Monday, November 16, 2009

Beef Tamales with Red Chili Sauce

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 chili
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 Chili Sauce (optional)


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 chili; 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 Chili Sauce, if desired.

Freezer preparation:

Once tamales are steamed and cooled, wrap individually in celophane and freeze in freezer bag. To warm, place, standing up, in steamer and steam until warm (make sure to check steamer periodically to make sure water has not cooked out).

Serves 8, two tamales each

Nutritional Information

Calories: 145 (27% from fat)
Fat: 4.3g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 7.9g
Carbohydrate: 19.9g
Fiber: 2.2g
Cholesterol: 20mg
Iron: 1.4mg
Sodium: 268mg
Calcium: 49mg

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2007

Red Chili Sauce

Makes 4 1/2 cups...scale back ingredients if making one batch of tamales.

15 large dried chilies (such as Anaheim, New Mexico, California, or pasilla...I used New Mexican Chilies)
4-5 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil or melted shortening
1/2 cup salsa, pureed

1. Remove stems and seeds from dried chili peppers.
2. Place peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet.
3. Roast in 350°F oven for 2 to 5 minutes or until you smell a sweet roasted aroma, checking often to avoid burning.
4. Remove from oven and soak in enough hot water to cover for about 30 minutes or until cool.
5. Put peppers and 2 1/2 cups of the soaking water into a blender (save the remaining soaking water).
6. Add garlic, cumin and salt.
7. Cover and blend until smooth.
8. In a 2-quart sauce pan, stir flour into oil or melted shortening over med heat until browned.
9. Carefully stir in blended chili mixture.
10. Simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. (If sauce gets too thick, stir in up to 1 cup of the remaining soaking water until you reach the desired thickness)
11. Stir in salsa puree.

Note: When working with chilies, use rubber gloves to protect your skin, and avoid contact with your eyes. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water to remove all of the chili oils.

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