To celebrate Thanksgiving and Hannukah being on the same day, I'm going to be making a turbrisket, aka a brisket stuffed in a turkey. I have some ideas of what I want to do, but could use advice on others...
My plan is to brine the bird, bone it, stuff it with brisket and cook it on my cylindrical BBQ/smoker via indirect heat. Last year I did a turducken this way, and it turned out well.
I'm guessing the time it takes to cook a turbrisket will be about the same as a turducken of the same size, seeing as they'll weigh roughly the same and be of the same density. However, I'm worried about the internal temperatures of each... I usually cook my brisket until it gets to 190 and my turkey until it gets to 160. Not sure how to make this play.
I had an idea that it would be good to cook the brisket according to my Bubby's sweet & sour recipe, but didn't know if that would taste right with "traditional" turkey seasoning or if the brisket would dry out if it sits in heat, in the turkey, for 8 hours after being cooked.
Thanks in advance.
This sounds rife with problems to me.
Your Brisket will be tough or your Turkey will be overcooked.
If you can solve that problem then you have the clash of Flavors to deal with.
I'm at a loss to help you, but am fascinated in a watching-a-car-wreck kind of way!
I'm really curious about anybody else's experience with preparing this particularly interesting combination of proteins.
I saw this thread right off the bat and thought ok don't say anything because it's probably just me and I'm missing something. Now I see it's not just me:-) Talk about a really strange combo..
Frying a regular turkey is relatively easy as it cooks inside and out. Me thinks frying a bird stuffed with brisket will have either
1. a nicely done bird and a raw, tough brisket,
2. an overdone bird and a cooked, tough brisket.
Howsabout slitting the brisket, stuff with seasoned, ground turkey, sew it up and BBQ the whole shebang. Not quite turbrisket, but maybe bristurkey...
I read the OP's post with some skepticism, and some responses with some humor. But I can't give up the idea that some combination might work. So here are some thoughts.
Given your original proposal of a pastrami stuffed in a turkey, you have the obvious problem of the interior pastrami needing a higher temperature than the exterior turkey. The only way to pull this off is to make your pastrami (fully cooked), cool it, then the next day stuff it into a turkey and roast the turkey. That's dicey, though, with getting the turkey evenly cooked.
Better (if you want to keep the same layers in the same order) is to cook your pastrami, fridge it, next day bring it to room temperature (or even up to 100-ishF), completely bone you turkey, then wrap you turkey around the pastrami log. Some folks may bring up a food safety issue with having something warm inside a cold turkey before the inside of the turkey come up to proper temp. Maybe, but I suspect that if you salt the interior of the turkey, and perhaps use other spices as a "layer" between the turkey and pastrami, those issues go away. Then again, I'm not a safety guru.
Next thought is to reverse the layers: take your brisket, and butterfly it into 2 or 3 layers, so it opens like a book or triptich. Corn it, but adjust your corning time to account for the new 1/3 thickness. Bone your turkey, S&P, add whatever spicing you want, then roll your corned beef around your turkey, tie with butcher string, so you have one interior turkey layer and one exterior corned beef layer. Maybe you need to stitch it shut with needle and thread. Then smoke it. Time your brisket layer hits 190, your turkey should be 160 - 180. No worry about it drying out, wrapped in beef. Heck, get creative and put a layer of greens - spinach, kale - between the two meats for a visual presentation.
Last suggestion - take a turkey and take the skin off, then separate the legs into 4 pieces, breast into 4 pieces, bone them, and confit them in whatever combination of fats you have/want to use (turkey, duck, olive oil, pork if that's OK) (yes, confit-strick-interpretationists, I know that some say confit is only in one's own fat, let's let that go for now). Let the confit pieces linger in your fridge in their luscious fat blanket for a week or so. Bring the confit pieces to room temp (no need for the warning above), and wrap your butterflied/triptyched corned brisket around the pieces in a tight bundle. Smoke your log to 190. While it rests, take your turkey skin (preferably in one piece), rub in fat and salt, and throw it back on your BBQ or broil it (maybe on some sort of a rack), so you have a sheet of crisped skin (turkey cracklins?).
Bonus points - after the brisket/turkey log is almost completely done smoking, wrap the turkey skin around the log, perhaps using transglutiminase to adhere it. I know little about the process, other that using that stuff, you can adhere proteins together - protein glue. You could also sew/tie the skin on, and maybe get the same cracklins but while wrapped around your log. Double bonus points, use a blowtorch to crisp your skin wrapped around your log (well, not *your* skin).
Clearly, I've thought about this way too much. Some of this thinking was under the influence of a liquid start to a brunch...I'm sure posters will find very good reasons why none of these suggestions will work, but hey, it was fun to think about!
Against my better judgement, I got intrigued by the OP's question and started experimenting. So the first experiment was the following:
Take a half a brisket and slice it in half laterally, so I ended up with a brisket sheet about 3/4" thick. I corned it for 3 days. Meanwhile, I did a quick chicken confit in olive oil. When cooled, I took the chicken off the bone and left it in big chunks. This evening I took chunks of chicken, and wrapped the corned brisket around the chicken chunks, and tied the roll. I had a package about 4-5 inches in diameter, and about 8 inches long. I baked it in the oven at 275F for about 4 hours, until the corned brisket was about 180F.
The result is in the photo below. It turned out better than I thought it would. The corned beef has a nice salt and spice to it from the brine. It's a bit tough, I'm not sure if baking it led to that. It probably could have gone a little longer, it got impatient and pulled it at 180, I'm wondering if an extra 5 or 10F would have gotten it a little more tender. The chicken is a bit dry, but it was already from the confit process. I think the result would be much better from duck or a turkey leg that has more fat to it.
Interestingly, the contrast of the two meats is really nice. The mild and soft chicken contrasts nicely with the corned beef.
A few fixes:
Nix the chicken, and use two turkey legs. Brine the legs to both add moisture and some flavor. Not sure what flavoring agents to use, need to do a little research to see what spice flavor profiles would blend well with the brisket.
Use a larger brisket sheet (it was a bit awkward to roll), and maybe cut a tad thinner, maybe to 1/2 thick. Turn the corned beef into pastrami by smoking it. Bring it to 190F. Pay more attention to how the grain runs so when it's sliced, I'm getting the pieces with the grain to cut down on the chew factor.
Add garnishes: I'm thinking that some blanched sheets of something bright green like kale or spinach, between the meats. Also add a thin layer of cranberry sauce - the acidity might work well with the meats. It would also be more visually appealing.
Lastly, I'd like to get my hands on transglutaminase (meat glue) to seal the edge together. Not a huge deal, but it might keep the roll together after slicing.
I am intrigued by your sense of adventure BUT I'm more of a lean on the pros kinda gal when it comes to meat.
If you are serious and not just pulling my turkey leg, I'd call the local butcher and ask for his advice before I'd even begin.
This holds no appeal to me.
The best I can come up with regarding combining tradiions is to use a kishke mixture to stuff the bird.
Your brave and creative idea is inspiring!
I really have no experience to help advise you aside from to say please please try what you decide on before actual thanksgiving day so that if needed you can do some troubleshooting and not have a disaster on your hands.....!
Thanks to everybody for the responses. My brain is still churning about this.
Based on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZBC... which admittedly isn't very scientific, cooking the brisket ahead of time, stuffing the turkey with it, and then cooking the entire thing seems like it will work. Hopefully.
It's not my final answer, but I'm leaning that way.
Well, at least you aren't attempting a TurBriskaFil. That would involve adding gefilte fish to the mix. Seriously though, it's never a good idea to take your cooking cues from sitcoms.
(For those of you who aren't engineers, aren't married to one, or don't have a tween child, the TurBriskaFil is a specialty of Howard Wolowitz's mother on "Big Bang Theory." But her brisket melts in your mouth. Seriously, it really does.)
"A (hopefully imaginary) dish that Howard's mother makes for Thanksgiving every year. It consists of a combination of three (real) dishes: turkey, stuffed with a brisket stuffed with gefilte fish.
While Raj, who usually celebrates Thanksgiving at Howard's place, apparently has no problem with this dish, Howard claims that it's "not as good as it sounds" and that he doesn't even chew it and just swallows it "like pills" (0304).
The dish is similar to the real meal, Turducken, which is a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, only using traditional Jewish foods instead."
My father's favorite dish growing up was chicken in a pot. You could cook the brisket half way through, let it cool and then stuff it into your turkey and cook as you would chicken in a pot. You could even have matzoh ball soup with the broth as a first course. It would be a time saver as well, you won't need to make turkey soup later in the week! Not really good for people who like crispy skin, but you could serve gribenes on the side.
Why not skip both and just get a goose instead of turkey or brisket...then fry the latkes in goose fat.
So I made the Turbrisket on Saturday and it turned out better than I could have hoped for. Here's what I did:
Deboned the turkey (14 lbs), butterflied the breast, and brined it over night. Used the bones to make turkey stock, which eventually became turkey matzoh ball soup.
Took a 3 lb cut of top brisket, rubbed it with salt, pepper, coriander, and other spices. Seared each side for a couple minutes. Put down a bed of onions in the doufeu, put in half a cup of red wine, half a cup of coffee half a cup of apple cider, about a sixth of a cup of liquid smoke, and turned the burner on low/put ice on the top.
Three hours later, I flipped it, and let it braise for another three. Took it out, wrapped it in foil, reserved the juice. Added flour to it to make gravy.
Took the turkey out of the brine, rinsed it, let it get up to room temp. Spice rubbed it with what I did to the brisket, but also with ancho powder, red pepper and sage. With the help of a two friends, we wrapped the breast around the brisket, and tied it up with twine. It's possible this could have been done with only two people, but the extra one made it much easier.
Heated a bunch of canola oil to about 375. Put the turbrisket as well as the legs, wings and nuggets in, and let it cook for a half hour. Took it out, let it rest for twenty minutes and carved it at the table.
It was excellent. The entire dinner was long, maybe 2-3 hours of eating, and the turbrisket was at the end, but every last bit of it was eaten.
It was a long process, but turned out really, really well.