Red Chile Tamale Meat Recipe

Tamales are the perfect holiday treat, warm and spicy, a steamed bundle of masa, and a tasty filling, all wrapped in a corn husk. Tamales are a memorable part of the holiday feast, and the making of them is a celebrated tradition in the Hispanic home. 

Red Chile Tamale Meat Recipe

While it's common to make tamales all year round, these delicious steamed corn husk-wrapped bundles are traditionally made and shared around the holidays. Everyone has their favorite filling--chicken, beef, pork, corn, or chile peppers are all popular.

Red Chile Tamale Meat Recipe

Why do they Make Tamales around Christmas?

Tamales have become a part of the traditional Mexican celebration of las posadas, the annual commemoration of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter before Jesus' birth.

Tamales have been eaten in the Americas for a long, long time. Tamales, because they were wrapped in corn husks, became part of the ritual offerings. As a nod to those times, people prepare tamales for special occasions including baptisms, weddings, Dia Del Los Muertos, and, of course, Christmas.

How to make Red Chile Tamale Meat 

Start with the meat: Pork and Beef is the most commonly used meats used for tamales. 
  •  Place all ingredients in a slow cooker on low (6-8 hrs). I usually cook meat the day before making tamales, especially if you are making dozens of tamales.  When meat is cooked, shred meat with 2 forks, place it in a bowl, and cover. Refrigerate until ready to use.
*Note: Instant Pot: 20 minutes for every pound of beef roast, or 15 minutes for every pound of pork roast.

How to make Red Chile Sauce for Tamale Meat

Hatch Red Chile Pods -Dried Guajillo or Dried Ancho Chile can also be used for Red Chile tamale sauce.

Red Chile Tamale Meat Recipe

  • Rinse and remove the stems and seeds of chile pods. Place chile pods in a large pot, and add enough water to fully cover the pods. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for 30 minutes. When pods have softened, remove chiles from the pot. Let cool slightly. Reserve water in the pot.
  • In the pot add the bouillon cube in chile pod water on medium heat until dissolved. Let Cool.

When cool, add small amounts of pods, flour, and 1 cup of water to a blender or food processor, and blend until liquid paste mixture( make sure to stop and stir chile pods in the blender)

Red Chile Tamale Meat Recipe
Keep doing this until all pods are done. (Save any liquid in chile pod water for chile gravy) With a mesh strainer, pour the liquid chile mixture thru it, into a large bowl. 

Remove any seeds, and chile skins when straining the mixture. In a skillet on medium heat, add the chile mixture and whisk gently. Stir and check for consistency, chile sauce should be smooth on the back of a spoon. 

If too thick add a little chile pod water to get the right consistency. Add salt and cumin.

Red Chile Tamale Meat Recipe

Combine red chile sauce with meat in the slow cooker, and add just enough red chile sauce to the meat without making it soupy. Cook for 2 hours on the low setting. Before using meat, to make tamales, let it cool for 30 minutes.

Red Chile Tamale Meat Recipe

Making Red Chile Tamales

Putting it all together and what you'll need:

Red Chile Tamale Meat Recipe

Red Chile Meat:  This recipe makes enough red chile meat for 3 dozen tamales. 

Red Chile Sauce: Dried red chile pods can come in mild, medium, or hot flavors. 

Tamale dough:  Make dough the day of tamale is the recipe 

Tamale Pot:  A Tamale pot is perfect for steaming tamales.  Place tamales on top of the steamable insert, and place 1 inch of water on the bottom. Tamales take about 2 hours to cook.  Always keep at least 1 inch of water on the bottom for steaming.

Tamale Leaves:  Dried Corn Husks.  Soak at least 3 dozen tamale corn husks in very warm water for 1 hour. Rinse corn silk off leaves.