How to make Beef Tamales (Tutorial)

 

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef TamalesP I N_______I M A G E

Okay let me start with a disclaimer that this blog post is not about pretty photos. This post is all about how to make Beef Tamales! It’s the holidays after all and Tamales are a typical dish during this time of year in most Mexican homes. Due to the amount of work involved most people buy them from other sources instead of making them at home. But I’m about to show you the easy way to make Tamales!! Most of the heavy work is making the masa just right since you have to do it by hand when mixing the lard and the masa to the right consistency. Using a mixer will be your best friend in this case and you’ll see how easy it is.

I was able to make 80 tamales in about 4 hours total….all by myself! In this process I’m counting the time it took me to make the red chile sauce, the beef, the masa and to assemble them and I did this in the course of 2 days. Not bad huh? The time involved to make them also scares people away but is one of those dishes where the outcome is worth it. It’s also a great opportunity to involve other people to help and to do this as a group for fun.

Oh and did you know there is no “e” at the end of tamal? It’s not tamale, it’s tamal… I have no idea where adding the e at the end started but it’s not correct 😉 Sorry, I had to say it lol!

Alright! Let me show you the easy process of how to make the masa  & how to assemble them (You can find the recipe for the Red Chile Sauce HERE  and the shredded beef instructions are on the recipe at the bottom of this post).

Ready? Set, Go!

Get 2.5 lbs of masa, 1 lb of lard, and a cup with the beef stock & red sauce ready. Using an electric mixer, beat together the salt, lard and baking powder until light and fluffy. With the mixer still running, add the masa bit by bit, adding a little stock/chile sauce mixture when it seems too thick, until all the masa and stock are fully incorporated and well mixed and no lumps remain.

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef TamalesP I N_______I M A G E

One of the old traditional ways of knowing when the masa is ready, is to add a little bit of masa in a cup with cold water. If it floats then it’s ready!

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef TamalesP I N_______I M A G E

To Assemble The Tamales:
Start by soaking the dried corn husks in hot water for a few minutes to soften them. Get all of your ingredients lined up and ready for the assembly.

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef TamalesP I N_______I M A G E

Scoop some masa onto one large or two overlapping smaller husks and smear it with a spoon (about a 1/4 cup). Add some shredded beef, 1 potato slice & olives. (the Tamal face was not intentional… it just happened. I swear:))

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef TamalesP I N_______I M A G E

Roll the husk to enclose the masa. Shape it by gently squeezing it. Fold up the bottom (the narrow end), leaving the top open.

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef TamalesP I N_______I M A G E

Wrap each shaped tamal in a small sheet of foil. This helps the tamales retain their shape during steaming and keeps them most until you’re ready to serve them.

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef TamalesP I N_______I M A G E

Picture not shown: Using a large steamer, put the wrapped tamales standing up, with the water in the bottom of the steamer not touching the tamales. Note: do not over pack the steamer with tamales since it may affect how the tamales cook.

Cover and steam about one hour. To test whether tamales are done, remove one and gently pry it out of its husk. The dough should pull away from the husk easily and should hold together. The texture of a fully steamed tamal is bread like but very fine-grained and moist.

Beef Tamales
Author: Fit, Fun & Delish!
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 20
On my post I mentioned that it took me about 5 hours to make 80 tamales and that was for 4
Ingredients
  • [b]Shredded Beef[/b]
  • 2 pounds beef should roast or chuck roast (cut in 2 inches squares and most of the fat removed)
  • 1 onion (cut in half)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of [url href="http://fit-fun-delish.com/2014/11/red_sauce.html" target="_blank"]red chile sauce [/url] (or more if necessary)
  • [b]For the masa: [/b]
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound lard
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 punds fresh masa
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup [url href="http://fit-fun-delish.com/2014/11/red_sauce.html" target="_blank"]red chile sauce [/url]
  • [b]Optional fillings:[/b]
  • 2 potatoes sliced in long strings (par cooked)
  • Olives (1 per tamal, cut in half)
Instructions
  1. [b]Shredded Beef[/b]
  2. In a large pot add the beef, onion, garlic, oregano, salt & pepper. Cover with enough water to cook the ingredients.
  3. Cook until the meat is fork tender and comes apart with no resistance, about 2 hours. When done, remove the roast to a platter to cool, reserve the beef broth.
  4. Hand shred the meat
  5. Add the red chile sauce and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. [b]Masa[/b]
  7. Using an electric mixer, beat together the salt, lard and baking powder until light and fluffy. With the mixer still running, add the masa bit by bit, adding a little stock when it seems too thick, until all the masa and stock are fully incorporated and well mixed and no lumps remain.
  8. [b]To Assemble The Tamales[/b]
  9. Start by soaking the dried corn husks in hot water for a few minutes to soften them.
  10. Scoop some masa onto one large or two overlapping smaller husks and smear it with a spoon.
  11. Add about 1/4 cup of shredded beef, 1 potato slice & olives.
  12. Roll the husk to enclose the masa. Shape it by gently squeezing it. Fold up the bottom (the narrow end), leaving the top open.
  13. Wrap each shaped tamal in a small sheet of foil. This helps the tamales retain their shape during steaming and keeps them most until you're ready to serve them.
  14. Using a large steamer, put the wrapped tamales standing up, with the water in the bottom of the steamer not touching the tamales. Note: do not over pack the steamer with tamales since it may affect how the tamales cook.
  15. Cover and steam about one hour.
  16. To test whether tamales are done, remove one and gently pry it out of its husk.
  17. The dough should pull away from the husk easily and should hold together. The texture of a fully steamed tamal is bread like but very fine-grained and moist.

 

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef TamalesP I N_______I M A G E

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