Turkey Pastrami

Total Time:
74 hr 30 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
72 hr
Cook:
2 hr

Yield:
Approximately 4 pounds cooked sliced meat
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • For brine:
  • 5 pounds fresh turkey breast
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup crushed Juniper berries
  • 1/4 cup freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • 8 cloves fresh garlic, smashed
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • For Rub:
  • 1/2 cup juniper berries
  • 1/4 cup black black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • To Cook:
  • 1 cup hickory chips
Directions
For brine:

In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar and spices. Heat until sugar and salt are dissolved. Cool. When cool, place turkey breast and brine in a 1 gallon resealable bag. Double the bag and place in shallow pan in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. (Just in case of leaking, check occasionally.)

After desired brine time, remove breast from brine and rinse well. Dry breast well and prepare rub.

For Rub:

Pulse all in a spice grinder or food processor

Apply rub to breast, cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours

To Cook:

Take a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil (about 2 feet long) fold in half, fold in half again and fold the edges up on 1 half, think of creating a small pizza box.

Soak the chips submerged in water for 15 minutes, while chips are soaking, raise oven rack to position 4-inches below broiler. Preheat broiler on high. Drain chips, place in bottom, folded section of foil, bending the top back out of the way. Broil for 5 minutes, stir chips, broil 2 more minutes, remove and immediately and carefully, fold "top" over bottom and crimp closed. Place in oven and poke a several holes in top with knife to release smoke.

Remove turkey from refrigeration. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Roast in oven, breast side down for 1 hour, increase 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 on an instant-read thermometer.

Cover loosely, cool and thinly slice.


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    I love this recipe. We make this about three times a year and freeze what we don't eat. I do buy Juniper Berries at a local health food store. I bought my husband a smoker a few years ago and we cook the turkey in it. I usually make french onion soup to with it.
    I really enjoyed the process of this recipe. Be careful though. When Guy Fieri says broil high for 7 minutes he means it. I left those woodchips in an extra minute and they all went up in flames. OOPS!
    The best juniper berry substitute is gin. According to the experts use 1 tsp gin for every 2 berries needed. I haven't tried it yet but I can see why it would work as Gin is made with juniper berries and that is what gives gin the taste.
    If you have a smoker I recommend this recipe. Last year I put this into my smoker and had an amazing bird! I made this already three times with a 20+ lb turkey and every time there is hardly anything left. It was a huge success! Not sure about the off flavors mentioned in other posts because I never tried this recipe without smoking the turkey. It works for me so I?ll stick to my method, I recommend you try it!
    Due to the fact we can't have fried turkeys no more becuase my niece has a severe peanut allergy , I was looking for a new way to make a turkey and so I made this recipe last yr and it was a smash,evryone in my family loved it. We had 20 people over so we made a 15 lbs turkey with this recipe and one we made traditionally . The one we made traditionally hardly got touched ,this one was gone . Stongly suggest you try it.The juniper berries was also hard for us to find , but my mother-in-law found some in New York .and shipped them to us.
    I was excited about this one after seeing on TV. However, it is certainly not worth all the work. It has a very odd taste. If any of the rub gets on the actual turkey meat that meat is not edible. Just the plain meat inside the turkey is okay but nothing to talk about. I won't be making this again.
    Watched Guy prepare this on TV and immediately planned it for holiday buffet; I looked locally for Juniper berries and have not had luck. I just Googled the berry and read that Juniper berries should come with a WARNING because they can be hazardous to pregnant women, childred uner 12 yrs of age and also breast cancer victims and people who suffer kidney disease.
     

     
    I haven't found any other articles on this and short of calling my oncologist........ is there a substitute for the Juniper berries in this Turky Pastrami recipe?????
     
    Please respond ASAP.
     

     
    I really would like to make this for Xmas, this year; I was intrigued with the 'smoked' effect in the OVEN! Sounds delicious and also I have never brined a turkey but I surely will give it a try. Please let me know more about the dangers of Juniper berries and substitues. AnnL.
    This turkey was a huge hit!, we also made the foolproof turkey for a big crowd. They loved both turkeys. I did put one on the grill and placed it on a cedar plank, plus added hickory chips. Anyway will make this again.
    If you like plain-tasting turkey, requiring gravy or cranberry sauce to make it palatable, this is not the recipe for you.
     

     
    *Brining: Somebody please tell me we don't need to brine for 5 to 7 days?!? I can only hope that's a typo and was meant to be 5 to 7 hours. I brined overnight, some 8 hours, and had perfect results.
     

     
    *Juniper Berries: some species of juniper are toxic, like Juniperus sabina. So don't use your backyard juniper bush! Unless you're a professional horticulturalist.
     

     
    Next time I might include coriander and/or fennel seeds in the rub.
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