Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving - Best pairing ever and Beer Brined Turkey

Thanksgiving was a great day and a great meal.  I modified a beer brine recipe from Sean Paxton ( and used the following (minus a small glass of each):

1 – Alaskan Smoked Porter
1 – Paulaner Oktoberfest - Marzen
3 carrots and 3 celery stalks
4 garlic cloves
1 C. Kosher Salt
½ C. Brown sugar
2 Lemons quartered
Couple of tablespoons of peppercorns

Combine the ingredients and simmer until the vegetables softened.  Cool the brine and put it in the refrigerator overnight.  Strain the vegetables from the brine and add ~ 1 gallon of water.  Clean and rinse the turkey.  Put the turkey into a large Ziploc bag or use a cooler that the turkey just fits into.  I put the turkey in a bag, added the brine, placed it in a cooler and then covered with ice.  The turkey should brine 24 – 48 hours.  Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and let dry.  I then used a dry spice rub called Tiny Town Turkey Rub from the Savory Spice Shop in Littleton, CO.  The 12-pound Turkey was cooked in a bag for 2 hours at 350 degrees to an internal temperature of 160 - 165 degrees and then pulled from the oven and allowed to rest for 30 minutes.  The oven was then set to broil.  Remove the turkey from the bag and place in the oven for ~10 minutes to allow the skin the crisp.  The turkey turned out excellent and was enjoyed by everyone.  I think it was the best turkey I have ever cooked.

I paired dinner with Avery – Old Jubilation (ABV - 8% and IBU – 30) and Left Hand – Black Jack Porter (ABV – 6.8% and IBU - 35) with a desert of Lori’s Chocolate Pie.  The desert pairing was perfect with the beer and the chocolate pie being one of the best pairings I have ever experienced.  The beer cut through the fat and emphasized the chocolate and the crust.  The pie emphasized the sweetness, chocolate, and bread qualities of the malt.  It was amazing.  I split a bottle of the Kaiser with Lori and her mom and they both very much like the Kaiser (ABV – 9.6% and IBU - 24).

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