Mexican Tamale Recipes
Beef or Pork Tamale Recipe
by Margaret Zuniga-Healy
5 dried New Mexican chiles or California chiles
5 dried pasilla chiles (ancho or negro)
2 chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce or dried, (optional)
2 quarts water for softening chiles
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 pounds pork or beef roast, cooked, shredded or cubed
Salt to taste
2 to 3 dozen dried corn husks, cleaned of debris and soaked in warm water until pliable (about 20 minutes)
2 pounds prepared masa
Discard stems and seeds of dried chiles. Rinse chiles in a colander and place chiles in a medium pot. Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until chiles are soft, 20-25 minutes. Drain chiles. Reserve 3 cups of liquid.
In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Place chiles, garlic, onion and cumin in a blender with 2 cups of reserved liquid. Puree to a smooth sauce. Force sauce through a fine sieve or food mill to remove skin and any missed seeds. Transfer to a saucepan. Add remaining 1 cup liquid, and simmer about 45 minutes. Add cooked meat and simmer 15 more minutes. Add salt to taste.
Drain corn husks. Spread about 1/4 cup masa on the smooth side of 1 corn husk (if you spread it on the other side, it may stick). Spread it across the wider end, covering it from side to side and extending approximately halfway to the narrow tip. Add about 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of chile mixture in the center. Fold right edge to the center, and fold the left side over it. Then fold narrow end even with the wide end. Press ends together to seal contents. Repeat with remaining corn husks, masa and filling.
Cook tamales in a tamale steamer or in a conventional steamer. Line tray or basket with corn husks; place tamales on top. The tamales should not come in contact with the water. To prevent steamer from drying out, put a coin in the bottom of the steamer. You will hear it clinking as long as there is boiling water in the steamer. Steam tamales for about 1 hour. They are done when the masa no longer sticks to the corn husks when tamales are unrolled.
Yield: 2-3 dozen tamales
Prep Time: 1-2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour