Tamales or tamale is one of the popular Mexican dishes. It can be cooked with either beef or chicken. So if you have a love for Mexican foods, I suggest you start learning how to cook tamales.
Here is a great recipe to start with. Let’s first prepare the ingredients that you’ll need. This recipe makes 2 dozen tamales!
For the filling, you will need the following:
- 2 pounds lean, boneless beef or chicken
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons beef base
- 1 can of chopped green chilies, 7 ounces
- 4 large cloves finely minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 to 3 tablespoons ground red chili pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
Now for the dough, you will need to prepare these ingredients:
- 3 dozen corn husks
- 1 1/2 cups lard
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 cups corn flour
- 2 2/3 cup warm water
Now that you have the ingredients ready, let’s start learning how to cook tamales.
- Cook the meat in water in a large saucepan.
- Cook it until it is tender.
- Once done, let it cool and then shred the meat into pieces.
- Now, in a large skillet, add oil and heat before putting back the meat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the beef or the chicken and let it brown.
- Once your meat is brown, add the rest of the ingredients for the filling.
- Add them one at a time in the order provided above.
- Cover the skillet and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
- Stir the mixture occasionally.
- Now it’s time to prepare the dough.
- Make sure to soak the corn husks first before you use it. Let it soak in water for about half an hour.
- Now, in a large bowl, add in the lard and salt and beat until fluffy. It’s better to use an electric beater or mixer to quickly make it fluffy.
- Now, in another mixing bowl, add the corn flour with the warm water. Let the flour dissolve into the water.
- Next, add it to the lard mixture.
- Again, beat all of the ingredients until they are well combined.
- It’s now time to assemble your tamales. Start by spreading a thin coat of the dough to the corn husk, starting at the broadest part.
- Now, spread a tablespoon of the filling at the center of the dough.
- Start folding the sides of the husk together as you turn up one or both of the ends of the corn husk. Make sure that when you turn both of the ends, make sure to tear up some husks lengthwise to use for tying the tamales across the top.
- Now, it’s time to cook the tamales. Use a blancher or a steamer.
- Follow the instructions of your steamer. Usually you just have to fill up the bottom of the steamer with water up to the level indicated.
- Now, let the water boil.
- Line your steamer with corn husks. Make sure to cover the sides as well as the bottoms.
- Now place your tamales and stack them upright. Place them not too tightly because the husks will expand as well.
- Once the tamales are in place, cover them with more husks.
- Using a thick cloth, cover the top of the steamer.
- Now, cover it with a tight fitting lid.
- Let your tamales steam for about two and a half hours. You will know that it is done if the dough peels easily from the husks and is completely smooth. It should look spongy and well cooked.