Tips & Recipes For Infusing Beer Into Your Thanksgiving Menu
It seems like just yesterday we were all throwing back a cold one on our favorite local taproom patio to help quench our thirst on a hot summer day. But there’s no denying that the holiday season is upon us—and first up—is the holiday that the makers of stretchy pants live for: Thanksgiving. If you’ve been tasked with contributing to this year’s Thanksgiving feast, but want to incorporate your love for some awesome craft beer into your dining menu—then we’ve got you covered. According to Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association and the co-author of Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros, Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to experiment with cooking with beer. If you’re unsure of where to start when planning craft beer-inspired Thanksgiving dishes, Herz recommends starting with a Tripel.
“A well-made tripel can handle all the aspects of the big dinner, from the most delicate selections to the big, bold side dishes. The high carbonation has a way of making the whole meal seem lighter and brighter.”
Take a page from Herz’s book for more tips on cooking with beer for your first Thanksgiving feast, but if you already consider yourself a semi-pro at cooking with beer, or you’re just feeling adventurous, then check out these recipes for Thanksgiving dishes made with beer from chefs at breweries and brewpubs around the country that cook with beer everyday.
And be sure to remember these easy tips from Ian Clark, co-founder and beer chef at BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats when preparing the big meal:
- Always be careful with hoppy beers. They’re delicious to drink, but not always good for cooking with.
- In general, malty beers are better to use for cooking.
- When reducing beer, be very slow about it and don’t over-reduce.
- Belgian-stye beers can add a nice complexity since the beers are yeast-driven and tend to translate nicely into food.
Cheers to you and yours on this upcoming Turkey Day, and may the beer and cooking gods be forever in your favor.
Freckle Belly Marinated Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
By Chef Jennifer Deweese — Back Forty Beer Company
2 pounds of large, deveined, tail-on shrimp
1 pound of bacon
12 ounces of Freckle Belly IPA
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
BBQ sauce and additional Freckle Belly IPA
- Marinate shrimp 45-60 minutes in Freckle Belly IPA, with salt and pepper.
- Remove from marinade.
- Wrap each shrimp in a half piece of bacon, making sure to fully cover shrimp, and secure on a skewer or use toothpicks.
- Back at 450F for 10-15 minutes, until bacon is done.
- Thin out your favorite BBQ sauce with about 1/4 cup of Freckle Belly IPA in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Brush shrimp at the end of cooking time and again when removed from oven.
- Enjoy hot or at room temperature with a refreshing Freckle Belly IPA!
Dale’s Pale Ale Deep Fried Turkey
By Chef Jason Rogers — Executive Chef of Oskar Blues Fooderies
¼ cup of chopped garlic
¼ cup of diced onion
¼ cup of Dale’s Hot Sauce
¼ cup of worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of black pepper
½ gallon of ice
4 cups of water
2 cans of Dale’s Pale Ale
½ cup Cajun spice
1 cup of salt
2 bay leaves
12-15 lbs turkey
3 gallons of fryer oil or duck fat
- In a large stock pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the garlic, onion, salt, cajun spice, hot sauce, worcestershire, black pepper, and bay leaves.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it cool to 120 degrees or less and add beer and ice.
- Once brine has reached 41 degrees, place raw turkey in the pot or a container that will fully submerge the bird.
- Brine for 12-48 hours.
- Remove from brine and let the bird sit out for 2 hours.
- Heat oil to 350 and slowly place the turkey into the oil until fully submerged.
- Cook for approximately 3 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
TIP: The turkey will “carry over cook” so pulling it at about 160 is usually good because it will reach 165 within the next few minutes outside of the fryer.
Let the bird cool down and rest for about 20 minutes and serve!
Wood Roasted Blue Oyster Mushrooms with Brown Ale Broiled Chestnuts, Chervil, Quick-Pickled Shallots and Crispy Prosciutto
By Chef Ian Clark — Beer Chef/Founder of BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats
2-2.5 lbs of Blue Oyster Mushrooms (any wild mushrooms will work)
1 ounce Fresh Chervil
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Pale Ale Vinaigrette (See Recipe Below)
Quick-Pickled Shallots (See Recipe Below)
Boiled Chestnuts (See Recipe Below)
12 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
1/2 lb shelled chestnuts
1 cup Brown Ale (BRU’s Obitus Americans Brown Ale works great)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of fennel seed
salt, to taste
First, lightly toast the chestnuts. Then combine all ingredients and slowly simmer until the chestnuts are soft. Pull about a 1/2 cup out and pulse the rest in a robo coupe until pureed. Season with salt.
Pale Ale Vinaigrette
1/4 cup pale ale (we love Belux Belgian Pale Ale, make sure it isn’t very hoppy)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 small garlic clove
1 teaspoon small diced shallot
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt, to taste
Combine vinegar, pale ale, shallot, garlic, and mustard in a blender. Blend until smooth, while slowly drizzling in both of the oils. Fold in chopped herbs by hand, season with salt.
5 large shallots, sliced thinly
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon toasted black pepper
1 teaspoon toasted fennel seed
1 teaspoon toasted coriander
- Bring everything except shallots to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Places shallots in a narrow container.
- Pour boiling pickling liquid over the shallot.
- Immediately cover and place in the reiterator overnight before use.
- Toss mushrooms in a small amount of salt, and some of the pale ale vinaigrette (a few ounces) and set in refrigerator for one hour.
- Place mushrooms on a baking sheet and roast on a high temp (as high as your oven goes) to cook as quickly as possible.
- Finish off broiling for a few minutes to char.
- Pull the mushrooms out and toss in a bowl with the quick-pickled shallots.
- Toss and season well with salt and pepper.
- Adjust oven to 375 degrees.
- Place prosciutto on a baking sheet with parchment paper, laying flat.
- Bake until the fat has a golden color and the meat darkens.
- Pull off sheets and place on a dry paper towel to absorb excess fat.
For plate up: Take you boiled chestnut puree and place a nice dab on each plate. With the back of your spoon, smear it across the plate. Place a large spoonful of the roasted mushrooms and pickled shallots in the “channel” created by dragging the spoon through the puree across the plate. Garnish generously with the remaining whole chestnuts, fresh chervil, and crispy prosciutto. Enjoy!
Apricot Jubelale Scones
By Chef Jill Ramseier — Deschutes Brewery Portland Pub
Makes 12 scones + 1 cup of icing
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup diced dried apricots (cranberries also are delicious in these!)
2 cup heavy cream
12 ounces bottle Deschutes Jubelale
2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together first 5 ingredients.
- Add cream and 1 cup of Jubelale.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until combined (do not over-mix or they will be tough!).
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
- While they are baking, make the icing:
- Sift powdered sugar. Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons of Jubelale. Stir vigorously until smooth with no clumps.
- When scones have cooled for 10 minutes (it’s okay if they are still slightly warm,) drizzle with Jubelale icing.