Photo: Oxmoor House 
Hands-on Time
10 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 30 Mins
Serves 16 (serving size: about 3 ounces)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 275°.

Step 2


Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Step 5


Step 6

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.

Step 7

Now, rub the spice paste evenly under the skin.

Step 8

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

Step 9


Step 10

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

Step 11

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

Step 12

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

Step 13


Step 14

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

Step 15

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

Step 16

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

Step 17

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

Step 18

a little grain-mustard/mayo blend.

Cooking Light Mad Delicious

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