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Playing Tex-Mex BBQ Turkey Tamale Pie


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 hot chili pepper, Fresno or jalapeo, chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, a palmful
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander, a palmful
  • 1 tablespoon mild ancho chili powder or hot chipotle chili powder
  • 1 cup beer
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • About 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Pepper Jack


Serves: 4-6




Heat EVOO in a cast-iron skillet or large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat and brown well. Add chili pepper, bell peppers, onions, garlic, season with salt and pepper, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Stir and cook to soften peppers and onions, 10 minutes.



Deglaze the pan with the beer. Stir together the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire and tomato sauce in a small bowl. Pour over the turkey and reduce heat to a simmer to thicken and combine flavors.



Preheat broiler.



In a saucepot, bring stock and milk to a boil. Whisk in polenta and cook to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Add honey and stir to combine.



Spread polenta over the turkey in the skillet in an even layer going almost to the edge of the pan. Top polenta with cheese, pop skillet under broiler and brown the top. Serve directly from the skillet.