Menu



This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission."As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases¨





November 7, 2020

Tamale Making Tips




Tamale making can be overwhelming for some who have never made tamales, I’m going to take you through the thoroughly enjoyable time-consuming process, and make it easier. I plan out tamale-making day by day because I make several dozens for different occasions. I freeze most for future meals, holidays, and festive occasions. 


 



Buying ingredients: 

Tip: Buy some of the items when on sale a few weeks prior to making tamales. Meat sales are the number one thing I look for in tamale planning. I freeze meat until I'm ready to make my tamales.

  • Tamale dough - Maseca or Masa Harina (Mexican corn flours), lard or shortening, and chicken broth
  • Tamale Meat- Boneless Pork shoulder, or Boneless Beef chuck roast. (Chicken, Elk, Moose, or turkey can be used)
  • Red Chile Sauce - New Mexico Dried Chile Peppers, or Guajillo Dried Peppers. 
  • Seasonings & misc. - Onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, garlic clove, beef bouillon cube, chicken broth, and baking powder.
  •  Tamale - Corn Husks




Putting it all Together

Hint:  I take one day out of the week to cook meat and make the red chile sauce, freeze and defrost the day before making tamales.  I have never made red chile meat tamales all in one day...I learned from my Mom, Abuelitas (grandmothers), and Tias (aunts) it takes steps. 

Step 1

Preparing Tamale Meat: Cook meat in the slow cooker, Instant Pot, or dutch oven with spices. Shred meat into bite-size pieces, usually 1-2 inches, and refrigerate if making tamales in a few days, or freeze in an air-tight container until needed. (thaw day before making tamales). 

Recipe hereRed Chile Tamale Meat Recipe

 



Step 2

 For Red Chile TamalesMake Red chile sauce, refrigerate in an air-tight container if making in the next few days, or freeze until needed (thaw day before making tamales)

Recipe hereRed Chile Sauce Recipe



Step 3 

Tamale Masa (dough): I usually make tamale masa the day before tamale-making.

Refrigerate in a sealed container or storage bag, good for a few days. 
Take out of refrigerator 30 minutes prior to using and whip in a mixer to make the dough smoother (you can add a little water or chicken broth if you need to). Tamale masa can be frozen, take out the day before tamale making.  The dough should be able to spread on tamale corn husk with the texture of peanut butter.

Recipe here Tamale Dough Recipe







Step 4 

Day of tamale making...Corn Husks: Soak corn husk at least for 1 hour in very hot water. Place a heavy plate on top of corn husk to keep them underwater soaking.

Warm tamale meat & red chile sauce together in a slow cooker for 2 hours on low before using. Add just enough red chile sauce to meat without it being soupy.

Tamale Masa: Whip up tamale masa if needed to be pliable and peanut butter consistency. Spoon 2 tablespoon of masa on the smooth side of corn husk about 4 inches wide (or wider if you like bigger tamales) start from 2 to 3 inches from the top of corn husk. (picture below)

Fill with a tablespoon of tamale filling (or more for larger tamales), and pull over each long side over, and fold over top.


Corn husk strips (optional): Take some corn husk and starting from the top make long strips for tying tamales. 

Step 5

Cooking: 
  • Pour 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water into a large pot and add a steamer basket.
  • Arrange the tamales vertically (opening up) in the basket.
  • Bring the water in the pot to a boil then reduce the heat. Cover with lid.
  • Add water every 20 minutes and simmer the tamales for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Tamales are cook when the dough pulls from the tamale husk easily. Let tamales sit for 30 minutes before eating, or refrigerate when cool in a food storage bag.




Have a tamale-making party

If you are making dozens of tamales...grab helpers....some will spread masa on husks, some helpers on placing meat on masa, another person on wrapping tamales. 




No comments:

Post a Comment

Know Your Chile Peppers

The Busy Abuelita Recommends

How to Keep Cilantro Fresh