It’s been a long time since I made tamales, and in fact I have only made them with chicken before. I have been religiously saving my corn husks (hi, recycling!) and freezing them for future usage however. And last night I had a particular beef craving of the grass-fed (of course) variety.
So my daughter and I made tamales. And while making tamales with a 7 year old can result in masa dough in the floor and some tears, it was a good learning and team-building experience.
I used the same dough I used before in my Chicken Tamale recipe, and did different seasonings with the beef:
3 cups masa harina
5 1/3 tsp. butter
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
4 c. chicken broth
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. ground chipotle pepper
Ah. For some reason I didn’t remember this as being particularly labor intensive. It kinda was. But well worth it.
Soak your corn husks in water to make them pliable. Cook meat mixture until almost browned. Mix up the dough in a large bowl, it will look like a large bowl of hummus.
Before assembling the tamales, get a large pot with a steamer basket ready. Take a corn husk (the fatter the better) and spoon about 2 tablespoons of dough in it. Make a slight indention into the dough with your thumb, and spoon a teaspoonful to a tablespoonful in. Wrap the cornhusk around the dough and meat, somewhat like rolling a burrito. Tie it closed with a skinny piece of corn husk. Stand the tamale straight up in the steamer. Repeat until all materials are used. Steam for 90 minutes. Serve hot.
The hubby liked his with salsa, the rest of us ate them plain. The baby especially liked them. And the last episode of tamales got a poor review from the older child, but since she assembled them this time, she ate them. Several. And cleaned up the masa flour she spilled in the floor without complaint. (Miracle of miracles!)