2 lb. lean, boneless beef,
pork, chicken or venison
3 Tbsp. cooking oil
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 c. canned green chilies,
seeded and chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 to 3 Tbsp. ground chili
1 Tbsp. ground chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1/4 c. tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
In a saucepan, cook meat in water until tender. Grind
or shred; brown in hot oil. Add remaining ingredients in
order: flour, water, bouillon cubes, green chilies, garlic,
salt, oregano, chili pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, tomato
sauce and cayenne pepper. Cover and simmer 45 minutes.
1 1/2 c. lard
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 c. masa harina
2 2/3 c. warm water
In a large mixing bowl, beat the lard and salt until
fluffy. Dissolve masa harina in warm water and add to lard
mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are combined.
To assemble tamales:
1. Smear a thin coating of tamale dough over the
broadest part of the husk, allowing for turning down. For a
good-sized tamale, spread the dough over an area approximately
3 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches long.
2. Spread 1 tablespoon of filling down center of the
3. Fold the sides of the husk firmly together.
4. Turn up one or both ends of the husk, or tie string
around both ends.
5. If turning up both ends, tear some of the husks
lengthwise in narrow strips and use for tying each tamale
across the top flap.
Cooking Tamales: The most convenient way to cook
tamales is in a conventional steamer or blancher. Fill the
bottom of the steamer up to the level indicated and bring to a
boil. Place a coin in the water. When the water is boiling,
it will jingle; when the steamer is dry, there will be no
jingle and you will know it is time to add more water. Line
the steamer with corn husks, covering the bottom and sides.
Stack the tamales upright, if flapped, or lay down if tied at
both ends. For best results, pack the tamales firmly but not
too tightly, because the husks swell as the dough cooks. Cover
the tamales with more husks and the top of the steamer with a
thick cloth to absorb the moisture. Top with a tight fitting
To test the tamales for doneness, remove one from center
of the steamer. The dough should come away easily from the
husks and be completely smooth. To make doubly sure, open up
the tamale and see if it is spongy and well cooked throughout.
From the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. (Re-
printed with permission.)
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