Thanksgiving Part II: Everything else!

Kris:Thanksgiving would be incomplete without lots of side dishes. Scotty and Caroline (the 2 Americans) find cranberry sauce especially essential.

Scotty and Kates’s Hefeweizen Cranberry Sauce

500g of dried cranberries

330ml hefeweizen


Soak the cranberries in the hefeweizen for 1 1/2 hours

Simmer in a saucepan for 15 minutes before serving

Kris : It was amazing that the cranberries started fermenting in the beer for the first half an hour. The main thing is that the recipe worked. The fruity/estery taste of the Hefe and the sweet/tart flavour of the cranberries tasted great with the turkey.

Caroline’s Sweet Potato Casserole

200g softened butter (salted or unsalted, but salted adds a nice contrast to sugar in my opinion)
2 large sweet potatoes peeled, boiled and mashed
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup brown sugar (to taste)
Crumbly Top
100g softened butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raw sugar
crushed pecans


Preheat oven to 350F  or 170C

Mix casserole ingredients and pour into casserole dish.

Mix crumble ingredients and pour on top of sweet potato mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes.

My Pumpkin Pie

2 sheets of good quality short crust pastry (or if you have time make your own)

700g cooked pumpkin (cooled)

3 Tbs honey or golden syrup

2 large free range eggs

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup cream

1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

butter for greasing the cake pan


Preheat oven to 180C

Grease a cake pan with butter

Place the pastry in the pan and trim the edges

Line the pastry with baking paper

Fill with dried beans or rice

Blind bake for 15-20 minutes

While this is baking, cream the eggs, brown sugar, honey and spices with electric mixer

Add the pumpkin and beat for a couple more minutes

Fold through the cream

Remove the pastry from the oven and take out the baking paper

Allow it to cool and then spoon in the pumpkin mixture

Bake at 180 C for 1 hour

Allow to cool before serving

Kris: I am a sucker for Barley Wines, and pumpkin pie and Barley Wine is a match to die for. I would go for an English style Barley Wine that is more focussed on the malt sweetness, as opposed to a dry hopped American style which is more hop driven. Anytime is a good time for Barley Wine. We drank a flying Dog Horn Dog Barley Wine from Frederick, Maryland and Widmer Brothers’ Reserve Galaxy Hopped Barley Wine from Portland, Oregon.

Caroline: I must admit I was very skeptical about this dish, back home you can pretty much buy pumpkin pie in a can. I wasn’t sure about making it from scratch with actual pumpkin…

Kris converted me! This pie was AWESOME. and even better with the barley wine (which I am not usually a fan of) but the spices in the pie totally mellowed it out..delicious match!
Caroline: LOOK! You know who else loves Thanksgiving? GEORGE! Well, maybe it wasn’t so much Thanksgiving as it was all the beer boxes we had around the house for him to make forts with…patriotic nonetheless George, well done.

Kris:The two Barley Wines were amazing! I think that the Flying Dog, being more an English style, was the better match with pumpkin pie, but I did love the citrus/fruit hop character of the Widmer Brosthers reserve, and it’s toffee/caramel malt backbone.

Caroline: Can you tell we are all in a turkey and beer induced coma? It lasted about 2 days, totally worth it though…yum yum yum


Thanksgiving Part I: THE TURKEY

Kris: A great line up of beers to match our thanksgiving feast. And these were just the beginning…

 Drunken Thanksgiving Turkey

1 6-7 kg Turkey

1 bunch of Thyme

1 head of garlic

2 apples

2 brown onions

sea salt

1 750ml bottle of Duvel or any Belgian Strong Golden Ale


If your turkey is frozen, it will take up to 3 days to defrost in the fridge

A few hours before cooking, rub salt all over the skin of the turkey 

Pre heat the oven to 170 C and allow the turkey to come to room temperature

Stuff the cavity of the bird with the apples, onion, thyme and garlic cloves (skin off)

Place the turkey  breast side down on an oven rack on top of a roasting tray

Pour 1/3 of the beer over the turkey

Throughout cooking keep pouring beer into the tray under the turkey (This will steam through the turkey)

2/3 of the way through cooking turn the turkey over

Baste the turkey skin continually with the liquid from the pan (This will help the skin to go crispy and golden)

Caroline: While we waited for the turkey we hung out with these turkeys and drank some beers they brought over.
Caroline: Kate and Scotty brought over some awesome beers including some Acme IPA (Northcoast Brewery). I really like this beer, I find it really well balanced. It’s super hoppy but not too bitter (55 IBUs) with citrus and floral notes, but still has enough malt backbone to come through. It’s 6.9% but the creamy body and hoppiness all come together and even each other out. A very nice American appetizer leading up to our thanksgiving meal…

Kris: It generally takes 45 minutes per kg to cook or you can pierce the thigh and if the juices run clear its ready
When the turkey is done, let it rest for at least half an hour

Caroline: When buying a turkey, keep in mind you want ~500-600g (~1lb) per person. We got a 6.5kg turkey for 10 people (hungry people)

Caroline: To check if poultry is cooked through cut into it and if liquid runs out clear it should be finished (if still pink keep cooking). If you don’t want to cut into your bird (good call, don’t waste any good juices!) you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. You want the internal temp to reach 165F or 74C  (temp that kills all the possible bacteria), then it’s done!

 Caroline: Make sure you let your bird rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. See, when you cook any meat, as it heats up the proteins in it set (that’s why something well-done is firmer then rare to the touch). This process pushes all the juices towards the center of the meat. Resting away from heat allows all the juices to get reabsorbed throughout the cut and makes it much more tender and juicy!
(Also remember to keep your turkey carcass for making stock or soup the next day!)

Caroline: The turkey was DELICIOUS! I think the best I’ve ever eaten (sorry mom). The meat was soooo juicy and tender and you really could taste a hint of the Duvel. The skin had the perfect amount of crispiness and fattiness…just delicious! definitely worth the 4 1/2 hour wait!

Kris: We matched the turkey with Brooklyn Brewery Local 1. It is a great version of a Belgian Strong Golden Ale and a perfect match with our thanksgiving dinner. It is bottle fermented and the sweet malt, spice and the 9% ABV are all in balance. The sweetness of the beer works well with the sweetness of the turkey and the carbonation cuts through the fat in the skin. It also tasted amazing with the sweet potato casserole and the corn pudding (recipes tomorrow).

 Kris & Caroline: Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for all the awesome food and delicious beer and wonderful friends we could share them with!