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Beer-Brined Roast Turkey

Servings: 10-12, with leftovers

Give tradition a new twist this year with a moist, flavorful beer-brined turkey that’s roasted to perfection in a parchment roasting bag.


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. black peppercorns
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 6 (12-ounce) bottles dark lager, dunkel, or stout
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 12- to 14-lb. turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into thick wedges
  • 1 large red onion, cut into thick wedges
  • 8 shallots, halved if large
  • 5 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup lower-salt turkey or chicken broth; more as needed
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish


  • In a large pot, combine 4 cups water with the sugar, 1/2 cup salt, the peppercorns and bay leaves and simmer over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved; about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; let cool completely.
  • Add the stout, molasses, and 8 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.
  • Position a rack in the bottom of the oven and heat to 325°F. Remove the turkey from the brine; pat dry. Tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under the neck.
  • Put the turkey, breast side up, in an extra-large parchment roasting bag, with seam side up on a large rimmed baking sheet. Don’t push the turkey all the way to the back of the bag. Add the onions and shallots. Seal the open end of the bag by folding tightly as many times as possible toward the top until it snugly fits the turkey.
  • Roast the turkey for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the turkey from the oven and raise heat to 375ºF. Cut the top of the bag (the steam will be hot) to expose the turkey. Roast uncovered until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh, about 30 minutes more.
  • Transfer the turkey to a cutting board; tent loosely with foil. Let rest 30 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions to a bowl. To make the gravy, strain the juices from the bag through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan; discard the solids. Bring the juices to a simmer over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and broth. Slowly add the mixture into the pan, whisking until gravy thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Thin with more broth if desired. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, whisking, about 5 minutes more. Whisk in the thyme and butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Carve the turkey, garnish with pomegranate seeds, and serve with the onions and gravy.


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    Tyler_Foster | 12/18/2018


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