Spicy Cajun Tamales

READY IN: 1hr 45mins
Recipe by Grandpa Harry

I got this from the famous New Orleans Radio Chef Frank Davis. I like the taste of a spicy ground beef in my tamale, as opposed to that stringy, chewy shredded beef!

Top Review by Georgieanna

Thank you, Grandpa Harry! My boss's wife taught me how to make these about 14 years ago. Unfortunately he retired and they moved to Georgia where he later passed away. I had misplaced the recipe Mrs. B had given me, so I am most grateful to you for putting it on the site. These are the most delicious and easy tamales I've ever made. Thanks again!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Start off by sautéing the ground beef and onions until the beef browns and the onions become tender.
  2. At this point, strain the meat and drain off all but a couple tablespoons of the beef drippings.
  3. But keep it in reserve-you'll need it later.
  4. Then combine into the meat the Rotel tomatoes, the chili mix, the peeled tomatoes, the chili powder, the cumin, the water, and your salt and cayenne pepper.
  5. Now… bring the mixture to a slow boil… but as soon as the boil begins, reduce the heat to low and simmer everything together (with the cover on the pot) for about 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Next, strain the meat again from the juices (but save the juices).
  7. Then put the meat back into the pot and stir in the cornbread mix and one cup of meat drippings you saved from the sautéing process.
  8. At this point, you can adjust the"spicyness" of the tamales by adding either more chili powder or cayenne pepper.
  9. Then mix everything together extremely well once more… and note- you want the tamale mixture to be moist and pasty, but not"wet".
  10. Finally, place about a tablespoon of the meat stuffing into the center of a moistened tamale paper, roll the paper around the tamale, and put the rolled tamales into a deep steamer pot.
  11. Then ladle over the tamales all the juices and drippings you reserved during the preparation process… and simmer everything on low for about 45 minutes.
  12. When you're ready to eat, serve them piping hot.

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