Pulled Turkey for Christmas Eve

This is a bit offtopic, but most of our fellow wargamers enjoy a proper meal - and so do i. Maybe you saw my thanksgiving burgers, and i liked the meat, so i cooked it again for christmas this time.

As this was a meal for the whole family (and calculating the leftover for the following days), i started with 2 Kg or roughly 4,5 lbs of turkey breast. Got it at my local butcher, thanks to butcher's Dietz for the easy and reliable service!

Picked it up on monday, the 21st of december.

Pulled Turkey

I used a large pan to hold it during preparation. The meat was given a light wash with water and dried off, after that i coated it in  coarse sea salt (depending on where you live, just take kosher salt) and covered it in plastic wrap. Let it rest for 24 hours in the fridge and pour off the liquid every few hours. After 24 hours scrub off the remaining salt with kitchen roll or paper towels.

Pulled Turkey Pulled Turkey

Next up is the marinade, i was thinking about a dry rub but decided to go with something a bit more spicy. So i used Hunts Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce thinned down with water and oil as a base, and added the great chicken bbq rub from a local spice store Pfeffersack & Soehne. First knead the meat with the sauce and prepare the spices with a mortar and pestle.

Pulled Turkey Pulled Turkey

The grinded spices are rubbed in the meat and gives you this delicious result. Wrap it tightly in a vacuum bag or plastic wrap, so the aroma can't escape. This goes into the fridge for 48 hours.

Pulled Turkey Pulled Turkey

On the 24th morning, i head over to my parents to prepare the turkey for the evening. First of all, let the turkey rest an hour or two, to reach room temperature. In the mean time i prepared the vegetable base for the roaster. I used a couple of soup vegetables, like cabbage, carrots and leek. Dice it in proper peaces and cover the roast of the bottom. Alternatively you could use orange slices and chestnuts, if you want to go for a another flavour.

Pulled Turkey Pulled Turkey Pulled Turkey

Pre-heat the oven to around 130° Celsius / 266 ° Fahrenheit.

As this would get pretty dry during simmering, we need some liquid. Usually i'd use chicken stock, but it is christmas and i wanted a stronger / darker taste, so i grabbed two bottles of Neuzeller Klosterbrauerei Schwarzer Abt, and poured half a bottle into the roaster, over the meat and vegetables.

Dinner was planned for 6 / 6:30 pm, so the meat went into the oven around 12 am. Keep pouring the liquid over the meat every hour, and add some more beer every 90-120 minutes. For the first half of the cooking (2-3hrs) i kept the top half on, after that i took it off.

Pulled Turkey Pulled Turkey

After good 6 hours in the oven, it looks like this, now it is time to pulled it apart, so you get the pulled turkey. If you want, you can mix it up with the cooked vegetables and reduced liquid, or use them as a base for a sauce.

Pulled Turkey Pulled Turkey

This was my "biggest" cooking so far, and i really enjoyed it (cooking as well as eating it 😀 ). Hope you liked my detour about cooking. Stay with me, in the next days i'll continue with the standard protocol of wargaming.

And i'd like to thank Westwood BBQ as well as (Dr.) Florian Buhr for the inspiration and support in the preparation of this tasty meal.

Posted by Dennis B.

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