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Red Chili Brisket Tamales with Cilantro Sour Cream

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I love tamales and think i am gonna try this...the reviews all say it is pretty easy.


Red Chili Brisket Tamales with Cilantro Sour Cream

Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri, 2007



3-pound beef brisket

2 tablespoons kosher salt

6 cups water, divided

4 tablespoons canola oil

2 cups enchilada sauce, store-bought

24 tamale husks

2 cups masa harina (fine corn flour)

1-2 cups water

2 tablespoons melted butter

2-3 teaspoons salt


Cilantro Sour Cream:

1 container sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lime, juiced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



In medium braising pot, simmer beef in salt and 3 cups water for 1 hour or until meat can be shredded with a fork. Shred beef and let it cool completely.


In a medium saute pan, add oil, and fry meat for 3 to 5 minutes or until crispy. Add enchilada sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.


Soak husks in water for 30 minutes.


Mix masa, water, butter and salt into a thick paste.


Apply 5 tablespoons of the masa mix into the center of the corn husk. Push mix to 1-inch of the side of the husk. Add 2 tablespoons of the meat to center, fold 1 edge of the husk to the center, and then fold the other side to cover entire tamale. Fold ends over by 2-inches.


Place a colander in large pot of boiling water, but do not let the colander touch the water. Place the tamales in the colander, cover and allow steam to rise to the top. Steam the tamales for 30 to 40 minutes.


Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for sour cream. Cover with plastic, place in the refrigerator and let flavors meld for 30 minutes, or until ready to serve with the tamales.



Salsa Verde (Green Sauce)



2 cloves garlic, unpeeled

1 or 2 serrano chiles, seeded

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

2 poblano chiles, roasted and peeled

3/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lime

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste



In a dry cast iron skillet, toast the unpeeled garlic, serranos, and pumpkin seeds until browned. Peel the garlic and place in a blender with the serranos, pumpkin seeds, poblanos, parsley, cilantro, oil, and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Season with the salt and pepper.

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Yummy! We make tamales from scratch every year around Thanksgiving/Christmas, and sell them all over the place. We've been putting together ideas for doing test batches that are more "tex-mex" instead of just the traditional tamales.


If you've never made tamales before, the only thing I would suggest, is modifying the time the husks soak. Every recipe says to soak them for 30 minutes, but we've always had to soak them overnight or else they're still brittle and break apart too easily when spreading the masa. (And we wind up having to put a brick or something heavy on the husks to keep them submerged in the water.)


We bought a tamale steamer at Garden Ridge for about $25 the first year we made them. It was cheaply made, but definitely did the job just fine. We put a ball of aluminum foil in the center of the steamer, then put the tamales around the foil ball (like an indian teepee format). Then we put forks in the water at the bottom of the steamer. For some reason the forks and aluminum foil help evenly distribute the heat so that the tamales on the outside don't finish earlier than the ones in the center...


If anyone else has good tamales recipes or tricks, would love to hear them. We love tamales too, even tho making them is a bitch (mostly because we spread it out over 4 days because we make about 100 dozen each year..).

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