In response to the interest in sous vide, I share with you a quick version of Turkey Pastrami.   Sous vide preparation keeps turkey breast or any other meat moist.   Retaining moisture is especially important with turkey because it tends to dry out quickly.  The usual way of preparing pastrami is by curing or corning the meat. In the sous vide method, I  get the traditional flavor by using spices. You notice in this version of pastrami there are no added nitrites or nitrates to preserve the meat. 

This might sound like an intimidating recipe but it really couldn't be any easier.  At the store I bought bone-in turkey breast and filet them but you could just buy the breast and skip that step.  I would try to buy one with skin on instead of skinless.

2 Turkey Breast (approx 2 1/2 - 3 lb total)

1 tbsp Green Peppercorn

2 tbsp red peppercorn

2 tbsp black peppercorn

1/4 cup of coriander seeds

2 tbsp of butter

4 tbsp of Extra virgin olive oil


Set the temperature of the water bath with a thermal circulator at 141 degrees.

Pulse all of the spices in a coffee grinder or spice grinder until coarse.  Apply the spices heavily to the skin of the turkey breast.  Place the spiced breast into a plastic cryovac bag  along with 1 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Seal the bag air tight with a vacuum sealer.  Place the bag in the heated water bath.

Sous Vide (process) the turkey breast for about an 1 1/2 hours to an hour and 45 minutes,  depending on the size of the breast.  Feel to check the firmness of the breast as the cooking progresses.  After an hour  the color will start to turn from pink to more white and the meat should feel firmer.  In the sous vide process,  the color of meat will not always look like the meat cooked by in a different manner.  For example,  a steak cooked to medium on the grill and sliced will be brown around the edges and the center will be red to pink.  A steak cooked sous vide will be more uniform in color throughout. The meat will retain an overall red to pink color although it is medium.  This indicates that the whole piece of meat cooked exactly at the same time and to same temperature.    

When the turkey is done you can allow it to rest for awhile in the bag or you can save it for another day in the bag.  If you are preparing to serve it right away then

take the breast out of the bag and allow it to rest for a minute on a cutting board.  Season the breast with salt on both sides. 

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a saute pan and heat to medium high. Sear the salted turkey on the skin side for a 3 minutes to brown the skin and firm texture.  Flip the breast over and cook for 1 minute. Let the breast rest again for 5 minutes to complete the cooking. You want to make sure the turkey is done, but remember from the example of sous vide steak, the meat may be slightly pink.  Slice the turkey and season it with a little more salt if desired. 

This is what it should look like out of the bag but not seared yet.

And after it is seared and sliced it should look something like this

You can always use your thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey is completely done.