How to Make Tamales: How to Make the Greatest, most Excellent Tamales EVER! – NeoKitchen Recipe

So I’ve often been asked by people to teach them how to make these awesome tamales. Well, here ya go! 🙂

I recommend a two day plan for making tamales. Boil the meat on Day 1, tamale build on Day 2. They don’t have to be back to back days, but keep in mind you will need to store the meat and broth in either a refrigerator or freezer (depending on how long you want to store them), until you’re ready to do a build day.

I’m not super picky on meat, I usually go with what I find cheap or on sale. Whole chicken fryers are good, cheap chuck roast or pork roasts. To be honest, all the meat os boiled soft and well seasoned, so other than texture, the flavor isn’t significantly different between the meats. I often will combine various meats in my shredded meat mix to fill the tamales.

Below are the times in the video for each specific stage.
Meat Boil 0:52
Meat Prep 7:42
Masa Prep 15:37
Tamale Build 21:48
Filling the Tamale Pot 28:01

Tamale Shopping List:
Meat (beef roasts, pork roasts, fryer sized chickens all work great)
Corn Husks
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Chili Powder
Sazon Goya Seasoning Packets
Dried Chili’s (Anaheim)
Corn Oil
Freezer Bags

Meat Boil (day 1)
So for the meat boil, cut beef and/or roasts into fist sized chucks, if using whole birds remove insides. Place in a pot and fill with water making sure all meat is submerged. I’m going to give recommended amounts based on a 32 quart pot, so you may need to adjust amounts accordingly if using a larger or smaller pot. This will begin seasoning the meat, but more importantly you want a well-seasoned broth; as the broth from this boil will be used to season the masa on Day 2.

1 Jalapeno, chopped (this should give a slight burn to the masa, use more or less jalapeno to your taste)
4 medium sized onions (chop, but not too fine)
2 Halved Oranges (squeeze out the juice then drop in the rinds)
8 Tbsp of Chili powder
4 Tbsp Garlic powder
4 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Pepper
1 Tbsp Cumin
4 Packets of Sazon goya

Boil for 3-4 hours, until meat is soft and pulls apart very easily. Keep watch that water does not boil down exposing meat at the top. Top off with water as needed and stir every 20-30 minutes. Let pot cool, remove meat and refrigerate or freeze for build day. Strain broth through a colander to remove onion and jalapeno bits. Refrigerate or freeze broth for build day as well. If you finish the boil early enough in the day that it can cool, you may want to go ahead and shred and season the meat now before Day 2 (Day 2 will be busy with the Tamale building itself).

Tamale Build Day (Day 2)
Shred meat, pull off fat and bones or any other undesirable bits.
Place corn husks in water and weigh down soak (1-2 hours of soaking is needed so plan ahead).

Meat Seasoning:
Seed 6 dried chili’s, and place in boiling water for 20 minutes to soften. I use Anaheim, but there are some other good options if you have a different preference. These are the longer smooth peppers you can often find in mexican sections of your grocery store.

In a food processor combine:
6 softened dried chili’s (Anaheim)
½ cup corn oil
2 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pepper

Pour meat seasoning over meat and work into shredded meat very well. Meat is now ready for tamale build (cover and refrigerate until needed).

Tamale Masa:
In a two cup sifter add:
2 Cups Masa
2 Tbsp Chili powder
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper

Sift into bowl and slowly add meat broth (1 cup at a time, warm broth is helpful) until masa is a soft consistency (comparable to frosting).

Spread the masa onto corn husks. The quickest way is to have your masa very soft and put it on using a flat blade like a dough scraper or metal serving spatula. Think dry wall technique. I spread the masa in the upper 2/3rds of the corn husk.

Add meat and roll. Fold the bottom of corn husk and add the raw tamale to the steamer pot. Cover pot and steam for 2 hours on a medium low heat or until masa no longer has a grainy texture when eaten (yes, you should sample a tamale to test if done). Make sure your water is at a good level before boiling so the pot doesn’t boil dry.

Enjoy your tamales! Place extra tamales in freezer bags, freeze and enjoy some for later too. – NeoBrian