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My Grandmother’s Tamale Recipe

If you grew up in a Latino household, chances are it’s not the night before Christmas that gets you excited, it’s the night before Christmas Eve. The reason? Tamales! For many Latinos, Christmas Eve is known as Noche Buena’and is a big family day. I remember Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house, tamales on the table, and Christmas presents at midnight. My parents can remember back-in-the-day (pre-kids) going to Midnight Mass, then attending the Christmas dance, and afterward heading back home early Christmas morning and eating a breakfast full of tamales.

Tamales are as regional as road maps.

Tamales may be sweet or savory, wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves. Sweet tamales are filled with fruit. Savory tamales are filled with beef, chicken, turkey, fish, cheese, or any combination of the above. At my grandmother’s house, we had savory somewhat spicy beef tamales wrapped in corn husks. For years I’ve tried to copy her recipe. My grandmother does not make her tamales from any written recipe. She, like most experienced cooks, goes by the touch, feel, and taste as she prepares her culinary masterpiece.

The following is a close version of my grandmother’s recipe for beef tamales. It is time-consuming but well worth it!

For Ingredients And Complete Cooking Instructions Please Head On Over To Next Page Or Open button (>) and don’t forget to SHARE with your Facebook friends