Long time no see! Work has kept me pretty much tied up, mostly with the travels. But now I am back, dust shaken off the smoker, and this time - smoked turkey breast pastrami with honey & orange glaze.
The brine (for 2 whole turkey breasts):
- 1.3 gallons of water
- 8 tbsp coarse salt
- 10 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp allspice berries
- 5 cloves, whole
- 6 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, whole
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with a side of a knife
- 1 lime (or lemon) sliced
- 5 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
The turkey breasts they sell down here are already boneless and skinless. So I got 2 whole breasts, making 4 half cuts.
- Boiled about 1/3 of the water with all the spices but the garlic and lime, for about 20 minutes. The idea here is to make an infusion and also make sure salt and sugar fully dissolve.
- Took it off the heat, added in the rest of the water and chilled to a room temperature.
- Added the garlic cloves and lime slices.
Brining - 24 hours, refrigerated.
Glaze preparation - simply mixed the honey with the orange juice and whisked until well blended. Small trick - heating up the honey for 20 seconds in a microwave makes it really easy to do.
Before the smoking, trussed the breasts with cotton string:
Smoking - 4 hours on 225F, water pan filled with water, until IT 165F. Used peach wood chunks with cherry wood chips, for the colour. 15 minutes before taking the pastrami off the smoke, basted it with the glaze.
Rest - 40 minutes, covered with foil. Then - sliced and... well, you can see :).