Time for Tamales

We love tamales...it just seems to be one of those meals that isn't made very often because of the time requirement, but oh are they worth it...


Day 1: Take one four to five pound chicken, and one four to five pound beef roast, boil or roast until the meat is very tender and it is easy to shred, once it is cool. I do this separately and sometimes in two crockpots, however using the crockpot requires you to start the cooking early on day one. Once the meat is cooled and shredded, mix the meats together, in a large bowl, and add to the meat the following spices.

Please Note...do not throw out your juice, you will need this for day two.

Spices for the meat: in a small pan, warm gently on the stove....

1/2 c oil
6 T Chili Powder
3 T Garlic Powder
3 T Ground Cumin
1 T Pepper
1 ½ T Real Salt

Mix together well, and then pour the spice mixture over the tamale meat, now using your hands mix the spices and oil thoroughly into the meat, then cover tightly and place in the fridge over night. Juices: once the fluid is cooled, place into a container and reserve in the fridge until morning.


Day Two:
  1. Soak the corn husks in warm water for about two hours, gently separate them when they are soft and lay them out on a towel to dry a little...just before using.
  2. Make your Masa - take your reserved juices from the fridge, and place it into a large stock pot, skimming the fat of from the top. Heat the liquid to warm. Then in another large bowl, add about two pounds masa and the following spices...

    1 T Cumin
    1 ½ T Salt
    3 T Chili Powder
    3 T Paprika
    3 T Garlic Powder
    1. Mix well, and then add one cup of warm juice, from your stock pot, to the masa and spice bowl, using one cup at a time...again mixing well. Continue to do this until your masa reaches the consistency of peanut butter.
    2. Then taking your working corn husk, laid out flat, spread the masa mixture over 2/3 of the corn husk. Not to thick and not see through. Now add some of your meat mixture to the masa covered corn husk and roll up tight. Fold over the bottom, pointed end. Set aside and repeat until you run out of either corn husks or masa. This recipe fills my huge stock pot, so it makes a lot, however I always have masa and meat left over. The meat we use within a couple of days and the masa can be frozen for another time.

To Cook: using your very large crock pot, place an open veggie steamer in the bottom, and stack your rolled tamales into the pan. Keep the open ends up. Now add water to the bottom of the pan, until it reaches the bottom of the steamer, watch your water level so as not to place the bottom of the tamales in the water. 


Once the pot is filled tightly, cover with a towel and tuck into the pan and place on the lid. Steam over low to medium heat for about one to two hours, checking the tamales often, I check mine at least ever thirty minutes. If the water is running low, add another cup at the same time you check the tamales. After about an hour check masa for done-ness, this is evident when the masa pulls away from the corn husk and is firm.

Once the tamales are finished, remove them from the pan and let them cool. Be careful...as they will be very, very hot. After they are cooled slightly, you may serve them right away, or let them cool completely and serve later, reheating them in an oven until they are heated through. We have frozen some for later, or have eaten them cold...and we they are just as tasty.


This recipe was given to me by a sister in Messiah, who also taught me how to make them, she is an amazing cook and imparted to me the love of spices. I am very grateful for her instruction, her time, and her love...even if she is a year younger, I will always think of her as one my Titus 2 mentors. 

This past Thursday, Yom Chamishi, Miss and I spent the morning making these....which warms my heart and soul. Such a blessing to be able to teach to my daughter. Enjoy.

Shared With The Barn Hop #51

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