Dear TWY,
After vacationing in Idyllwild and reading the Town Crier, I saw your food column.

When I was growing up, my mom made the best homemade taco meat mixture with ground beef, tomato sauce and spices. I wonder if you have a recipe (not using a package mix) that I could try and substitute in ground turkey?

Thank you so much.

Linda Bird
Lincoln, Calif.

Dear Linda:
I have been preparing this recipe for taco meat mixture for many years, and my family loves it! It takes a bit more effort to make than using a package mix, but it is worth it. Enjoy!

Taco meat mixture
(This recipe makes about two dozen tacos.)

  • 2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 tsp. cooking oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1⁄2 tsp. cumin seed, ground
  • 1⁄2 tsp. oregano
  • 1⁄2 tsp. chili pepper, ground
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1⁄2 cups tomato sauce

Cook ground beef or turkey meat in oil until crumbly. Drain fat from pan. Add spices and then tomato sauce. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Spoon into taco shells and garnish with chopped lettuce, tomato wedges, avocado, grated cheddar cheese and salsa.

P.S. — This taco meat mixture is also fantastic on a taco salad.