The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Beef Short Rib Tamales

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Prep:

Cook:

Level: Intermediate

System:

10

Description

Braised beef short ribs are wrapped in chipotle masa and steamed to perfection. These are how tamales should be!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 pounds Bone-In Beef Short Ribs
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • 4 strips Thick-cut Smoked Bacon, Cut In Half
  • 1 whole Onion, Peeled And Quartered
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Crushed
  • ½ cups Drained Rotel Tomatoes
  • ½ cups Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 whole Bay Leaf
  • 1 whole Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Beef Stock
  • 8 ounces, weight Dry Corn Husks, About 25
  • 4 cups MaSeCa Corn Masa
  • 2-½ cups Warm Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Pork Lard
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Chipotle In Adobo
  • 1-½ cup Beef Or Vegetable Broth

Preparation

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Once hot add the oil. While the oil heats season all sides of the ribs with salt and pepper. Once the oil is shimmering add the ribs and cook until the ribs are darkly browned on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

While the ribs brown add the bacon, onion, garlic, Rotel, cilantro, bay leaf, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, chili powder, coriander, and salt into the slow cooker. When the ribs are done, add them to the slow cooker and add enough beef stock to just cover the ribs. Add water if needed. Cook on low for 8 hours, then turn off the slow cooker and cool for 1 hour in the liquid before transferring the mixture to a container to cool completely. Once cool shred the meat.

While the ribs cool prepare the corn husks. In a deep dish or pot add the corn husks and cover them with hot, but not boiling, water. Weigh the husks down with a plate so they are totally submerged in the water. Soak the husks for 2 hours, or until very soft. Drain and rinse the husks well to remove any dirt. Reserve 5 for lining the steamer.

While the husks soak prepare the masa. In a medium bowl combine the masa with the warm water. Mix until the masa forms a shaggy, dry paste. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the salt, baking powder and lard. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the chipotle pepper along with the masa mixture in 4 additions, making sure that each addition is well mixed before adding the next. Slowly add 1 cup of the broth to the mixture and once combined increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Test the masa by scooping a small ball and dropping it into a cup of water. If the masa floats you have mixed it enough. If not, keep mixing it for a bit longer then test again. When done, cover the masa with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Once chilled beat the mixture again and add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth to loosen the dough. It will be sticky. Test the mixture again by scooping a small ball of masa into a cup of water. Once it floats it is ready.

To assemble the tamales begin by laying out one corn hush with the tapered side facing you. Spread about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of masa into the wide end forming a 4-inch square. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the shredded short rib meat in the center of the masa. Fold the corn husk in half lengthwise, to enclose the meat, then roll the husk to seal the tamale. Fold the tapered end of the corn husk up towards the center and place the tamale seam side down on your work surface. Repeat until all the tamales are made.

Once all the tamales are rolled, prepare the steamer. Begin by lining the bottom of the steamer with 1 or 2 of the reserved corn husks. The bottom should not be completely covered otherwise the steam will be blocked. Place the tamales into the steamer basket with the folded/closed end on the bottom of the steamer basket and the open side facing up. Be sure not to over pack the steamer. The tamales need room to expand as they cook. Cover the tops of the tamales with the remaining corn husks.

Cook the tamales over rapidly boiling water for 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes), or until the masa comes easily away from the corn husks. If the steamer runs out of water refill with boiling water. You can serve the tamales now, but for the best texture cool the tamales down to room temperature, you could even chill them for a day or two at this point, then steam them again for 15 minutes, or until hot.

Serve with hot sauce, if desired. Enjoy!

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