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15-Minute Skillet Tamale Pie

Serves 4 servings

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 cups chicken stock, plus additional for loosening polenta
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeo pepper, chopped
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic
  • 3/4 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups quick-cook polenta, found in Italian foods or specialty foods aisles
  • 1/4 cup (a generous handful) cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
PREPARATION

Preheat broiler to high.

Arrange a cutting board close to the stove top, it will help speed things up when you start to chop and add the veggies.

Preheat a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. In another pot over medium-high heat, pour in the chicken stock and milk for the polenta.

Give the bacon a quick rough chop and add to the preheated skillet. Cook bacon until just barely crispy, about 2-3 minutes. While the bacon is cooking, start chopping your veggies (the onion, pepper, and garlic).

Turn the heat up to high under the skillet with the bacon and add the ground meats, breaking it up into small bits with the back of a wooden spoon.

Add the chili powder, cumin, some salt and pepper. Add all the chopped veggies and the can of tomato sauce to the skillet, and bring up to a bubble. Let simmer while you finish putting together the polenta.

Pour the quick-cook polenta in a slow steady stream into the boiling stock/milk mixture, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper, then add the cilantro and sliced scallions. You want the polenta to be relatively easy to "pour" so if you need to add more chicken stock to loosen it up, go for it! Pour the polenta immediately into the skillet over the simmering meat mixture in as even a layer as possible; giving it a shake to settle it on top evenly.

Top with the cheddar cheese and transfer to the broiler to brown up, about 3-4 minutes.

Remove and serve straight from the skillet.

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