Even if you're not the one wearing the apron, you still understand how much effort goes into making a holiday meal for the masses. The process could be compared to--oh, we don't know--brewing a solid batch of craft beer. Well, now those worlds have collided. We've stumbled upon a collection of recipes that bring together classic comfort foods and flavor-infused ales. The dishes in The Craft Beer Cookbook by Jacquelyn Dodd are sure to be big winners around the turkey day table. So, fire up the oven and pop open a cold one, and be sure to save some of the good stuff for cooking.    

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IRISH RED ALE BUTTERNUT SQUASH BISQUE WITH GOAT CHEESE AND POMEGRANATE

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3½–4 lb) butternut squash
  • 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 head garlic 
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red ale
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric 
  • Pinch cayenne
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Cut the squash down the middle lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds. Place cut side up on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil.
  3. 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 sheet with the squash.
  4. Roast squash and garlic for 30 minutes. Remove the garlic and allow to cool. Continue to roast the squash until fork tender, another 20–30 minutes (total of about 1 hour). Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Gently scoop out the flesh (should be 4–4½ cups).
  5. In a pot over medium heat, add the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil and the shallots. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have caramelized, 15–20 minutes (do not cook at too high heat or the shallots will burn). Add the broth and the beer and bring to a gentle simmer.
  6. Remove from heat. Add the roasted squash, salt, pepper, turmeric, cayenne, and cream, stirring until well combined.
  7. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. (You can also work in batches to puree in a food processor or blender.) Return to heat. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add broth to thin, if desired.
  8. Ladle into serving bowls; garnish with goat cheese and pomegranate.

Serves: 4

Choose the Right Brew
Irish reds are a fun bunch. Slightly sweet with toasty notes and a medium-hop profile, they really bring a rounded flavor to this soup. Look for a red (or even a brown ale or an amber) that has notes of caramel, nuts, and malt. Medium-hop profile is where you want to aim—too high and the flavors might be overwhelming.

Excerpted from The Craft Beer Cookbook Copyright © 2013 by Jacquelyn Dodd and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Photographs by Jacquelyn Dodd.

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BROWN ALE–BRINED ROAST TURKEY

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups of water
  • 2½ cups kosher or sea salt (do not use iodized table salt)
  • 5 cloves garlic, quartered
  • ¼ cup whole allspice berries
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 2 large white onions, quartered
  • 22 oz brown ale
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 (12–16-lb) turkey (fresh works best; be sure to thaw it if frozen)
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in half
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt (for seasoning the turkey pre-oven)
  • 2 cups chicken broth, plus 4–6 cups water if needed

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot add the water, salt, garlic, allspice, cloves, and one of the onions.
  2. Just as the water starts to boil, remove from heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt. Add the beer and ice; stir. Cool to room temp, refrigerating if necessary. (If the brine is too hot, the turkey will start to cook, which can allow bacteria to grow.)
  3. Rinse the turkey and remove any items from the cavity. Place one oven bag inside the other and then place the turkey inside those. Pour the brine over the turkey. Remove as much air as possible and tie bags to seal as tightly as possible. Place turkey bag on the roasting rack inside the roasting pan. Place in the refrigerator.
  4. Brine for 16–18 hours. Rotate the turkey every 6–8 hours to ensure it marinates evenly. Remove from the brine and rinse, inside and out. Discard the brine and the bags.
  5. Place turkey back on the roasting rack inside the roasting pan. Place in the fridge, uncovered, for 12–18 hours to dry the skin. (This will give you a nice crispy skin to go along with your juicy bird.)
  6. Preheat oven to 400°. Stuff the remaining quartered onion and the celery stalks inside the cavity of the bird. Truss turkey if desired. Brush the entire turkey with olive oil; sprinkle with salt.
  7. Add the broth to the bottom of the roasting pan. If the pan starts to dry out as it roasts, add more water to the bottom of the pan. Do not allow the broth/water in the roasting pan to touch the turkey. Cook until your turkey reaches about 165°, and then test the temperature with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (it will continue to cook and its internal temperature will continue to rise once it’s out of the oven). Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Serves: 6–8

Choose the Right Brew
Look for a rich, nutty brown ale with notes of nuts, spices, and cloves. Select a low-hop profile; a high-hop profile will leave a slightly bitter taste.

Approximate Roasting Times Per Weight

8–12 pounds > > > 2–3½ hours
12–16 pounds > > > 3–4 hours
16–20 pounds > > > 4–5 hours
20–25 pounds > > > 5–6 hours
25–30 pounds > > > 6+ hours

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Excerpted from The Craft Beer Cookbook Copyright © 2013 by Jacquelyn Dodd and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Photographs by Jacquelyn Dodd.

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ROASTED GARLIC PALE ALE WHIPPED POTATOES

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

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Instructions:

  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.

Yields: 4 cups

Choose the Right Brew
Look for a pale ale with notes of nuts and herbs for this one. Just keep this in mind: The higher the hops, the stronger the beer flavor will be.

Excerpted from The Craft Beer Cookbook Copyright © 2013 by Jacquelyn Dodd and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Photographs by Jacquelyn Dodd.