Pastrami Style Smokey Turkey Breast

December 31, 2020  Online Recipe Guide Avatar

Like beef pastrami, but leaner and meaner, this is lighter tasting than store-bought smoked turkey. A sugar/salt brine tenderizes the turkey; and ‘steak spice’, a peppercorn, salt and spice blend from McCormick’s (their Grill Mates line, including Montreal Steak Spice which works perfectly for this recipe) or Penzeys mail order is key.

4 –8 Hours Before
Salt and Sugar Brining Marinade
6 cups water
½ cup salt
½ cup sugar
1 2-4 pound, approximately turkey breast

Spice and BBQ Rub
¼ cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
2 – 3 tablespoons Montreal Steak spice or similar, peppercorn and coriander based spice, or ‘steak spice’

Prepare the brine in a bowl (or non reactive stockpot) big enough to accommodate the turkey and brine, by stirring water, sugar and salt together until sugar and salt dissolve. Place turkey breast in the water and refrigerate 4-8 hours.

To grill, have the grill ready at medium hot and then move the coals evenly to each side. If using a gas grill, have the outer elements on Medium and the center one on Low.
Meanwhile remove turkey breast from the brine and pat dry using paper towels. Smear on barbecue sauce and pat on paprika and Montreal steak spice.

Grill over medium low heat, with cover of grill closed, until done, about 40 – 60 minutes (test to see if meat is done by making an incision with a paring knife and checking if meat is nicely white but not dry).

To serve, slice turkey thinly. Smear black or rye bread with some Dijon mustard and mayonnaise. Top with turkey slices, sprouts, tomatoes, sliced purple onion, and top with more bread. Press lightly and slice. Serve with mango salsa and a green salad and deli dill pickles.

Serves 4-6


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