Chef Jason Heard wants you to put down the supermarket pumpkin pie. Back away from the curdled canned-green-bean casserole, and outsource your Thanksgiving needs to his team at Coppersmith in South Boston, which is preparing Thanksgiving-to-go, with a centerpiece of smoked turkeys.
First, Heard says, the birds soak in brine. “It’s sugar, water, salt, cumin seed, chile flakes, various fresh herbs, and let that sit for 24 hours. Then we put it into our smoker, and figure for one of the bigger turkeys it’s probably going to be 6 to 8 hours.” If you’re looking to get away from the traditional turkey, Heard is also offering smoked hams and brisket. The chef says: “You can buy really any flavor except for low, long cooking and real wood smoke. You can’t really purchase that flavor.”
All orders for the smoked meat must be placed by 3 p.m. on Nov. 17 (that doesn’t give you much time), but sides can be ordered until 3 p.m. on Nov. 21. The chef says their offerings — like creamed corn pudding, house-made green bean casserole (fresh beans, house-made soup, paper bags of fried onions for last-minute topping), and chocolate pecan pie with rum caramel — are perfect for people who “don’t want to show up empty-handed, or just bring booze like most people do.”
Whether you order from Coppersmith or somewhere else, Heard has some advice for reheating dishes: “350 is that unknown, Betty Crocker temperature. Nothing is good at 350. It’s an unusable temperature.” He suggests you go high or low, depending on the dish. “I always believe you reheat a protein the same way you originally cooked it. So if you have a piece of steak that you grilled — and say it’s medium-rare — you are going to reheat that the same way you cooked it, really high heat, quick. That way you’re not adjusting the middle temperature.”
For his smoked turkey, ham, and brisket, the chef suggests 200 degrees, “so it’s heated back up really low and really slow. If not, you are going to tighten that piece of meat up and it’s going to be not great.”
Heard’s holiday dishes will all come with specific reheating instructions, but in general, he says to reheat sides slowly and follow your nose. “What I’ve always found was that when you can smell something in the house — like the whole house smells like it — that usually means it’s done.”
40 West 3rd St., South Boston, 617-658-3452, www.coppersmithboston.com