Tag Archives: deli meat

Homemade Stovetop Smoker Turkey Pastrami

I wonder how many times I can call something My Favorite Thing Ever before you guys (rightly) become suspicious and start ignoring me.  Like the boy who cried wolf.  Except I’m the spastic girl who cried pastrami and cookies and salads and cocktails and…  Etc.

But let me tell you–smoking turkey breast at home is definitely my favorite thing ever.  I am a sandwich lover first and a human second (it says so on my birth certificate).  Piles of quality deli meats and cheeses on crusty, hearty bread, a healthy smear of good, spicy mustard, crunchy cool lettuce, tangy pickles and pepperoncinis?  Get.  Out.  I think my heart skipped a beat just typing that.

Needless to say, I’ve done a lot of deli turkey shopping.  It’s a frustrating exercise in #firstworldproblems.  If it’s delicious, it’s not hormone-free.  If it’s hormone-free, it has shady preservatives.  If it’s nitrate/nitrite free, it’s not all that delicious.  If it’s all those things, it costs an arm and a leg.

But this?  This is the turkey that is anything you want it to be.  Thick, smoky slices of lean turkey breast, covered in a generous, luxurious coat of sharp, fragrant black pepper.  Or anything you’d like.  It’s the turkey of your dreams, girl (or boy).

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Homemade Stovetop Smoker Pastrami

So, every year, I throw a Festivus party.  

I always do it in January!  I know–it’s a holiday that was meant to replace Christmas, etc. etc.  But the thing is, December can get overwhelming and frankly, January is practically begging to be cheered up.  If I can make my friends’ post-holiday malaise just a tiny bit easier with a ton of great food and a silly made-up holiday, sign me up.  Sign me up now.

Airing of the grievances is necessary.

Feats of strength? Festivus isn’t over until the head of household is pinned, after all.  Rules are rules.  And black belts are black belts.  And my friend definitely has one.  And now I know that it’s well-deserved. 

Most years, the food is a haphazard mix of whatever we feel like eating.  This year, I actually put some thought into this and attempted a Seinfeld/deli theme.  Hello, pastrami bar!  You’re going to require some planning.

Homemade pastrami is a capital-p Project.  I’ve been dying to tell you about it for weeks!  There’s curing, rinsing, rubbing, smoking, steaming.  But the end result is a beauty–tender, flavorful deli meat, free of shady preservatives and coated in a generous mix of spices.

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