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Duck Pastrami Recipe

Prep Time

    •    Prep and cook time: 3 days & 5 hours
    •    Yield: Serves 8-10


For the cure:

    •    3/4 tsp pink salt
    •    1/4 cup kosher salt
    •    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    •    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    •    2 tsps ground coriander
    •    1/2 tsp granulated garlic
    •    2 tsps dark brown sugar
    •    1 tsp ground juniper berries
    •    2 tsps ground black pepper
    •    4 pounds duck breast (about 4 large breasts each)

For the rub:

    •    1/2 tsp granulated garlic
    •    2 tsps coarsely ground juniper berries
    •    3 tbsps coarsely ground black pepper
    •    1 1/2 tbsps coarsely ground coriander seed
    •    1 to 2 fist-size chucks of light smoking wood, such as apple or cherry


For the cure:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, 2 teaspoons coriander, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon juniper berries, pink salt, ginger, garlic, and cloves. Coat duck breasts entirely with cure and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Place in the coldest part of the refrigerator and cure for 72 hours, flipping bag twice a day.
  2. Remove duck breasts from bag and wash as much cure off as possible under cold running water. Place breasts in a large container and fill with water and let soak for 2 hours, replacing water every 30 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry with paper towels.

For the rub:

  1. Mix together black pepper, coriander, juniper berries, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Coat duck breasts entirely with rub.
  2. Fire up smoker or grill to 225°F, adding chunks of smoking wood chunks when at temperature. When wood is ignited and producing smoke, place duck breasts in, skin side down, and smoke until an instant read thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into center of breasts, 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  3. Remove from smoker and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve immediately, or store in refrigerator up to a week, slicing and serving as needed. For best results, steam slices to reheat.

This great family recipe is thanks to Serious Eat at


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