I have never...EVER...made any kind of tamales before in my life. In fact, Ive never even looked at hot tamale recipe before. Everyone I've ever talked to says its so hard and time consuming to make tamales that it's not even worth it. Well I'm here to tell you that much like all the other recipes I post, it's SO much easier than you might think.
Now, in no way, shape, or form am I discrediting all of the talented home cooks and Chefs alike that can whip a huge batch of these out in a day and make them perfectly. Thats certainly not how my Hot Tamale Recipe journey went, but it also wasn't a disaster, and thats always a plus!
My Hot Tamale Recipe is so far from traditional!
I cooked the meat Sous-Vide, included Hatch Green Chiles, and used yellow cornmeal for the "Masa".
So, before we jump into this recipe there's a few things I want to cover with you so you aren't caught off guard.
MY Hot Tamale Recipe
Not Mexican Tamales...
Not quite Mississippi Hot Tamales...
This is my version of a Hot Tamale Recipe.
The only similarity to a traditional Mexican Tamale is that it has meat and is wrapped in a corn husk and steamed.
Which brings me to my next point.
It has some similarities to a traditional Mississippi Hot Tamale in the fact I used beef, made a yellow cornmeal 'Masa', and wrapped it in a corn husk.
However, the traditional Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales are typically boiled and not steamed.
So there you have it, in no way at all is this a traditional tamale...
But it IS incredibly delicious!
What's in a Non-traditional Hot Tamale Recipe?
Let's start off with one of my most favorite meats ever, Beef Short Ribs.
I used beef short ribs for this recipe due to their tenderness, especially when cooked Sous-Vide. If you don't already use a Sous-Vide Circulator I highly recommend it but you can also cook these in a slow cooker for a similar texture. However, when cooking Sous-Vide you know exactly how long and at what temperature to cook to get the desired outcome you were wanting. EVERY TIME!
So there's that. Now, I also included Hatch Green Chiles from my favorite supplier, The Hatch Green Chile Store out of Hatch, NM. They are family owned, extremely helpful and have a huge selection to choose from. I used a 1 lb package of the Medium-Hot Hatch Green Chiles in this recipe. They provided so much flavor and held their own even after being topped with chili and cheese.
Lastly, The Crockpot chili recipe I use is also my own. It's based on my Mom's ever changing chili recipe. It just includes a couple of me and my wife's twists.
Which was a perfect topping for this Hot Tamale Recipe.
Let's get to Cookin'!
Sous-Vide Short Ribs
First, set up your Sous-Vide Circulator to 185°f for a 24 hour cook. Timing is very important especially if using a stock pot for your water vessel. The water does evaporate and you will have to add more. So be sure to think the timing through to be able to add water every 6-8 hours.
Now, in one gallon hefty ziplock freezer bags, add the short ribs, diced onions, sugar, minced garlic, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce.
Using the water displacement method seal up the bags in the pot and clip the top to the side of the pot. Be sure that the ribs are completely submerged in the water bath.
Allow these to cook for the entire 24 hours.
In the meantime, mix the salt, pepper, chili, cayenne, onion, and garlic powder together to create the tamale spice.
Once they ribs are done cooking take the bag(s) out of the water bath. I personally like using tongs to remove the meat and bones from the bag.
Place the meat in a bowl and discard any extra fat or cartilage that didn't render.
Lastly, add the Hatch Green Chiles and the prepared Tamale spice to the short ribs and mix well finely shredding the meat in the process. When tasting the meat as is at this point it will taste salty but don't worry. It will not taste this way after being steamed.
Set the meat aside and place the corn husks in a warm bowl of water while you mix up the masa.
For the Masa
Using a small bowl and whipping attachment for a stand mixer, whip the lard until it becomes light and airy.
Next add the cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic puree and beef broth then continue to whip until fully incorporated.
If you're not going to start folding your tamales right away cover the masa mixture with plastic wrap in direct contact.
Using a spoon or spatula fill the corn husks with the masa and then top that with a bit of the meat. No specific measurement here, I just eyeballed it.
Fold each side of the corn husks together and then fold over to one side. Next, fold the bottom up and set them up so they don't come undone.
Fill the bottom of a stock pot with enough water to just barely seep up through the retractable steamer basket. Once the water has began to steam, place the Hot Tamales in the steamer basket and cover the pot. Allow the tamales to steam for 10 minutes, remove, and serve.
Place the tamales in small cast Iron skillets or any oven safe serving dish of your choice. Cover them with slow cooker chili and cheese then place under the broiler set to 500°f to melt the cheese.
Serve immediately and ENJOY!
Hot Tamale Recipe
- ¼ Cup Chili Powder
- 2 tablespoon Paprika
- 2 tablespoon Salt
- 2 ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
Sous-Vide Short Ribs
- 3 Lbs Beef Short Ribs
- 1 Yellow onion - Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic - Minced
- ¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
- ¼ Cup Beef Broth
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 lb Hatch Green Chiles - Diced
- 1 Cup Lard
- 2 Cups Yellow Cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 ¼ teaspoon Garlic Puree
- 1 ¼ Cup Beef Broth
- Mix all seasonings together.
Sous-Vide Beef Short Ribs
- Set Sous-Vide Circulator to 185°f for a 24 hour cook.
- In gallon size ziplock bags add onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, sugar, and ribs.
- Using the water displacement method place the bags in the water bath and clip the top of the bags to the pot.
- Cook for 24 hours.
- Remove from the bag and place in a large bowl to shred.
- Using two forks, add Tamale Spice and Hatch Green Chiles and mix together while shredding the beef.
- In the small bowl of a stand mixer using the whipping attachment, whip the lard until light and airy.
- Add the cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic puree and beef broth then continue to whip until fully incorporated.
- If not using immediately cover with plastic wrap in direct contact.
Assembly and Steaming
- Soak corn husks in warm water for 30 minutes.
- Spread Masa on Cornhusks then top with a bit of the beef mixture.
- Wrap the husks up and steam for 10 minutes.
- Top with Chili and Cheese and broil under 500° until cheese is evenly melted.
I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as we did! The Hot Tamales on their own are great as is the chili...but mix the two together and you've got a wonderfully warm winter supper for the whole family!
Enjoy and Happy Cooking!
Gina Davis says
I grew up on tom tom tamalas before all this husk came up...So why not just buy the tom tom tamalas and dress it up the way you want...what is the purpose of a husk that you can't eat only that is was made from scratch...??
Hi Gina, thanks so much for visiting Chicken Fried Kitchen! I've never personally had a Tom Tom Tamale but I'm sure they're delicious. Just to be sure that I understand the question though...You're asking what the point in making homemade Tamales is and also why use a corn husk if it can't be eaten? Is that right?
Catherine Zhang says
They really are Catherine! If ou make these let me know what you think!