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A German-Inspired Thanksgiving Dinner

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Start with a bright, colorful salad pairing wedges of roasted red cabbage with pears and pecans. The main course is a beer-brined turkey, accompanied by pumpernickel stuffing. For side dishes, there’s asparagus (the most beloved German vegetable) cooked with pancetta (even better if you can use speck). Hasselback potatoes are actually Swedish, but this gratin adds dill and grainy mustard, steering them in a more Germanic direction. Finally a German pear pancake is a simple but satisfying alternative to pie.


Menu Timeline

1 Day Ahead

  • Brine the turkey.
  • Dry the bread for the stuffing.

In the Morning

  • Roast the cabbage for the salad.

2-1/2 Hours Ahead

  • Roast the turkey.
  • Assemble the stuffing.
  • Assemble the hasselback potatoes.

1-1/2 Hours Ahead

  • Begin baking the potatoes.
  • Slice the pears for dessert and toss with lemon juice.

1 Hour Ahead

  • Begin baking the stuffing.
  • Begin cooking the asparagus.

30 Minutes Ahead

  • Let the turkey rest while you make the gravy.
  • Finish assembling the cabbage salad.

After Dinner

  • Make and bake the pear pancake.

The Menu


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