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Old Forge Pumpkin BBQ Turkey Sandwich

Old Forge Pumpkin BBQ Turkey Sandwich

Finally, it’s that time of year again—beautiful fall weather and the great pumpkin beer season! Costume pop-up stores and the early holiday sales have arrived, but don’t put that grill away quite yet! Celebrate the beautiful fall weather nestled up to your smoker with the surprisingly well-crafted Old Forge Pumpkin Ale. This pumpkin ale has a nice amber maltiness, backed with a well-balanced spice profile of clove and faint vanilla that dominates the bitterness. Brown sugar is definitely present with a hint of allspice.

This brew screams for some BBQ turkey. Yeah, I know, you’re going to get your fill of turkey in a few weeks. However, this recipe will ensure a solid turkey dinner before dealing with your aunt’s dried-up pathetic excuse for a holiday dinner. You know, the one your family so politely eats while creating the silent halo of discontent.

So here it ispecan wood smoked pulled turkey sandwich with pumpkin crema, pickled fennel and Pasilla chili.

Thighs & Brine 


• 3lbs. boneless, skinless turkey thighs, trimmed of excess fat (yes, this can be done with a whole petite turkey)

• 1 tbsp. each, allspice, clove & black pepper, toasted and whole

• 2 pints Old Forge Pumpkin

• ¼ cup brown sugar

• ¼ cup sea salt

• 1 oz. fresh ginger, peeled

• 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

• 12 oz. pumpkin, peeled and cubed


• Combine all but the turkey and pumpkin in a steel pot, bring to a boil and then chill to room temperature.

• Throw in turkey thighs and refrigerate 8 hours, up to overnight.

• Remove from the brine and smoke indirectly with pecan and lump coal at 200° until the internal temperature of 165° is achieved.

• While your turkey is smoking, throw in your cubed, peeled pumpkin and roast until extremely tender.

• Let the turkey rest up to 30 minutes, then pull into ribbons, like BBQ pork. Set aside.


Pumpkin Crema 

Take the following and process until smooth:


• ½ of the roast pumpkin

• ¼ cup coconut cream

• 2 cups cream cheese

• 1 tsp. black pepper, fresh ground

• salt to taste


The Sauce


• 7 Pasilla chilies

• 2 oz. garlic

• 5 oz. diced onion

• 1 pint Old Forge Pumpkin Ale

• 1 tbsp. molasses

• The rest of the pumpkin

• 4 oz. turkey stock

• 1 tbsp. allspice, toasted and ground

• ¼ cup brown sugar

• salt to taste



• Toast the chilies until fragrant, remove from the pot.

• Add your garlic, onion and allspice.
Saute until translucent.

• Throw the chilies back in along with the pumpkin and continue to cook until the pumpkin is melting.

• Add your beer, turkey stock and molasses. Simmer for about an hour, covered.

• Throw the sauce into the blender and purée until completely smooth, then strain through a fine mesh sieve. For additional brightness, add some Dijon mustard, a shot of Worcestershire sauce and Frank’s Red Hot.

• Combine your sauce and turkey together, bring to a boil and serve immediately.

• These bad boys would be awesome served on potato rolls that are toasted with herb butter to give it a stuffing-like effect. Spread your crema on the top of the bun and garnish with some shaved pickled fennel.

About Jon Clark

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