This is all about how to make hot tamales with ground beef. What is a hot tamale, you ask? A hot tamale is a wrap made of cornmeal dough that contains ground beef, chili powder, and other spices. There are many variations to the original recipe, including “green tamales”, which contain jalapeños and sometimes tomatillos.
What is a Tamale?
A tamale is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa or dough (starchy, corn-based dough) that is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. They are made with ground beef or other meat, usually pork.
They are commonly wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves to hold the masa and fillings together during cooking. The ingredients, amount of filling vary based on each family’s traditions and regional styles. Most tamales consist of only masa and some kind of protein (meat/stewed meat, cheese, beans), but some also include a filling of rice and roasted green chile.
There are many different varieties of hot tamales in Mexico and the United States: northern New Mexican posole is often wrapped into corn husks to form a “tamal”, while Tex-Mex tamales tend to be smaller and usually steamed inside corn husks and served with chili con carne.
Hot Tamales: The Ingredients and Preparation of Traditional Mexican Tamales
The traditional ingredients for hot tamales are masa or dough (which is made from nixtamalized corn, which means it has been treated with a strongly alkaline solution to remove the pericarp or hull), lard or pork fat, salt, and broth. The preparation of hot tamales is an elaborate process that can take several hours.
The first step is to make the masa or dough. The masa is made from nixtamalized corn, which has been treated with a strongly alkaline solution to remove the pericarp or hull. This process gives the corn greater nutritional value and removes unpleasant odors, as well as facilitates corn peeling. The dough is made with lard or pork fat which is used to give flavor to the dough and allow it to stay fresh longer. After mixing all of these ingredients together into a dry dough, it is then time to add the broth.
The broth is important because it gives the tamales their characteristic flavor and helps them stay moist. There are a variety of different broths that can be used, including beef, chicken, pork, or vegetable. After the dough has been mixed and the broth has been added, it is time to begin the stuffing process.
The masa is typically divided into small balls and then filled with a variety of different fillings. These fillings can include anything from ground beef, pork, chicken, or beans to cheese, chilies, or vegetables. The masa is then wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and steamed for several hours.
The final product is a hot tamale with ground beef which is brown, soft, and fragrant. This meal can be served with any number of different accompaniments including salsa, pico de Gallo, avocado slices, sour cream or cheese.
Hot Tamales with Ground Beef Recipe
1 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cans of corn
1 can cream style corn
9 large dried corn husks
9 tablespoons masa harina
9 tablespoons lard or shortening
3 cups water, divided use
- Place the ground beef in a small saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it is browned. Drain off any excess fat and stir in the garlic powder, chili powder, salt, cumin and black pepper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the corn, cream style corn and beef mixture.
- Remove the husks from the water and place them in a large bowl. Submerge them in hot water to soften them.
- In another bowl, mix the masa harina and lard with 1 3/4 cups of the water until it is smooth. Stir in the remaining water and microwave for 30 seconds. Beat until it is smooth again.
- Quickly remove a husk from the water and shake off the excess. It should be pliable enough to fold in half without breaking. If it is too stiff, soak it for a few more seconds.
- Place 1/3 cup of the masa mixture on the wide end of the husk and spread it evenly over the surface. Top with 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture and then fold up the long ends of the husk. Fold down one side and then the other, keeping the filling in the middle. Tie with a piece of string to keep it folded tightly.
- Fill an electric pressure cooker or stockpot with 1 inch of water and place a steamer basket inside. Bring to a boil over high heat. Place the tamales in the basket, cover and steam for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro, if desired.
Hot tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that can now be made at home with ground beef. They are typically served with a red chile sauce. Follow these steps to make your own hot tamales at home. Enjoy!
Hot Tamales FAQ
What are the ingredients of hot tamales?
The ingredients of hot tamales vary but typically include ground beef, cornmeal, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, cumin, and pepper. Some recipes also call for cream-style corn, dried corn husks, lard or shortening, and water.
What is the history of hot tamales?
Hot tamales originated in Mexico, where they were originally known as “tamalli”. They were brought to the United States by Mexican immigrants who could not find them on grocery store shelves. They are believed to have first appeared in Texas, where they became popular among migrant workers. Since then, hot tamales have become a popular Mexican dish.
How long does it take hot tamales to cook?
On high heat, cook the tamales for 4 1/2 to 6 hours. After 4 hours, check the tamales. When the corn husk wrappers come away cleanly from the dough, the tamale dough is done cooking. If not, continue to cook and check every 45 minutes until cooked.
What goes good with hot tamales?
Hot tamales go well with a green chile sauce, pico de Gallo, guacamole, or plain sour cream. Some good side dishes to go with hot tamales are refried beans, Spanish rice, a salad, or black beans and rice. Enjoy!
What is the difference between hot tamales and tamales?
A hot tamale is a traditional dish made with ground beef and masa, a cornmeal dough. Tamales, on the other hand, are a mixture of meat or vegetables wrapped in corn husks for cooking.
How many calories are in tamales?
Tamales contain about 400-500 calories each, depending on size and ingredients.
Is it difficult to make tamales?
Tamales are typically made by groups of people, but they can be made at home with the right ingredients and equipment. It is not difficult to make them, as long as you have the proper supplies.