Friday, November 22, 2013

Slow Cooker Mustard and Beer-Braised Turkey Thighs


I know what you're thinking ... another turkey recipe during Thanksgiving. But this turkey recipe is as far from being your standard Thanksgiving Day turkey.  In this recipe I use juicy, tender turkey thighs, that are smothered in mustard, then braised
in beer with fresh thyme and caramelized onions. And what you get is the nothing short of spectacular, deep flavor.  Even people who say they don't like turkey, like this turkey. It's simply that good. And, if that isn't enough, the cost to make this entire meal for 4 is under $5. I get turkey thighs at BJ's Wholesale, and they are roughly under $4 for about 2 pounds, which is 2 thighs. When I originally made this recipe I started with plain old yellow mustard and a bottle of Heineken, because it's what I had on hand. Each time I've made it since, I use a different mustard and change-up the beer. I've used all types of mustards, from champagne mustard to cardamon mustard, and I've had fun changing up the beers, from pale lagers to rich, deep dark stouts, each one adding its own unique flavor profile to the overall recipe.  I hope you get around to trying this recipe because I know you'll have fun changing it up each time you make it.

2 Turkey thighs, (1 lbs., ea.) skins removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon light butter
2 large onions, sliced in half moons
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard or yellow mustard +  2 extra to cover turkey sides
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons flour
1 bottle beer
Salt & pepper

Prepare turkey thighs by removing skin. Salt and pepper on both sides to taste and then rub each side with mustard, about 1/2 tablespoon per side. Place in slow cooker.

In a large stainless steel skillet heat oil and butter over moderate heat, add onions and salt and cook, stirring frequently for 10-12 minutes. Lower heat, if needed, to keep onions from burning.  Stir in tomato paste making sure to incorporate through onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add mustard, thyme, then stir in worcestershire sauce. Cook for 2 minutes, stir in flour to mix into onion mixture. Add beer and stir until thickened. Pour over turkey thighs in slow cooker.
Cook on high for 4 hours and on low for 8 hours.

To make this recipe stove top, cook onions in a dutch oven, follow the rest of the recipe but add the mustard covered thighs to the dutch oven. Bring everything to a low boil, lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours on low or until very tender.

Serve with mashed potatoes,  steamed green beans, sourdough bread and your favorite beer. Enjoy!

Recipe notes:

I like the change up the type of mustard I use in this dish. I've used champagne mustard, horseradish mustard, dill mustard even cardamom mustard and all have worked adding its own unique flavor.
I also like to change up the beer type. I've used lagers, pale ales, pilsners, wheat beers, golden ales, stouts and like the mustard each worked and brought its own unique flavor. I encourage you to switch it up and experiment.

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