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Best Tamale Recipes

Best Tamale Recipes


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Top Rated Tamale Recipes

Tamales are masa (corn flour) dough filled with savory or sweet fillings and wrapped in corn husks then steamed. They are time-consuming to prepare so gather your family and make the preparation a party.Recipe courtesy of McCormick

Tamale pie is typically a two step process. First the chili is prepared on the stove top, then the cornbread topping is added and the mixture is baked in the oven. This recipe using Slow Cookers Chili Seasoning makes it easy by using a slow cooker.Recipe courtesy of McCormick.


10 Best-Ever Tamales

Making traditional homemade tamales can be time-consuming, but it&rsquos well worth the effort. Fill yours with pork, roasted vegetables, shrimp, or even fruit&mdashthe delicious rewards far outweigh the amount of work you'll have to do. Here, F&W&rsquos 10 best-ever tamale recipes to make now.

Making traditional homemade tamales can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth the effort. Fill yours with pork, roasted vegetables, shrimp, or even fruit—the delicious rewards far outweigh the amount of work you&aposll have to do. Here, F&W’s 10 best-ever tamale recipes to make now:

1. Fried Pork Tamales
Chef Alex Stupak first steams his pork tamales, then dusts them with flour and fries them until they are golden, crispy and incredible.

2. Portobello and Polenta Tamales
Here, beautiful, fresh corn husks are used as tamale wrappers. You can easily embellish the tamales by adding slices of grilled Italian sausage or, to be really decadent, a few disks of foie gras terrine.

3. Steamed Pork Tamales
These steamed banana-leaf-wrapped tamales are filled with ultra-tender braised, shredded pork.

4. Burnt Strawberry Tamales
Chef Carlos Salgaldo makes these fantastic tamales by charring strawberries in a skillet, then mixing them into a buttery masa filling.

5. Little Pork Tamales with Red Chile Sauce
These tender tamales with smoky, smooth ancho sauce are easy to make, but they do take some time. However, all the work can be done ahead, and at the last minute all you need to do is reheat them.

6. Chicken Tamales with Tomatillo-Cilantro Salsa
These light and fluffy tamales are great to make ahead for weekday lunches.

7. Crispy Baked Pork Tamale
This crusty casserole of succulent mole-braised pork, sandwiched between tender, cakey masa dough, is like a supersized tamale.

8. Quick Chicken-and-Cheese Tamales
Here, store-bought rotisserie chicken and cheddar cheese are mixed into a quick dough, and then wrapped in plastic before steamed.

9. Pulled-Pork Tamales
These powerfully flavorful tamales are best served piping hot with a robust beer like a brown or red ale.

10. Fresh Corn Tamales With Shrimp In Roasted Garlic Sauce
Shrimp plays the starring roll in this stellar tamale recipe from star chef Bobby Flay.


Frequently Asked Questions About Pork Tamales

Before I share my tamale recipe, here are a few questions my blogger friend asked me about tamales.

What kind of corn flour can I use if I can't find fresh corn dough (masa)?

When it comes to finding corn flour alternatives for masa, there are actually quite a few options.

This corn flour I mentioned above is a good substitute if fresh corn dough (masa) is not available. But, what happens if you can’t find that type of flour and you want to make pork tamales, and the only one available is the one sold for regular tortillas?

The regular Maseca for tortillas is also a good alternative for making pork tamales or any other type of tamales, but you will need to take good care to mix the right amount of ingredients to achieve the consistency needed to cook tamales.

What kind of filling can you add to tamales?

This specific recipe has a pork filling with a red sauce made with dry red peppers, very similar to the ones made in the Mexican Northern States of Coahuila and Nuevo León.

If you don't eat pork, take a look at this recipe for chicken tamales in green salsa.

Do you eat the corn husk on tamales?

No. You need to make sure you unwrap the tamale from the corn husk before you eat it. I will say you can use the husk as a plate so you can eat your tamale.


A healthier, vegan tamale stuffed with adobo spiced potatoes and peas. The perfect big batch cooking project to get the whole family involved, especially around the Holidays.

Tamales are little pouches of stuffed corn dough wrapped in either corn husks or banana leaves, and cooked by steaming. In Mexico they are one of our traditional Christmas foods and I&rsquod like to share a vegetarian version that I love to make.


HOW TO MAKE TAMALE SAUCE

This Tex-Mex Tamale Sauce is very simple to make and it comes together in just over 10 minutes, making it the perfect addition for quick-fix dinners and, of course, entertaining.

  1. Melt the butter, sprinkle in the flour, and whisk to combine.
  2. Slowly add the beef broth and allow to simmer.
  3. Add adobo sauce, taco seasoning, and slices of American cheese.
  4. Stir until melted and serve right away!


Homemade Tamales Recipe

If you thought that making a tamales recipe requires days of labor in the kitchen, think again.

Let me show you how easy it really is. The secret is to make them over a couple of days. This way you won’t get overwhelmed.

Who says you have to make 20 dozen at a time? Yes that’s a lot of work. With my recipe you can make 20 to 40 and you won’t be exhausted afterwards.

Traditionally tamales are made at Christmas time in large batches. I remember my grandmother making sweet tamales during the holidays when I was growing up. What a treat that was.

I want you to feel like you can have homemade tamales anytime. Why? Because they are fabulous especially right out of the steamer.

Here is how I am going to get you in and out of the kitchen in a reasonable amount of time. I am going to show you how it’s done with pictures and instructions. Follow along and you will see it’s no big deal. Really.

The General Process To Great Homemade Tamales

First we are going to break the process down into two days.

The first day will be spent acquiring all the ingredients and cooking the pork. The most time consuming part is cutting the pork into 1 inch chunks. Cooking the pork is just a matter of simmering the meat for a couple of hours so it’s real tender. You can put your feet up and relax during this part.

The second day is spent mixing the masa and then putting the tamales together and cooking them. My recipe will make you about 18 to 20 tamales. Not a huge amount but certainly enough for dinner with a few left over for freezing.

This is for when the next tamale craving gets the best of you. And it will.

Kitchen Tools Needed To Make Hot Tamales

Make sure you have the following on hand before you start.

  • a steamer
  • a large bowl to mix masa in
  • tongs
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • 6 quart or larger stock pot
  • sharp chefs knife
  • cutting board
  • a large pot or bowl to soak corn husks in
  • a damp white cotton towel (to place over tamales when cooking)
  • a butter knife or spreader

List of Ingredient For Authentic Tamales

  • 7 lb. pork butt/shoulder roast
  • chili powder
  • ground cumin
  • sea salt,
  • garlic powder, no salt and very fine like flour
  • chicken base
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • white flour
  • corn husks
  • MaSeCa Instant Corn Masa Mix
  • corn oil

What To Look For In A Steamer

The steamer will probably be the most difficult item to find. I know I had a difficult time finding just the right steamer for me.

The steamer insert needs to be at least 8 inches deep as you will be standing the tamales up vertically when cooking. You will also need room for that cotton towel on top. Make sure the outer part of the steamer you buy can hold at least 2 inches of water without touching the tamales.

I searched and searched and found a great 12 quart steamer made of stainless steel for about $50 at a department store on sale. You will find many steamers made of aluminum but I personally won’t use those as I don’t want to chance getting aluminum in my tamales.

Stainless steel really is the way to go. It is easy to clean up and it won’t leach anything into your food. If I ever find one on line I will let you know.

Here is the steamer I bought. I also use the 12 quart stock pot for stews, enchilada sauce, refried beans, etc. when I cook for a large group.

After you have acquired the tools necessary for tamale making, here is our list for ingredients to make the pork filling. Remember this is still day one.

Check Out My How-To-Make-Tamales Video

Meat Filling Ingredients For Pork Tamales

Ingredients:

  • 7lb pork butt roast, prefer boneless
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 96 oz. chicken broth
  • 5 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. chicken base or granules
  • 3 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • 8 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup cold water

Directions:

Fill the stock pot with the chicken broth and add the chili powder, cumin, chicken base, garlic powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Heat to boiling then cover and simmer on low while you cut up the pork.

Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes. Trim as much fat off as you can. I prefer chucks of tender pork in my tamales instead of shredded pork. You can do it either way.

Add the cut up pork to the boiling sauce. Partially cover and simmer on low for 2 to 3 hours or until pork is real tender.

When the pork is done and very tender, combine the 1/2 cup cold water and flour with a whisk until well blended.

Turn the heat up to high and when it is boiling, slowly add the flour mixture to the pork. Stir the pork continuously to avoid lumps just like you would when making gravy.

Continue to slow boil while stirring for about 3 to 5 minutes and then turn the heat off.

Now if you are real ambitious you can start making the masa and preparing the tamales. If you would rather continue the next day, let the pork cool after cooking and then refrigerate.

That didn’t take too long now did it?

Day 2 of The Tamales Recipe

If you are making tamales over two days, now is the time to take the pork filling out of the refrigerator and heat it up in a pot on the stove. You don’t have to get it real hot, nice and warm will do.

If you have continued on making the tamales, because your dying to eat one, let the pork sit and cool a bit while you make the masa.

Before you make the masa, soak the corn husks in warm to hot water in a bowl for 30 minutes or until they become pliable. Gently separate the husks so as not to tear them. If some are torn you can use two husks and over lap them before putting masa on them.

Time To Make The Masa

Most of these ingredients for this easy tamales recipe can be found in your local grocery store and certainly in a Mexican market if you live near one. Be aware that you should not use regular corn meal. I want to recommend MaSeCa (instant corn masa mix) as shown in the picture as it’s specifically designed for tamale making.

I also want to ask you to smell your corn oil, if you’ve had it for a while, to make sure it doesn’t smell rancid. When my oil has that funny smell, I toss it.

The following ingredients will yield about 18 – 20 tamales.

If you need more masa to even out with the pork, just whip up another batch of masa. There are a lot of variables here: How thick you make your masa on the corn husks, how much pork you put in each tamale, and if your roast has a bone in it, meaning less meat.

Delicious Masa Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups MaSeCa Instant corn Masa Mix
  • 3 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (no salt)
  • 1 cup fresh corn oil
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Directions:

Put the masa, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl and combine the dry ingredients.Then add the corn oil and mix with your hands. Now add the chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time.

Continue to mix with your hands and adding the broth until you get the consistency of cookie dough.You should have a consistency that you can spread with a knife or spreader.

If you add too much liquid you can always add a little more masa to thicken it up.

This is how the masa should look.

Putting The Tamales Together

Now we’re ready for the fun part of the recipe!

The corn husks should be soft and pliable. Take a few out and pat them dry with a paper towel or towel.

Take a spoonful of masa and spread it on the corn husk as follows:

Leave the pointy end of the husk without masa so you can fold it over.

Now I’m starting to get hungry. Place several chunks of pork down the center of the masa like this.

Fold the masa over so the ends meet.

The idea is to put just enough meat so that you can encase it in masa and not leak out. Now roll er up.

After you roll the tamale up, fold over the end like this.

Continue to make tamales and when you are done place them in a steamer with the open end pointing up.

You can put a layer of husks on the bottom of the steamer to help keep the tamales from getting wet, but I didn’t have a problem without them.

Steam Those Tamales

Place the damp cotton towel over the top of the tamales and cover with the lid. Make sure you add just enough water to the bottom of the pan so the water doesn’t touch the tamales. Check it often so the water doesn’t run dry.

Get the water to boil and then turn the heat to low. Simmer/steam for 1 1/2 hours. Check the tamales by removing one and letting it cool for 5 minutes. Open the hot tamale and check that the masa is firm and not mushy. The husk should pull away from the masa easily.

If need be, cook a little longer and check every 15 minutes until done.

When tamales are done take them out of the pot to cool on the counter. Tongs are great for this.

Go ahead and eat one. This is when they taste their absolute best.

I like to use a vacuum sealer to keep my tamales for several months in the freezer. You can also keep them in Ziploc bags in the refrigerator. Use these within 5 days, if they last that long. They get gobbled up pretty quick in my house!

After you have made your tamales, give yourself a pat on the back. The tamales are perfect served with refried beans and rice. Don’t forget to add a little guaucamole and salsa.

More Ways To Use This Recipe

Serve tamale appetizers at your next party or bring them to one. Just reheat the tamales in the microwave. Put them on a plate and cover with damp paper towels or towel. Heat on high for 30 seconds and rotate. Cook another 30 seconds or until hot.

Carefully remove the corn husk and slice the tamales into thirds and place on a serving plate.

Makes for a great appetizer all by themselves. You could even make a little guacamole to serve on the side so guests can top their mini tamales with guacamole. Delicious.

I hope you will give this recipe a try.

Serving Tip

Another great way to serve these tamales is to top them with my enchilada sauce and serve with beans and rice. Sprinkle with mild cheddar cheese and your are in for a feast!


My friend Xochitl shared with me this recipe a long time ago. I met her while I was a member of a cooking forum, and before I had this blog. The original recipe is for a larger quantity of tamales that was shared by another of the members. The funny thing is that a couple of years ago, a reader requested a recipe low in fat, I sent her
this oil version for tamales, and months later she wrote back telling me that she was selling oil tamales. So, give this recipe a try and enjoy!

JUMP TO FULL INSTRUCTIONS

DIRECTIONS:


Homemade Tamale Dough With Masa Harina

In some areas of the United States, you can get ready-made dough for tamales, either fresh from a tortilla factory or in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. If you don’t live in such a place—or just want to make your tamales completely from scratch—use this basic recipe. It calls for masa harina, a commercial corn flour product that is used to make tortillas, tamales, and many other Mexican and Central American foods. Some brands include Maseca and Bob's Red Mill, which are easy to find in most supermarkets.

The number of tamales that you will be able to make with this recipe will depend upon the size of the tamales and the quantity of filling used in each one.

Note: Masa harina (which translates as “dough flour”) is the dry product masa is “dough” and is what you have after rehydrating the flour. Sometimes you may see masa harina labeled as "instant," which is to indicate that it comes together instantly when you add water. Making masa for tamales is as simple as that.


Easy Tamales Recipe

I have leftover Chipotle and Cheese Bean Dip in the fridge from last week’s post. Perfect! That means we can devote ZERO time to the filling and just focus on the tamale dough. Got any good filling options in your fridge?

Before we start on the dough it’s best to get some corn husks soaking in warm water.

Tamales are traditionally steamed in corn husks or banana leaves, but it’s much easier to find the dried corn husks so we’ll use those.

Add them to a large bowl and soak them in the hottest tap water you’ve got — in about 30 minutes they’ll be pliable enough to hug your tamales. If they float to the surface you can use a bowl or plate to keep them submerged. To account for some duds I usually soak twice as many corn husks as I’ll need, so about 20 for this batch will do the job.

Okay, let’s make some tamale dough…

Tamale dough can be a finicky bird and that’s probably another reason people reserve tamales for special occasions. But it’s easy once you get the hang of it, so don’t sweat it too much if your first go is a bit haphazard.

And as mentioned, we’re making a smaller batch here to keep the process as simple as possible. This recipe will make 10-12 tamales.

If you have the option of buying tamale dough from a local Hispanic market then you just simplified things even further! But most of us don’t have that option so I’ll show you an equally good method to get tamale dough in your kitchen. Note: if you’re buying masa or tamale dough from a local Hispanic market, it’s best to confirm whether the masa already has lard mixed into the dough. Some markets will sell both plain masa for tortillas (no lard) and masa for tamales (with lard).

For our homemade version, you’ll need some of this:

This is Masa Harina, or corn flour, and you can find it in most supermarkets these days, usually in the Latin goods aisle.

And yes, this is the same Masa Harina that you can use to make Homemade Corn Tortillas. It’s the dried form of nixtamalized corn simply add water to reconstitute the corn flour and you’ve got some high-quality corn dough on your hands.

If you come across Masa Harina that’s labeled “for tamales” it usually just means that it has a different consistency, most likely a bit coarser. The Masa Harina for tortillas has a finer consistency and is equally good for making tamales so that’s what we’re using today.

1.5 cups Masa Harina
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Mix well and then add 1 cup of stock. Roughly combine.

I’m using some Homemade Chicken Stock for this batch and it’s unsalted, so if you’re using store-bought chicken stock that’s high in sodium you might not need to add as much salt.

Your dough will probably look a bit shaggy at this point.

And that’s fine. This will combine into a more cohesive dough if you use your hands, but since we’re going to use a hand mixer down the road I usually just leave it unkept until I need it.

The main difference between tamales and tortillas is the fat. Tamales traditionally use lard to give them that rich, succulent flavor.

I’m using some home-rendered lard for this batch, but obviously that’s not required for this recipe. But it is worth seeking out some higher quality lard at a Hispanic market or your local butcher. I usually stay away from the lard in the baking section of the supermarkets because most of it is hydrogenated .

I’m also going to add a few tablespoons of butter to this batch. I think the butter adds some flava but you can consider it optional. And note that you can get by using vegetable oil as your fat of choice but I’m usually a little disappointed in the flavor of tamales made with oil.

So we’ll use 6 tablespoons of lard and 3 tablespoons of butter. (Can I use bacon fat instead of lard?)

Whipping up the fat is a great trick to keep in mind and should result in a lighter, fluffier tamale dough. I find it’s easiest to use a hand mixer on medium-high for a couple minutes. This will put some air in the fat and prevent your tamales from being too dense.

Now we’ll start adding some of the shaggy masa dough to this fat. Add half of it and combine with the hand mixer. (Note: you don’t need to use a hand mixer but I find it accelerates the process quite a bit.)

Keep some stock close by as you’ll probably need to add a few more tablespoons to get it to combine. Mix on medium or medium-low speed.

I usually use my hands to get it across the finish line.

Tamale dough is forgiving so don’t sweat the exact consistency too much.

As a test, spread some dough in your hand. If it holds its shape without cracking then it’s usually good enough. Otherwise, keep adding stock and mixing it further.

Okay, time to drain those corn husks and pat dry a few of them. We’ll use the ones that are wider and intact.

Spread a couple tablespoons of tamale dough on the lower left portion of the husk’s wide side, with the tapered end of the husk pointing away from you.

The idea is to favor the left side so you can roll them up easily. You can spread the dough with the back of a spoon, a spatula, or simply use your hands.

I like these tamales best when they have an ample filling-to-masa ratio. In other words, I think they taste best when the masa is thin and there is plenty of filling. To get a layer of super thin masa I find it’s easiest to use my hands.

Add a couple tablespoons of filling. We’re using Bean Dip and cheese slices for this batch.

Fold the tamale onto itself, sealing the edges so that you have a cocoon of tamale dough surrounding the filling, then wrap the remaining corn husk around the tamale and fold up the bottom portion of the husk.

That’s another trick to make the process more efficient. Instead of tying the tamales we’re simply rolling them and folding up the bottom portion. Then we’ll rest them in the steamer pot with the seam side against the side of the pot so they don’t splay open.

So these are open-ended on the top with the bottom portion of the husk folded upwards.

The easiest way to steam them is to plop them on top of a vegetable steamer.

But you can improvise with wire racks or anything that will get the tamales above some steaming water.

I used a stock pot and a vegetable steamer for this batch. Fill the pot with enough water so that it nearly reaches the level of the steamer. This pot has about 1″ of water in it.

Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to mediumish I used somewhere between medium and medium-high for this batch.

We’ll steam the tamales vertically with the open end facing up and the folded portion resting against the side of the pot.

Cover them with any remaining corn husks to prevent water from dripping into the tops.

Cover the pot and steam for 60-75 minutes.

Keep an eye on the pot during the steam to ensure that it always has water in it. If it runs low simply add more water to the pot. I used a larger pot for this batch so I didn’t have to add any additional water during the steam.

The exact steam time depends a little on your setup.

Start checking on them after an hour. If the husk easily pulls away from the tamale then they are done. If the husk sticks to the tamale then they probably need more time in the steamer.

This batch needed around 80 minutes.

And note that the above tamale is prettier than most of the others in this batch.

If, like me, you make your tamales with a thin layer of masa and a heaping mound of filling then you’re going to get some blowouts and visually unappealing tamales.

But they will taste great!

I have some leftover Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa in the fridge. Even better!

I highly recommend serving these up with a homemade salsa if you have the chance. It completes the journey to a different time and place. Plus it makes them taste really good!

Ideally your tamale is light, moist, and a bit fluffy. Whipping up the fat really helps with this so it’s worth trying that step with your first batch of tamales.

So what do you think, does it seem doable?!

Tamales are a great dish to add to your arsenal and keep in mind that they are wildly versatile. Once you get comfortable with the tamale dough then you’ll come up with all sorts of ways to customize them.


Recipes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To make stuffing, crumble tamales by hand, then mix with remaining ingredients. Stuff in turkey that is mostly cooked and bake an additional 30-35 minutes until done.

Compliments of Central Market

5 lbs. lean pork or beef, cooked and shredded
6 to 7 lbs. fresh masa
1 1/2 lbs lard (Our tamales are not made with lard, but this is the traditional ingredient)
1 tbls. salt
1 1/2 pts. red chili sauce
1 bundle oujas (corn shucks)

Directions:
To make tamales, cook meat by boiling in a large covered pot with enough water to cover completely. Add salt to taste and slow boil till completely done. Cool meat and save broth. When meat has cooled, shred and mix in the chili sauce. Clean oujas (corn shucks or outer husk) in warm water. (make masa by hand or with mixer) Mix the masa, lard , salt and enough broth to make a smooth paste. Beat till a small amount (1 tsp) will float in a cup of cool water.

Spread masa (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick layer, or to preference) on ouja, add a small amount of meat and roll up. Fold up ends of ouja and place(fold down) on a rack in a pan deep enough to steam. Add 1 to 2 inches water, cover with a tight fitting lid and steam about 1 1/2 hours. (a cloth can be used under the lid to make a tighter fit)

Many variations of ingredients can be used in making tamales. You can use a combination of beef and pork, or chicken, or fried beans, or vegetables, or even sweet fillings like canned pumpkin. For meat varieties, one or two olives may be added to the center, or try adding a few raisins.

This recipe will make 4 to 5 dozen tamales

From the book "The Cuisines of Mexico" by Diana Kennedy

(This is the definitive book on authentic Mexican cooking. I highly
recommend it to anyone wanting to learn to cook Mexican food, specifically a tamal, like it
is in Mexico.)

1. The corn husks: It is usual for corn husks bought here to be trimmed and flattened, ready for use. But if by chance you have some in their rough state (just as they were when removed from the ear), cut off the cupped part at the bottom of the leaf, and trim off the pointed tip. When you get them, the husks will be dried out and papery. To soften them for use, pour plenty of very hot water over them and leave them to soak for several hours. Shake them well to get rid of excess water, and pat them dry with a towel.

2. Making the tamales: Smear a thin coating of the masa dough over the broadest part of the husk, allowing for turning down about 1 1/2 inches at the bottom broad part of the leaf and about 3 inches at the pointed top. Let us say, for a good-sized tamal, spread the dough over an area approximately 3 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches long.

Spread the filling down the middle of the dough. Fold the sides of the husk together firmly. Turn up the pointed end of the leaf and fold the broader end over it. Tear some of the husks lengthwise into narrow strips, and use one for tying each tamal across the top flap. The husks are water repellent, and since the dough is to be steamed, the idea is to form a water-tight package so that when the dough is cooked through it will be light and spongy. If moisture gets in it will be soggy.

3. Cooking the tamales: The most convenient way to cook tamales is a conventional steamer. You can, of course improvise, but improvisations are not usually as efficient -- a lot of good steam escapes and the cooking is not as even.

Fill the bottom of the steamer with water up to the level indicated, and bring to a boil. Line the top of the steamer with corn husks, covering the bottom and sides well. Stack the tamales upright, with the tied-down flaps upwards. For the best results, they should be packed firmly but not too tightly, because the husks swell out as the dough cooks. (I always find that a small batch of tamales, not firmly packed in the steamer, do not cook as well or as quickly and are more likely to absorb the condensed steam.) Cover the tamales with more corn husks. Cover the top of the steamer with a thick cloth--a piece
of old toweling is best--to absorb the condensation from the lid of the steamer. Cover the steamer with a tightly fitting lid.

As the water in the bottom part comes to a boil, put a coin into it, put the top part of the steamer on, and let the tamales cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours over a medium flame. Keep the water bubbling, but not boiling violently. That is the reason for the coin. You will be able to hear it dancing about, and it will tell you if the water goes off the boil or is getting dangerously low. If the water is allowed to go off the boil the tamales will be heavy. Keep a kettle of water simmering so that you can refill the steamer when necessary.

To test the tamales for doneness, remove one from the center, and one from the side of the steamer. As you open the husks, the dough should come away easily from the husks and be completely smooth. To make doubly sure, open up the tamales and see if they are spongy and
well cooked throughout.

4. Serving and storing the tamales: Once cooked, tamales are very good tempered. They are wonderful eaten right away, straight out of the husks, but after they cool off they are also extremely good heated through very gently in their husks in an ungreased heavy frying pan, or on a griddle. Just keep turning them so that they heat through evenly and the husk gets slightly browned but does not burn. They can be refrigerated, and will keep well stored that way for about a week. It is best, however, to freeze them. To reheat, they can be wrapped in foil, put into a 350 degree oven still frozen, and heated through for about 30 minutes.

Title: Tamales Nortenos [Northern Tamales]
Categories: Mexican, Main dish
Servings: 12

---------------------------------FILLING-----------------------------------
1 1/4 lb Pork shoulder
1/4 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 ts salt
4 peppercorns
Water to cover
3 chile anchos
1/2 ts cumin seeds
2 tb lard
--------------------------------THE TAMALES--------------------------------
Basic Tamal Dough
2 ts chili sauce
-from the filling
72 small corn husks
-soaked

Northern Mexico and Texas Tamales

Variation for the Tamale Recipe Above
From: The Cuisines of Mexico by: Diana Kennedy

This recipe is from northern Mexico and I think it is closer to the tamales made in Texas. Tamales from central Mexico are thick and fluffy and are mostly dough. This is the original recipe as it would be prepared in Mexico, including lard. Adjust as necessary to suit your sensibilities. I substitute Crisco for the lard. I have also made this recipe using chicken in place of the pork.
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The smallest tamales of all are the nortenos from Coahuila and Chihuahua. They are as thick as a very fat finger and about 2 1/2 inches long. The northerners express contempt for the large, fluffy white ones of central Mexico, which to them are all dough and very little else--which is true of the commercially made ones. The dough in these is almost overcome by the filling of pork in a sauce of chiles anchos strongly flavored with cumin.

Cut the meat into 1-inch squares--it should have a little fat on it--and put it into the saucepan with the onion, garlic, salt, and peppercorns. Barely cover the meat with water and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer the meat until it is tender--about 40 minutes.

Set the meat aside to cool off in the broth. Strain the meat, reserving the broth, and chop it roughly. Heat the griddle and toast the chiles well, turning them from time to time so that they do not burn. Let them cool a little. When they are cool enough to handle, slit them open and remove the seeds and veins. When the chiles have cooled off they should be crisp. Crumble them into the blender jar or spice grinder and grind them with the cumin seeds to a fine powder. Melt the lard, add the chili powder, and cook it for a few seconds, stirring it all the time. Add the meat and, continuing to cook, let it season for a minute or so. Add the pork broth and let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes over a medium flame so that it reduces a little--there should be quite a bit of sauce left. Add salt as necessary.

Make the basic dough but do not add any baking powder. Mix the chili sauce into the dough to give it a little color.

Using the smallest husks or the large ones cut in half, spread a scant tablespoon of the dough thinly over each husk, covering an area about 2 X 2 inches. Put a little of the meat with plenty of sauce into the center of the dough and fold the husk as you would for ordinary tamales. Stack the tamales in the steamer and cook for about 2 hours. Test to see if they are done.


THE BEST AUTHENTIC MEXICAN HOMEMADE RED BEEF TAMALES Recipe

THE BEST AUTHENTIC MEXICAN HOMEMADE RED BEEF TAMALES Recipe Tamales! Tamales! This is your detailed step by step recipe. I walk you through the process of making tamales in a Mexican home. Tamales are a corn masa (Dough) that is spread on a soft corn husk and filled with your choice of protein and traditional fillings. Once the Tamales are steamed get ready to unfold into a warm soft flavor combination that will bring comfort food to another level of deliciousness. Make sure to discard the corn husk after consuming it. I hope you enjoy the views family take on tamales. I always recommend making it comfortable for your home. Lots of love, Stephanie, Cloud, and the views family.

Cook time for shredded beef 2 1/2- 3 Hours *You can substitute the protein of choice: for chicken, the cooking time will be 45 min. If using pork butt cook for 2 1/2 Hours* Cook time for tamales 1 Hour Prep time will depend on your level of cooking This recipe will yield 2+ Dozens of Tamales The beef in this recipe can be substituted for your favorite protein such as pork or chicken.

Soak Corn Husks (Timestamp 2:00) 24-Corn Husks / Hoja Enchochada – 45 min to 1 hour Enough water warm water to cover and soak leaves Shredded Beef

(Timestamp 5:01) Enough water to cover your Beef/ Protein 20- Chiles Guajillos (Make sure to take the seeds out) Generally, Guajillos is not spicy, it’s to add flavor. 4- Pounds of Chuck Roast / Diezmillo en trozo or you can use pieces of Chuck Steak 1- Tablespoon of Chicken Bouillon Or Salt to taste ( add as needed, remember to start small) 1/2- Large White/ Yellow Onion or (2 Medium Onion) 1- Whole Garlic *Remember to set aside: 3-4 cups of beef broth we will need the broth to season the chile sauce for the beef filling. All the Boiled Chiles The whole garlic Cook time for the beef: 2 1/2 Hours *3 Hours of cook time will give the best result for tender fall of the fork beef *Make sure to shred the beef as soon as it’s done. If you leave it for later and it gets cold and difficult to shred.

*Your beef filling is now ready to be used or you can refrigerate the sauce filling and continue the next day. Just make sure to warm(not boiling) it up before you begin to fill your tamales.

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