Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beef Tamales

Keeping with the theme of eating healthy (and mexican, lol) I made beef tamales. I have never made tamales before and they were on my "to make" list, so when I saw a Cooking Light recipe for them I decided to give them a try. I have to admit, they were a bit time consuming (because of the cook time for the beef, and then the steaming) but I didn't care. I was making these. I couldn't believe the nutritional info, so little fat and calories, in a serving size of two tamales that meant I could have 3, lol! Unfortunately, 2 were plenty. They are pretty filling. I made slight variations to the original recipe only because I didn't read it well. Oh well, I doubt they would effect the nutritional value little, if any. I made a super easy red chili sauce to accompany the tamales. The sauce lent a wonderful flavor to them I'm so happy I decided to make it.

Chad had never had tamales before and wasn't sure how to eat them. After a little Tamale 101, he understood. : )
I am really happy that these turned out so well. Next time I'm sure to use left over beef or pork instead of braising, and then steaming in the same day. That took about 2 1/2 hours. Definitely not a weeknight meal unless some of the work is done ahead of time.

Beef Tamales

Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups chopped onion 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound beef stew meat
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried red New Mexico chile
16 large dried cornhusks

3 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1 cup water
Remaining ingredients: 16 long thin strips dried cornhusk ,1 cup Red Chile Sauce (optional)

My Red Chili Sauce:

1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 Tbs. Chili powder
1 Tbs. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
dash of salt and pepper

Mix all together in sauce pan and simmer 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare filling, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add beef; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Stir in 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring mixture to a boil. Cover and bake 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.
Transfer beef to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour drippings into a glass measure. Add enough water to drippings to equal 1 cup. Wipe pan with paper towels.

Shred beef into bite-sized pieces. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Return beef to pan; sprinkle with flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in ground chile; stir in drippings mixture. Reduce heat, and cook 7 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring often. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
Place whole cornhusks in a large bowl; cover with water. Weight husks down with a can; soak 30 minutes. Drain husks.

To prepare dough, combine masa and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add butter and oil; stir well. Add broth and 1 cup water; stir until a soft dough forms.

Working with one husk at a time, place about 1/4 cup masa dough in the center of the husk; press dough into a 4 x 3-inch rectangle. Spoon about 2 tablespoons beef mixture down one side of the dough. Using the corn husk as your guide, roll tamale up, jelly-roll style; fold bottom ends of the husk under. Tie 1 corn husk strip around tamale to secure; stand upright in a vegetable steamer. Repeat procedure with the remaining whole corn husks, masa dough, beef mixture, and corn husk strips.

Steam tamales, covered, 50 minutes, or until the dough is firm. Remove tamales from vegetable steamer; let stand 5 minutes. Serve with Red Chile Sauce, if desired.

(Take a look at my make shift steamer!)

8 servings (serving size: 2 tamales)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 145(27% from fat); FAT 4.3g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.9g); IRON 1.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 20mg; CALCIUM 49mg; CARBOHYDRATE 19.9g; SODIUM 268mg; PROTEIN 7.9g; FIBER 2.2g


Elizabeth said...

Making your own tamales - how ambitious! They look great!

Anonymous said...

These look delicious! It looks like all that work was definitely worth it :) I love Mexican food so I'll have to try this sometime.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm so impressed! I've never thought to make my own tamales adn yours look so fabulous! YUM! I may have to try this!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Everything looks great! The tamales, beans and corn, what a great meal!

Anonymous said...

Tamales have always looked too complicated for me. You've made them look manageable, although I do appreciate the warning about the long cook time!

Elite Entrees said...

Those look great! I have always wanted to try to make these!

Elly said...

These look so good, Ally! I am impressed! I was thinking of making tamales a while back since I always have masa around but every recipe called for lard. I never even thought to check CL. I definitely need to try these.

Jaime said...

wow, you made tamales?! i'm so impressed...they are so labor intensive.

Unknown said...

Great job! They came out fabulous and to do them yourself is wonderful! I usually join my friend and her family 'round the table as its an all day affair. I just might try this recipe out myself :)