Sunday, May 15, 2005

Chipotle Beef Tamales

Chipotle Beef Tamales (Adapted from CL)

For the wrappings

24 dried corn husks

For the Masa Dough

2 cups chicken broth
2 ancho chiles
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
3 3/4 cups masa harina
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons chilled lard

For the filling

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces ground sirloin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 ounce can chipotle sauce

To prepare the wrappings

In a large bowl, add corn husks and cover with warm water, weighing them down with a plate to keep them submerged. Set aside and let sit for at least 60 minutes. Drain well.

To prepare the Masa Dough

In a microwave-safe bowl, add broth and chiles - place into the microwave and cook until the chiles are tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.

In a blender, add broth mixture and corn kernels - cover and process until smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk together masa harina, salt and baking powder. Cut in lard with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour broth mixture into the masa and stir until a soft dough forms. Cover and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef, oregano and salt - cook, stirring to crumble, until the beef has browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in chipotle sauce and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Working with one husk at a time, keeping the remaining husks covered with a moist towel, place roughly 3 tablespoons of the Masa mixture in the center of husk, about 1/2" down from the top. Flatten dough to a rough 4" x 3" wide rectangle. Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon beef mixture down one side of the Masa mixture. Fold husk over tamale, making sure that the dough will completely cover the filling - fold over 1 more time to seal. Fold bottom end of husk under. Set tamale, closed side down, in a steamer basket. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Fill a large Dutch oven with about 1" of water. Place the filled steamer basket into the Dutch oven. Cover and steam for 1 hour - be sure to check the level of the water often and add more boiling water as necessary. To check for doneness, the inside batter should be firm and will easily pull away from the wrapper.

Makes about 12 servings.

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  1. your recipes make us feel brave. We are going to try this one and be daring. Thanks for a year of good reading and some recipes that have become regular "favorites" in our home.

  2. Bernie - I know it looks a little daunting, but it is fun to give these types of recipes a try... especially when you've never done them before!