Monday, March 29, 2010

Beer-Braised Turkey Tacos


  1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. Two 1-pound bone-in turkey thighs or drumsticks, skin and fat removed
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  5. 1 medium white onion, cut into 1-inch dice, plus minced white onion, for serving
  6. 1 large oregano sprig
  7. 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
  8. 1 ancho chile—stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped or torn
  9. One 2-inch cinnamon stick
  10. One 12-ounce bottle Mexican dark beer, such as Modelo Negro
  11. 1 cup water
  12. 12 corn tortillas
  13. 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs, for serving


  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the turkey with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until richly browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a plate.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the casserole along with the garlic, diced onion, and oregano and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato, ancho and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring, until the tomato releases its juices.
  3. Return the turkey to the casserole, add the beer and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, turning once, until the turkey thighs are tender, about 1 hour. Transfer the turkey to a plate and let cool. Discard the oregano sprig and cinnamon stick and boil the sauce over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 12 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake for about 8 minutes, until softened and heated through. Remove the turkey meat and shred it. Transfer the sauce to a food processor and puree. Return the sauce to the pot and stir in the shredded turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the turkey onto the tortillas. Top with minced onion, sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs and serve.

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