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La Belle Cuisine
Authentic Mexican Beef or
Makes 2 dozen tamales
“This recipe came to me by way of a close friend and fellow Mexican food aficionado. Unfortunately I have no clue as to the original source of the
recipe, otherwise I would surely give credit where it is due. [MG]”
2 pounds lean, boneless beef or chicken
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons beef or chicken base -or-
1 1/2 cups beef or chicken broth/stock
1 (7-ounce) can green chilies, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 to 3 tablespoons ground red chili pepper
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 cup tomato sauce
3 dozen corn husks
1 1/2 cups lard
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups masa harina (corn flour)
2 2/3 cup warm water
For the Tamale Filling:
In a large saucepan, cook meat in water until tender. Cool slightly and shred. In large skillet heat oil until hot and add
beef or chicken and cook until brown. Add the remaining ingredients in
the order given. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
For the Tamale Dough: Soak corn husks in hot water for 30 minutes
to make pliable. 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.
How to assemble Tamales: Spread a thin coating of tamale dough over
the broadest part of the husk, allowing for turning down. Spread 1 table-
spoon of filling down center of the dough. Fold the sides of the husk firmly together. Turn up one or both ends of the husk. If turning up both ends,
tear some of the husks lengthwise in narrow strips and use for tying each tamale across the top flap.
To cook Tamales: Cook tamales in a conventional steamer or blancher.
Fill the bottom of the steamer up to the level indicated and bring to a boil. When the steamer is dry you will need to add more water. Line the steamer with corn husks, covering the bottom and sides. Stack the tamales upright. Place the tamales firmly but not too tightly, because the husks swell as the dough cooks. Cover tamales with more husks and the top of the steamer with a thick cloth to absorb the moisture. Cover with a tight fitting lid.
Steam for about 2 1/2 hours. To test the tamales for doneness, remove
one from center of the steamer. The dough should peel away easily from
the husks and be completely smooth. The dough should also appear
spongy and well cooked.
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