Prep 1 hr
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
These take a bit of time to roll, but the end result is well worth the effort. My Maw maw-in-law taught me how to make hot tamales with this recipe (she learned how to make them from a friend in Texas.) You can adjust the spices to your tastes- my husband loves it when you use tablespoons instead of teaspoons, but I find it too hot. You can also use all beef instead of that 1 lb of pork, if you prefer. Tamale wrappers are available in specialty stores, or online, although some grocery stores carry them. You will need 80-100 6-inch paper tamale wrappers, which are not listed in the ingredients as they aren't food. This recipe makes a lot by design, and they freeze wonderfully. I took pictures of the steps involved in rolling the tamales and posted them on my blog in case my directions aren't clear: http://randomcreativity.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/tamales/
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 lbs ground beef
- 2 onions
- 2 (10 ounce) cans rotel (diced tomatoes in green chilies)
- 1 cup cornmeal (for filling)
- 2 cups cornmeal (for rolling)
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1 bell pepper
- 4 stalks celery
- 4 garlic cloves (or 1/4 cup minced garlic)
- 8 (7 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 5 teaspoons chili powder
- 1⁄4 cup salt (to taste)
- 1⁄2 cup oil (for the sauce)
- 1⁄4 cup chili powder (for the sauce)
- Run onions, celery, garlic, and bell pepper through your food processor until they are finely minced.
- In a very large bowl, combine ground meat, minced veggies, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix together thoroughly using your hands. Add in the rotel, 1 cup of corn meal, and 1 can of tomato sauce; mix again. (You need to mix the wet ingredients in separately from the spices so that the spices don't all clump together in one spot.)
- Lay out your papers beside two baking sheets or trays. Add 1 cup of cornmeal to one baking sheet, to roll the tamales in (the other one is to stack completed tamales on.)
- Pinch off some of the meat mixture, and form into a ping pong sized ball. Roll it in the cornmeal, coating it as thick as you can. Place in the center of a tamale paper on one side, and roll. The ball should squish into a log, leaving an inch of the wrapper empty on either end. Press down the top of both empty ends, and fold the two sides of the ends in before folding them under the tamale.
- Repeat with the remainder of the meat mixture. After a few, you get the feel of how much meat it will take to fill the wrapper up enough. We got 75 tamales out of one batch, it depends on how big you make them.
- In a large dutch oven, pour in the 1/2 cup oil and 1 can tomato sauce. Cover with a layer of tamales, then a can of sauce, and a sprinkle of chili powder, repeating until you run out of tamales. Fill the pan with water until the tamales are just covered.
- Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 2 - 2 1/2 hours till done, adding water if necessary.