Local Beef Tamales

Posted: Updated:

2 cups milk
1/2 cup super sweet dried corn
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 lb lard
5 lb Masa

Combine milk, dried corn, baking powder, salt and sugar in a blender and puree. This is your “liquid” for the following step.

Using an electric mixer, beat the lard until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the masa bit by bit, adding a little liquid when it seems too thick, until all the masa and liquid are fully incorporated and well mixed and no lumps remain.

1 lb Hojas (corn husks) soaked in warm water
8 lbs local Beef, chuck roll or short ribs cut into 2 inch cubes
2 cups Beef marinade (recipe follows)
4 cups Guajillo Sauce (recipe follows)
1 cup refried beans (recipe follows)
3 cups water

Marinate Beef for 2 hours, then in a dutch oven on high heat sear beef until brown on all sides. Add Guajillo sauce, beans, water and reduce heat until barely at a simmer. Cook for 2 hours until Beef is tender, cool completely.

Start by soaking the dried corn husks in hot water for a few minutes to soften them.  Drain them and set them aside. 

Scoop some masa onto one large or two overlapping smaller husks and smear it with your hand or the back of a spoon. Add masa filling & beef.

Roll the husk to enclose the masa. Shape it by gently squeezing it. Fold up the bottom (the narrow end), leaving the top open. Wrap each shaped tamal in a small sheet of foil. This helps the tamales retain their shape during steaming and keeps them moist until you’re ready to serve them. 

Put the wrapped tamales in the steamer rack standing up, with the water in the bottom of the steamer not touching the tamales. Cover and steam about an hour.

To test whether tamales are done, remove one and gently pry it out of it’s husk.  The dough should pull away from the husk easily and should hold together. The texture of a fully  steamed tamal is breadlike but very fine-grained and moist.

Guajillo Sauce
1 cup Oil
6 cups Onion
24 cloves Garlic
36 Guajillo
6 Arbol
1-1/2 gallons water
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Allspice
12 Bay leaves
1/4 + 1/8 cup Oregano
1/4 cup Salt

Heat oil in large pot, cook onions and garlic until light brown, add chiles, cook 5 more minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes, puree.

Beef Marinade
12 Arbol Chiles
10 whole Garlic cloves
1 cup chopped Onion
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup fresh Lime juice
2 Tbsp Oregano
2 cups Olive Oil
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 Tbsp ground Ancho Chile
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Refried Black Beans
2 cups dried black beans
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 cups water
1 cup oil, rice or corn will do

Put the beans, water, salt and onion in a deep pot, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook about 2 hours or until beans are tender. pour off most, 3/4 of the remaining liquid and put in a blender with the oil, puree until oil is absorbed the pour into a skillet and reheat or refry until beans are thick and dark over medium heat taking care not to burn them.