WOW! This dish is amazing!
One evening we were watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives when Guy Fieri went to Austin, Texas to eat at a sandwich shop called the Noble Pig. One of the dishes they fixed was a duck pastrami sandwich. Now, I absolutely adore pastrami. It may very well be my favorite sandwich meat and I have even been known to eat it for dinner like one would eat corned beef (Inasmuch as both are brined meats, it should come as no surprise). Also, I really like duck. It’s such a rich, succulent meat. I have fixed it countless ways and always enjoy it. Here, someone combined two of my favorite flavor profiles into an extraordinary treat. As such, I was highly intrigued and fascinated by the concept of duck pastrami. I had to have it no question about it. So the search began. I scoured the internet looking at scores of recipes. Emeril has one, as does Michael Symon. Then, other people have their version, as well. I gleaned as much information as I could covering ingredients and technique also relying upon my past experience in making pastrami. While all of them looked good, nothing really caught my attention and said EAT THIS! So I pondered the reality of duck pastrami for several weeks. I then went out and scoured the world wide web for basic pastrami recipes looking for something exciting. It was then I was inspired and this recipe is the result. This is one of the most flavor packed dishes I have ever come up with. The duck is tender, succulent, sweet, smokey, salty and peppery. There is a lot going on. Again, WOW! If you want to try something that will flat out amaze you, give this recipe a try. Just make sure to make a double batch because it’s sooooo easy to eat in one night. We did and now I have to make some more.
- 4 boneless duck breasts, roughly 1.75 lb
For the Brine
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp Schezuan pepper
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 3 bay leaves, crumbled
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- 1 Tbsp coriander seed, crushed
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp whole juniper berries
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
For the Rub
- 1/3 cup juniper berries, crushed
- 1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp schezuan peppers, crushed
- 2 Tbsp coriander seed, crushed
In a saucepan combine the water, brown sugar and salt.
Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat, add spice mixture, and steep for 1 hour.
Place the duck breasts in a glass or plastic container or a plastic bag. Pour the seasoned brine over the duck to cover completely and seal. In my case, I used a plastic bag and sealed it in the chamber vacuum sealer.
Let sit for 48 hours. After 48 hours, remove from brine and pat dry. Prepare rub and rub into flesh and skin pressing hard to make sure it really is rubbed in.
Heat a smoker or your oven to 250 F. Place the duck breasts in the smoker skin side down.
Slow smoke or roast the duck for 3 hours at 250 F. After 3 hours remove from smoker/oven and let rest until cool.
When cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 1 week. I again used the chamber vacuum sealer on medium pressure and sealed the breasts.
After we vacuum sealed the bag we left for Portland, Me. for my 58th birthday and to see our youngest son, fka Knothead, nka Stickin’ Genius. We got back September 2 and had this for lunch on September 3. It was great! To serve, remove the meat from the plastic wrap and slice thinly.
Serve with various accompaniments as appetizers or hors d’oeuvres. Alternatively, it makes one hell of a sandwich dressed just like a Ruben but with the duck pastrami instead of the corn beef.