Beef Tamales

Tamales are part of the pre-Colombian cuisine of Mexico. Now these rustic delicacies are made especially at Christmastime when families are gathered together and have the time to devote to the endeavor. You can buy corn husks and masa harina for tamales at many supermarkets, Latin markets, and online.

Serves: 18Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 1 hour 55 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 18


  • 18 large, dry corn husks
  • ½ cup lard
  • 2 cups dehydrated masa harina
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded cooked beef


  • Wash the corn husks in warm water. Place in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes before using.
  • Beat the lard until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the masa harina and stock until the dough sticks together and has a paste-like consistency.
  • Shake excess water from each softened corn husk and pat dry on paper towels. Spread about 2 tablespoons of dough on the center portion of each husk. Spoon about 1½ tablespoons beef onto the dough. Wrap the tamale, overlapping the sides and then folding up the top and bottom.
  • Lay the tamales in the top section of a double boiler with the open husk flaps on the bottom. Steam over simmering water for about 1 hour or until the corn husk can easily be peeled from the dough.