Well you’ve heard of pastrami, usually made from beef brisket, but now its time for duck to take centre stage.  Introducing duckstrami – a little twist on a Jewish barbecue favourite.

A little patience will deliver results.  The cure takes three days to work its magic, but its worth the wait, trust us!  If you cook it to perfection, the duck will be oozing with juices!

Both the cure and rub pack a punch – plenty of pungent flavours give the duck meat a big boost – especially the spice from the juniper berries and the black pepper.

We’ve gone for peach wood to smoke.  A light flavour, not too heavy and works nicely with poultry as well as pork.

As ever, quality of the meat counts.  Swerve the supermarkets and take a trip to your local butcher, go free range for the best results.


  • 4 x free range duck breasts


  • 4 tablespoons rock salt
  • ½ teaspoon curing salt #1 (Prague powder)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 4 ground juniper berries
  • 2 ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder


  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 4 ground juniper berries
  • 2 ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard seeds
  • ¼teaspoon ground garlic


Four days before you intend to smoke your duck breasts, prepare your cure.  Mix together the ingredients of the cure and place in a zip lock bag.  Add the duck, coating the cure evenly over all the surfaces of the meat.  Massage gently before zipping up the bag, ensuring that very little air remains in the bag.  Now refrigerate for 72 hours.  During this time, twice a day, massage the cure and the duck so that the cure gets every chance to penetrate all of the meat.

After 72 hours, remove from the zip lock bag, and rinse thoroughly under cold water.  Then soak the breasts in cold water for two hours, but change the water every 40 minutes.  this will help make sure that the finished product doesn’t taste too salty.

Once you’ve soaked them, dry the breasts with paper towel. Leave to refrigerate for around 8 hours, overnight will be fine.  This will help form a pellicle over the meat, which helps the meat absorb the smoky flavour.

Now its time to smoke the duck. Aim to get your smoker to reach an internal temperature of around 250°F/121°C.

Whilst your cooker is heating up, mix together the ingredients of the rub.  Now coat the rub over the duck breasts evenly, over the skin and the meat.

Add some wood – for this recipe we have used peach wood, which is ideal for poultry. Once the smoke thins a little, which usually takes around ten to fifteen minutes, add the duck to the grill. Place them skin side down.

The duck will be ready once it hits an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C.  Once ready, remove from the grill.  Rest for ten minutes, slice and serve.

Perfect in a sandwich for a hearty lunch – rye bread, gherkins and mustard accompanying stacks and stacks of delicious, juicy, tender duckstrami!.


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