side up in a pan fitted with a roasting rack. Place oven rack used to broil the chips in to the center of oven and roast turkey above smoking chips for one hour.

  • Increase the heat to 325 degrees F if convection, 350 degrees F if standard oven. Carefully turn over and continue to roast until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F, another 1 hour 20 minutes.

  • Remove turkey from oven. Cover loosely with foil and cool.

To make the sandwich:
  • Slice pastrami very thin. Toast bread. Spread mayonnaise on 1 piece, layer pastrami, onions, tomato and lettuce on top. Spread mustard on the other piece of toast. Place on top and cut it in half diagonally. Repeat with remaining ingredients.


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