Meat-filled Tamales



4 lbs of maseca 

2.5 T salt

3 cups of oil

juice from peppers



6  lbs meat, cooked with salt, and shredded (beef, pork or chicken)

4 oz dried, ancho peppers,  cleaned and cooked (save juice)

4 tsp chopped garlic

4 tsp cumin powder

4 oz of chili powder (for more color if needed)

2-3 t salt

 Blend cooked peppers with 2 cups of  pepper juice or water and seasonings. Save extra juice for masa.

Add 4 T oil to dutch oven and cook the meat with the peppers and  seasonings.  Add water and salt as needed to prevent sticking.  Cook at med for 15 minutes, stirring often so the meat won’t stick.  Then cook med low for 20-30 minutes so flavors have time to meld.  Stir as needed and add water if needed.


Husks – 2 packages – must be soaked overnight or for several hours to be pliable.  Rinse them well and cut to best size when ready to use.  Save extra pieces for lining the pot.


Instructions:  mix maseca, warm water, salt, oil and red pepper juice to make dough.  Water plus juice =’s about  10  cups.  Can skip the pepper juice and just use water.  

Keep the dough moist by covering  with a  damp  cloth.  Spread dough onto each husk.  Fill, roll  and tuck under. 


 To Cook:  steam the tamales by standing them against a prop in the center of the soup pot or dutch oven.  (I use a mortar as a prop but a heavy ceramic cup/bowl will work).  Stand tamales perched against the prop with open end up.  After pot is full, cover them with a light towel.  Pour  hot water over the towel to where the water level is about 1/3rd  the height of tamales.   Bring to a boil.  Cover.  Then lower heat to  med-low and cook for 50  minutes.  They are done when husk falls away easily  from the dough.


Makes about 8 dozen.



8 cups masa harina
4 level t salt
2 t onion powder
 4 T chili ancho puree (cook peppers and puree in blender)
2 c oil

1 c hot chicken broth (no salt)

Hot water


2 pkgs of husks — washed, soaked, and prepared. 
4 lbs meat, salted, cooked, and shredded
1 pkg (six) of dried ancho peppers, cooked and pureed (or chili powder); save juice
4 t chopped  garlic
4 t cumin
4 t salt
Add  oil to pan and cook the meat with spices.  Add pepper juice and water as needed. 
 Make masa balls into oval shapes.  Place  on corn husk; cover with wax paper and squeeze in tortilla press.
After filling, stack in lined (with husks).   First, place a heavy object in the middle to stand them.  Cover with a dishtowel and pour hot water over them (level about 1/2 the height of the tamales).  Bring to a boil.  Cook on medium -low heat for 45 minutes.  
Makes 6 doz.   

OTHER FILLING:  chicken with mexicorn and sauteed red bell peppers. 

or this variation: makes four dozen.


6 cups of masa harina

2 level t of salt

1 t onion powder

1 c safflower oil  

2 cups hot chicken broth (low salt)

4 cups hot water



Optional Filling:  Shredded beef ( roast or stew),   cilantro and sauteed onions.  jalapeno slices, optional.