Beer-centric recipes to booze up your Thanksgiving

Beer-centric recipes to booze up your Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just a week away, many are in the process of planning what dishes to serve at the feast that is the center of this quintessentially American holiday. In the Booze League, we not only choose the right spirits to go with the feast, we prepare dishes that feature booze in the recipe. Below are 9 beer-centric recipes that are sure to impress all the guests at your Thanksgiving dinner!

Appetizers

beer cheese.jpg

Beer Cheese Dip

Beer cheese dip is always a tasty appetizer, and this particular recipe uses pumpernickel, adding a nice fall touch to the dish and a great presentation.

Ingredients

  • 1 round loaf (1 pound) pumpernickel bread

  • 2 jars (5 ounces each) sharp American cheese spread

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

  • 1/4 cup beer or nonalcoholic beer

  • 1/2 cup real bacon bits

Directions

  1. Cut top fourth off loaf of bread; carefully hollow out bottom, leaving a 1/2-in. shell. Cube removed bread; set aside.

  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine cheese spread and cream cheese. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in beer. Microwave, uncovered, 20 seconds longer. Stir in bacon.

  3. Fill bread shell with cheese dip. Serve with reserved bread cubes.Yield: 2-1/2 cups.

- via Taste of Home

Pumpkin Beer Soup

From coffee to candles to beer, Fall is the season of pumpkin flavored everything. And with good reason! Pumpkin can be delicious when prepared fresh. This hearty soup is the perfect addition to any dinner table during the Autumn months.

Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs pumpkin flesh/meat

  • 1 large onion

  • 2 celery stalks

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 12 oz. light beer

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

  • 4 oz. bacon or ham

  • 3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

  • 7 oz. sour cream

Directions

  1. Chop pumpkin, garlic and celery.

  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot and add onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are transparent (do not brown the onions).

  3. Add chopped pumpkin meat and cook briefly with onions and garlic. (See note below for variation using roasted pumpkin.)

  4. Add the beer and vegetable broth.

  5. Flavor with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

  6. Cover and simmer until pumpkin is soft, around 20 minutes (depending on how large your pumpkin was cut up).

  7. While soup is cooking, cut bacon or ham into small cubes/slices and fry in a frying pan along with the pumpkin seeds until browned. Set aside. (Bacon/ham can be omitted for a vegetarian soup.)

  8. When the soup is cooked, transfer in batches to a blender or food processor and puree.

  9. Slowly add the sour cream to the blender/processor until it's mixed in and the soup is creamy.

  10. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

  11. Pour into soup bowls and sprinkle with the bacon/ham and pumpkin seed mixture.

- via Let's Pour

Main Dishes

Tipsy Turkey

Creating a brine for your bird from the seasonal offerings of some of the best craft breweries out there can only end in success. 

Ingredients

Beer Brine

  • 1 gallon Jubelale from Deschutes Brewery (2 six-packs)*

  • 2 cup kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup Star Thistle honey

  • 2 tsp cloves

  • 2 bunches fresh thyme

  • 1 bunch fresh sage

  • 8 bay leaves

  • 4 cinnamon sticks

  • 3 yellow onions, peeled and chopped

  • 3 celery stalks, sliced

  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 3 tangerines, quartered

  • 1 leek, peeled and sliced

  • 8 pounds ice or 1 gallon cold water

  • * Beer alternatives: If Jubelale, is not available, consider others such as Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, 2° Below Winter Ale by New Belgium Brewing Co. or Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale.

Turkey

  • 1 Turkey, preferably free range, 18-22 pounds

  • 10 sage fresh leaves (optional)

  • 10 apple wood-smoked bacon, thick cut (optional)

  • 2 tangerines

  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

  • butter, unsalted, room temperature

Directions

Along with the directons below, you may also find the Tipsy Turkey video demonstration helpful.

Cooked Brine Option

  1. By planning ahead, this option will give more flavors as the sugar and salt crystals completely dissolve and the aromatics infuse (like a tea), creating a blanket for turkey to play off. In a large pot, add beer, salt, sugar, honey, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, thyme, sage, onion, celery, carrots, citrus and leeks. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Let the brine sit for 20 minutes, slightly cooling the mixture and allowing the flavors meld together. Add the ice or cold water; this will help cool the brine solution to a safe working temperature, 38°F or below. Refrigerate the brine until it reaches this temperature.

Just Mix and Brine Option

  1. In a large container or a cleaned ice cooler, add all the ingredients (water instead of ice) and mix well. Double check to see if all the sugar and salt have dissolved.

Brine Instructions

  1. Have a large 3-4 gallon container, a large plastic bag or a well-cleaned ice cooler ready. Prep the turkey by rinsing it well under cold running water. Remove the neck and gizzards, saving for stock (makes amazing gravy). Place the cleaned bird into the container and top off with the brine (for the ice cooler, add a few zip lock bags full of ice). Place the container in the refrigerator or place the ice chest in the coldest part of the house/garage. Let sit between 24-48 hours depending on the size of the poultry being used. A chicken will take 24 hours while a 24 pound turkey will take a full 2 days to brine fully. Check the ice bags and temperature of the brine periodically.

Oven Cooking Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

  2. After following either brine option 1 or 2, remove the turkey from the brine and dry well with paper towels. Repeat this process several times, removing as much moisture as possible. This will help the browning of the skin, as moisture will steam instead of roast the turkey.

  3. To aide in the flavor and secure the non-dry texture of the finished product, try placing bacon and sage under the skin. Start at the neck opening and using a finger, slide it between the meat and the skin. Being careful not to tear the skin, swing the finger across the meat to loosen the skin, gradually slide two fingers and three fingers, as the membrane is expanded. Do this on either side of the breasts. Then finishing at the cavity opening, repeat the same process and move to around the thigh and leg areas. Once the ‘pocket’ is created, place and arrange the bacon slices, 5 to each side, in a single layer. This will show through the skin when the turkey is finished. Take time to make sure they are even, covering the breasts and wrapping the thighs.

  4. Next, add in the sage leaves, again thinking about a design pattern. Season the cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff with the cut tangerines. Truss the bird with twine, to help hold its shape and to aid in cooking the turkey evenly. Rub the skin with the butter, creating an even layer. Season well with salt and pepper. Place the prepped bird onto a rack and into a roasting pan.

  5. I highly recommend using a temperature probe that connects to a timer/display, to make sure the turkey is cooked to a certain temperature (165°F) instead of listing a length of time. If you don’t have a probe, a 16-20 pound turkey should take between 3.5 and 4 hours to fully cook at this temp. Check both the breast and the thigh temperature to make sure the turkey is evenly cooked. Once removed from the oven there will be carryover temperature, adding another 4-5 degrees in temperature.

  6. Cover the turkey with foil. Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. This will help the keep a moist turkey by letting the muscle fibers relax and re-distribute its juices.

Smoking Instructions

  1. Instead of using an oven, use a smoker and keep the temperature at 250°F until the internal temperature is 165°F. For wood chips, I would recommend Apple, Pecan or Cherry wood chips soaked for 30 minutes in the same beer you used in the brine. Add these beer soaked chips every 30 minutes to the fire, while the turkey cooks. Also check the coals, making sure the smoking temperature stays a pretty consistent temperature.

- via CraftBeer.com

Side Dishes

805 Bacon Mac

Beer. Bacon. Mac & cheese. What else needs to be said?

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 500g bacon, diced

  • 150g butter

  • ½ cup flour

  • 1 can beer (preferably 805 Honey Blonde Ale)

  • 250ml milk

  • 250ml cream

  • 2-3 cups strong cheddar, grated

  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • salt & pepper to taste

To assemble

  • 1kg cooked macaroni (reserve 2 cups of the cooking water)

  • 1 cup grated cheese mixed with 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and grease a large oven-proof dish.

  2. Fry the bacon in a large pot until crisp and golden.

  3. Remove the bacon from the pot but leave the fat.

  4. Add the butter to the bacon fat and allow to melt before adding the flour.

  5. Stir and cook for 1 minute before slowly pouring in the beer whilst whisking. When all the beer has been incorporated, add the milk and cream and mix until the sauce is smooth. At this point you might need to add a little more liquid, I just add more milk but you can also use chicken stock if you prefer. The sauce needs to be the consistency of shop-bought custard. Take the pot off the heat and Add the cheese and bacon back to the sauce and stir until the cheese has melted.

  6. When the sauce is cooked, mix it with the cooked macaroni. Add some of the reserved cooking water and mix well. The macaroni needs to be well covered by the sauce and will almost look like it's got too much sauce covering it. If it doesn't, add more of the water. If you wanted to be very decadent you could add more cream at this stage too.

  7. Transfer the macaroni into the prepared dish and cover with the breadcrumbs/cheese mixture.

  8. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.

  9. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

- via Simply Delicious

Stone Pale Ale and Garlic Stir Fried Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts have come a long way since those long nights trying to choke down mushy, steamed (and now cold) sprouts so that you can finally be allowed to leave the dinner table. The modern brussel sprouts dish is the darling of gastropubs across the country and a preparation using Stone's Pale Ale can only make them better.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts (about 4 cups)

  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

  • 1/4pound pancetta, diced

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) Stone Pale Ale

  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Finely diced tomato, for garnish

  • Shaved or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

Directions

  1. Set up a steamer with 1 to 2 inches of salted water and bring the water to a rolling boil. Put the brussels sprouts in the steamer, cover, and cook until slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer the brussel sprouts to a large bowl of ice water to halt the cooking and preserve their bright green color. Let them cool in the ice water for about 1 minute, then drain. Lay them on a clean dish towel and pat dry. Cut them in half vertically, right through the core.

  2. In a large wok or cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn the heat up to high, add the brussels sprouts, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

  3. Add the beer and continue to cook over high heat until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Deglaze the pan by adding the vegetable stock, stirring and scraping up any browned bits that may be affixed to the pan.

  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the tomato and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.

- via Serious Eats

Roasted Garlic Pale Ale Whipped Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a staple of the Thanksgiving table. So much so that often the mashed potatoes are there more out of obligation than any need to make a great side dish. This recipe is so good, you'll be obligated to serve it every year. And that'll be a good thing!

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2½ lb red potatoes, peeled and chopped into quarters

  • ¾ cup IPA beer

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°

  2. Cut the pointed tip off the head of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place the garlic head on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and fold into a tight packet. Place garlic packet in a baking dish and roast at 425° for 25–30 minutes, or until soft and the cloves have turned an amber color.

  3. Add potatoes to a pot and cover with cold water and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until fork tender, 15–20 minutes after water begins to boil, drain.

  4. Add potatoes and remaining ingredients to a stand mixer. Squeeze the head of garlic until the soft cloves push out. Add just the cloves to the stand mixer; discard the remaining head.

  5. Whip the potatoes on high until well combined. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

- via Men's Fitness

Beer Sauce Green Beans.jpg

Green Beans in Beer Sauce

Much to the disappointment of my mother, the list of vegetables I'll eat, much less love, is embarrassingly short. And green beans are not on it. A preparation with beer sauce changes everything.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 pound bacon strips, diced

  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen cut green beans, thawed

  • 1/3 cup beer or nonalcoholic beer

  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons grated onion

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the beans, beer and butter to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.

  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels to drain. Remove beans with a slotted spoon and keep warm.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch and onion until blended. Stir into the saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Add beans; heat through. Sprinkle with bacon.

- via Taste of Home

Desserts

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Guinness. Sweet, sweet Guinness. This magical black brew has seen a variety of uses in cooking, all delicious, but it's hard to beat this chocolate cupcake recipe.

Directions

For the dough:

  • Unsalted butter, melted, for coating the muffin pans (optional)

  • 1 (11.2-ounce) bottle Guinness stout

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup sour cream

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

For the frosting:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

  • Pinch fine salt

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

  • 1 pound powdered sugar

  • Natural unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

Instructions

For the cupcakes:

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place cupcake liners in two (12-well) muffin pans; alternatively, coat the wells with melted butter. Set the pans aside.

  2. Whisk together the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Whisk in the sour cream.

  3. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a second large bowl to aerate and combine. Gradually fold this mixture into the wet Guinness mixture. Divide the batter among the muffin wells.

  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pans on a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool completely before removing from the pans.

For the frosting:

  1. Place the cream cheese and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually beat in the heavy cream until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually mix in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes.

  2. Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa powder.

- via Chowhound

Pumpkin Beer Monkey Bread

This is a dish that would be just as good for dessert on Thanksgiving night as it would be for breakfast at 3am on Black Friday. While this recipe uses Southern Tier's awesome Pumking, feel free to use any high quality pumpkin beer if Southern Tier is not available in your area.

Ingredients

Dough

  • ¾ cup Pumking by Southern Tier Brewing Co.

  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 package (2 and ¼ tsp) active dry yeast

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • 4 and ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp baking soda

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

Pumking Ale Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • ¼ cup Pumking Ale

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature

  • 3 and ½ TBSP butter, room temperature

Dough Coating

  • ½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)

  • 1 and ¼ cups granulated sugar

  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Directions

 Dough

  1. In a large saucepan, combine Southern Tier Brewing Co.'s Pumking pumpkin beer, whole milk, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Heat until hot but stop right before it boils.

  2. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool until the mixture is warm to the touch but not too hot (about 15-20 minutes or so).

  3. Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the liquid and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in pumpkin puree until combined.

  5. Gently stir in 4 cups of AP flour and ground cinnamon into mixture.

  6. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 1 hour. After 1 hour, the mixture should be very puffy and doubled in size. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until totally combined. Set aside. While that’s resting, time to work on Pumking Ale Caramel Sauce!

Pumking Ale Caramel Sauce

  1. In a medium size saucepan, combine the sugar and Pumking pumpkin beer over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

  2. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, without stirring. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes (however watch out, it burns easily).

  3. Remove the mixture from heat and carefully whisk in heavy cream (watch out, it will bubble). Then stir in butter. Transfer the beer caramel to a dish and let cool slightly. Set aside.

  4. After the dough has rested for an hour and you’ve added the final flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder...it’s time to coat the balls in the butter and cinnamon/sugar!

Cinnamon/Sugar Coating

  1. Melt butter in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Combine granulated sugar and ground cinnamon in another small bowl.

  3. Pull off small dough pieces and roll into balls, about 1.25 inch in diameter. You will need 40-45 balls total, so be mindful of the size.

  4. Dip each ball, one by one, in the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat (You may need more cinnamon-sugar depending how heavy you like the coating) and place balls in a greased bundt pan. Set aside.

  5. Pour half of the Pumking Caramel Sauce (1/2 cup) over the coated dough balls.

  6. Heat oven to 375°F.

  7. Place bundt pan on baking sheet (so no drippings fall into your oven) and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester is inserted and comes out clean.

  8. Cool for 5-10 minutes and invert onto a large serving plate or cake stand.

  9. Don't forget to serve alongside the remaining Pumking Ale Caramel Sauce for dipping!

- via CraftBeer.com

Wylie Withers is the Booze League Commissioner. Follow him on Twitter @wyliewithers or reach him via email wylie@boozeleague.com

Wylie Withers is the Commissioner of the Booze League and Co-Host of the BoozeCast. He spent many years as 1/3 of the comedy improv duo The Merry Misfits of Doom before pursing a Masters in Boozing (with a Marketing focus). His posterior was featured on the final episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, earning him his SAG card. He'd like to give a shoutout to his liver and left kidney for always being there for him. Follow him on Twitter @wyliewithers or reach him via email wylie@boozeleague.com.