Slow-Roasted, Pastrami-Rubbed Turkey

Oxmoor House
Slow-Roasted, Pastrami-Rubbed TurkeyRecipe
Photo: Oxmoor House


The word pastrami evolved from the Romanian pastrama, which likely originated from the Romanian phrase a pastra, meaning to keep or to preserve. Then why do Americans know pastrami as a brined, spice-crusted, smoked, and finally steamed deli meat? Because that kind of pastrami is worthy of joyful expletive-spouting. And joyful expletive-spouting is memorable. And it's the smoky spice crust that's the truly memorable part, because it has found its way onto bacon, salmon, tuna, and turkey, thus rendering the origins

of the word pastrami...history. Multumesc, Romania.

Serves 16 (serving size: about 3 ounces)


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1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup warm water
1 (4 3/4-pound) whole skin-on turkey breast


Hands-on: 10 Minutes
Total: 2 Hours, 30 Minutes

Preheat your oven to 275°.


Combine the sugar and spices--the first 10 ingredients--in a bowl.

Blend the softened butter into the spices with a wooden spoon, and follow with the warm water to make a paste.


Lay the turkey breast on a cutting board, and gently slide your hands under the skin, separating the skin from the flesh, but not tearing or removing. We'll use the skin to trap the butter-spice blend, and then we'll remove it after resting.

Now, rub the spice paste evenly under the skin.

Place the turkey breast on a roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil.


Bake the turkey at 275° for 1 hour, covered.

Remove the foil and cook for another hour, or until the internal temperature is 155°.

Remove from the oven and let the bird stand at room temperature 20 minutes. It will carry over perfectly.


Remove the skin from the turkey breast and carve the lobes off the bone.

Wrap the lobes in parchment, then in plastic. Refrigerate overnight.

Use to make a killer turkey sandwich. Or, skip the whole parchment-and-put-away thing

and serve warm with pickles, some coarse salt, cracked pepper, a loaf of rye bread, and

a little grain-mustard/mayo blend.

Created date

September 2014

Nutritional Information

Calories 131
Fat 2.2 g
Satfat 1.1 g
Monofat 0.5 g
Polyfat 0.3 g
Protein 24 g
Carbohydrate 2 g
Fiber 1 g
Cholesterol 69 mg
Iron 1 mg
Sodium 193 mg
Calcium 19 mg