Masa Harina

Christmas Tamales

Chicken Tamales:

I will give the ingredients for how many I made. You can cut it down to how many you would like. I ended up with about 10 dozen chicken and 5 dozen beef. The video just shows the chicken tamales and I will give the recipe for the beef as well. Some how the last potion of the video did not tape. That is where I had to explain the rest of the process. Sorry about that.

Chicken Tamales:

10 lbs of chicken breast cooked (I boiled them in water with 2 Tablespoons of Knorrs Tomatoe Chipotle Bouillion)
After you cook the chicken let cool and shred.
Reserve the water. That is going to be the liquid to mix with the Masa.


4 cups Masa,
1 Cup Crisco,
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt,
4 Cup Broth (reserved from cooked chicken),
2 Tablespoons Chicken Bullion,

Mix above ingredients and beat with a mixer until combined and easily spreadable.

Soak the corn husks in hot water for a couple of minutes and then dry. Place smooth side up and use 1/3 cup of masa and spread on the top half of the husk. You want to leave a little more at the top. Place a strip of green chili on top of the masa and then the chicken mixture. Fold up as shown and tie with a strip of corn husk if you wish.

Beef Tamales:

1 5 lb. piece of London Broil. (I cooked mine in a crock pot for about 6 hours. You can also grill or cook in the oven. It needs to be tender enough to shred)

Masa for Beef Tamales:

4 Cups Masa,
1 Cup Crisco,
1 cup Pace Picante Sauce or whatever kind you like,
3 cups of Broth,
2 teaspoons of Beef Broth,

Shred the beef. Mix all the masa ingredients and spread the masa as instructed above. I put a few jalapenos and olives on top and then the beef. Fold up the corn husk and then steam.

We used a pressure cooker and filled it a few inches with water, put rack in and filled it with the tamales. Make sure they are standing up and tight but not squished. If there is room around the sides you can scrunch up some foil to fill in the gaps. (Pressure cookers are kind of tricky so, read your directions that come with it, I am very new to them myself)

We brought the pressure cooker up to pressure and then turned down to medium high for 15-20 minutes. Shut off the cooker and let sit till it stops hissing. Set the pressure cooker in the sink and run cool water "slowly" over it and then open.

Take the tamales out and cool on paper towels and let cool completely before putting them into plastic bags or whatever you want to store them in. They can be frozen as well.

The other option is just steaming them in a big pot. You need to fill the bottom with a couple of inces of water, use either a rack or steamer basket, stand the tamales up as shown and steam for a little under 2 hours. You will need to keep and eye on them to make sure all your water dosen't boil off.

To reheat: You can put them in the microwave in a baggie for a couple of minutes (if they seem dry you can add a teaspoon of water to the bag, or steam them again.

20 thoughts on “Christmas Tamales

  1. Wow those are a lot of work i buy them from a local lady that comes by my store every Friday, I will give her a big tip next time she comes in. 🙂

    Great job they look yummy!

  2. Nice job. If you like tamales, you need to try the Puerto Rican pasteles. Those are yummyyyyyyy. Happy Holidays guys 🙂

  3. yay for tamales, christmas is not christmas w-out em!! We just finished doing ours familys 3days ago. There are many diff ways to make em. Honduran tamales are done with pork or chicken and the masa is done the ¨old way¨ we use raw corn kernels, cooked and grinded. We add peas, potatoe, red pimento & green olives. Also we use the plantain leaves to roll them. the corn husks you used we use for tamalitos, which are another type. Your´s seem easier to make! Loved your hat!!! Merry x-mas Mary!

  4. didn’t even know until now – what tamales are.. had to google it.. thanks for the recipe (even if thats not a a very christmassy dinner for me *g ) guess i’ll try that very soon!

  5. I’ll translate what tattva16 said in case you don’t understand:

    For not being Mexican, you have done an incredible job with the tamales. I’m from Mexico and tamales are done pretty much like that. A word of advice, if you cook your own green salsa, the flavor is far more superior and distinct to the bottle kind and is much more easy to make (green tomatoes, cooked serrano chiles, blended in a blender with cilatro, garlic, onion, and salt). In Mexico, we steam them. I like your videos!!!

  6. i remember eatting these when i was younger they are so good! and now i want to make them for my family but no where around here can you find the corn husks 🙁 i have searched everywhere any ideas where i could look? the only mexican store in town doesnt have them and neither does the few grocery stores

  7. Really great! Have you tried sweet tamales, or tamales filled with rajas and cheese? They’re so good!

    And I’m going to show this video to my mom, because she doesn’t know how to make them, and we’re Mexican! My grandma makes the best tamales, but she never taught my mom how to make them, she just let her help by putting the meat in the tamale :[

    Oh, and the traditional Mexican beef tamales have chile colorado, I didn’t get to see if you did that of not.

  8. I’m from Germany and i guess there’s no ‘traditional x-mas dinner’.. each family has it’s own traditions.. some families prepare a poached carp, others eat roast goose/duck/turkey … my family has it’s own tradition.. okay.. my family prepares some salads (potato salad, beef salad, lamb’s lettuce) and then there’s baguette rolls, mustard and hot sausages.. my grandparents are “working class” so they couldn’t afford expensive poultry or fish.

  9. Well I live in upstate NY and I have never eatten a tamales or even seen one for that matter.
    I also was going to ask if you ate the husk.
    I’m going to try and find some corn husks here in Podunk so I can try them too.

  10. Thank you so much. I think it so cool that so many ppl have food that are similar or the same but prepared differently.
    Happy Holidays!

  11. grat job, i’m mexican and we looove tamales not jus in X-mas we love to eat it all year!! and you did it really good!!

  12. If I may ask, I noticed your clicking as you demonstrate. May I ask what kind of camera & speaker recording system you are using. The clarity is wonderful. Thank you. Back to enjoying your recipe.

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