Homemade Beef Tamales

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Homemade tamales with homemade tortillas. Top with sour cream.


  • 5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped roasted green chile peppers
  • 5 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (such as Cholula®)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced white onion
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 (2 pound) package yellow masa flour
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 50 dried corn husks
  • 8 ounces grated Chihuaua cheese, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder


Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add beef, green chiles, hot sauce, salt, 3 cloves garlic, onion, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir until beef is thoroughly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the drippings.

Combine reserved drippings, masa, lard, and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well. Add up to 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until mixture is as thick as biscuit dough. Divide into 50 equal balls. Place dough balls between 2 cutting boards each lined with a sheet of waxed paper; flatten into circles.

Place each dough circle into a corn husk. Spoon about 3 tablespoons beef mixture in a line across the middle of each husk. Top with a small amount of cheese. Fold opposing sides of the tortilla to overlap the filling. Roll the husk around the tamale and fold in one end.

Combine the remaining 1 clove garlic, 1 cup water, and chili powder in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring chili sauce to a boil. Remove from heat.

Stand a batch of the tamales, folded ends-down, in a steamer basket on top of a double boiler over simmering water. Bring water to a boil; cover and steam for 20 minutes. Remove tamales from heat; remove husks and top tamales with the chili sauce. Repeat with remaining tamales.

Prep time: 1 hr / Cooking time: 40 mins / Total time: 1 hr 40 mins

Serving: 25 / Yield: 50 tamales

Calories: 375.2

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