I’ve never liked turkey because it was always soooooooooo dry!
Well, that was my mother’s turkey, but don’t tell her I said it was dry!
Anyway, last year my H and I were on our own and at first I was going to order a Thanksgiving meal from Boston Market, but I actually received a free frozen turkey from work along with other sides to complete the meal. I didn’t want the turkey to go to waste, but I also didn’t know how to make a turkey. I received an email of a list of different turkey recipes from FOOD & WINE and decided to choose one from the list given.
My eyes landed on a roasted beer-brined turkey with onion gravy and bacon. My husband is a huge fan of both beer and bacon and so for him I decided to use this recipe. Also the recommended beer is Guinness beer, which happens to be my husband’s favorite beer. It was THE perfect recipe on paper, but I had no idea how it was going to turn out.
Well, I’m writing this post for a reason. It came out absolutely delicious!!
And now I’m going to share this recipe with you!!
This is a picture from last year.
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 30 MIN PLUS 24 HR BRINING
- SERVINGS: 12
Adding Guinness, or any dark beer, to the brine gives the turkey a toasty flavor and helps give the skin a dark brown color.
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 8 bay leaves
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 onions, cut into thick wedges
- 1 pound slab bacon, skin removed and meat sliced 1/3 inch thick
- Six 12-ounce bottles Guinness stout
- One 12- to 14-pound turkey
- 1 cup turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- In a very large pot, combine the mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaves and toast over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and salt and remove from the heat. Add 4 cups of water and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved; let cool completely.
- Add the onions, bacon, Guinness and 16 cups of cold water to the pot. Add the turkey to the brine, breast side down, and top with a heavy lid to keep it submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack on the bottom shelf. Lift the turkey from the brine, pick off any peppercorns, mustard seeds and bay leaves and pat dry. Transfer the turkey to a large roasting pan, breast side up. Scatter the onion wedges in the pan and add 1 cup of water. Using toothpicks, secure the bacon slices over the breast. Roast the turkey for about 2 hours, turning the pan occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted deep into the turkey thighs registers 150°. Remove the bacon and return the turkey to the oven. Roast for about 1 hour longer, until the breast is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 170°. Transfer the turkey to a carving board.
- Pour the pan juices and onion wedges into a saucepan and boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey stock and return to a boil. In a small bowl, mash the butter to a paste with the flour. Whisk the paste into the gravy and boil until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the bacon crosswise 1/2 inch thick. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and bacon.
Let me know how your turkey came out if you used this recipe!
Would love to know how it turned out for you!