Posted February 03, 2018

The tamales salteños are an adaptation of the typical plate of indigenous origin that existed long ago in Latin America made with a paste of corn and stuffed with meat, vegetables and fruits wrapped in chala de choclo .

In fact the term tamal comes from tamalli meaning wrapped. The wrapping is made to facilitate the cooking, for which dry corn husks are used. Although in the Argentinean northwest there is another dish that is also wrapped in chala called "humita" , the main difference is that humita is made with fresh corn while tamales are made with corn flour.

The original recipe of the dough is very laborious, as the ears of yellow corn are first peeled off the grains and boiled an hour with ashes to remove the husk. Then grind with a stone mortar called pecana until a fine flour is obtained. Then to this flour brine is added little by little on the stone of the mortar in order to agglutinate and continues grinding until obtaining a soft and soft paste. Once the grinding is finished, the dough is made by adding melted fat (seasoned fat) and seasoned with salt and paprika, and knead it with your hands until it is solid but moldable. Attained the mass are made with spheres filled with the message (stuffing of meat and vegetables), wrapped in dry corn chips and boiled to cook them that the corn from the pasta is raw. Pella fat is preferably vaccine fat from the area surrounding the animal's kidneys. In the photograph on the right you can see how the texture is:

However, these methods are currently used only in rural areas that retain tradition and in their replacement in town houses and restaurants except for exceptions uses roast beef hand or machine , and if you do not get this cut you use any beef or pork that is easier to get at a butcher shop.

As for the other ingredients that accompany the meat are varied and depend on the cook who prepares it, the basic is onion and potato, but there are those who make without onion, it is also typical to add hard boiled eggs and green onions, but there are others who also add raisins and olives. In fact just like with other traditional dishes every cook has his recipe and claims to be the original. Here I present a simpler method to make dough that does not need to grind corn kernels and with a result similar to the reach of any cook, which can be made at home without any problem, consists of starting from corn flour purchased in the houses of dietetic products.
This corn flour is not that of polenta, it is much finer and has the texture of the photograph on the right. However I also tried in a certain way tamales made with polenta flour and they do not look bad, since although the texture changes a little, the flavor gives it the filling.


Ingredients for the message:

250 gr of roast beef or minced beef, 1 medium potato cut into small cubes 6mm x 6mm, 1/2 chopped onion in brunoise, 70 gr of fat, salt to taste, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tbsp of sweet paprika, 1 tsp of hot pepper, 1 tbsp of beef, 1 hard boiled egg, / n.

After a few minutes of whitening the meat will look like this:

In the same broth boil the potatoes in 6mm x 6mm cubes about 5-6 minutes. After cooking do not throw the cooking water as it will be used as broth for both the filling and the corn dough.

Melt the fat, add salt to taste, cumin, chili, paprika, add a ladle of the cooking broth of the meat and stir to homogenize the mixture:

Prepare the filling by mixing the onion with the meat and potatoes, add the fat with cumin, chili, paprika, salt and broth: The filling should look like this:

Cool the filling. Boil the eggs, stepping with a fork, chop the green onion and reserve until the moment of the assembly.


Ingredients for 12 tamales: 500 g of yellow corn flour, 70 g of fat, salt, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tbsp fresh paprika, 1 tsp of hot pepper, cooking broth of the meat /n.

Remove fat with the same procedure as for filling, add salt, cumin, chilli, paprika and a ladle of the cooking broth.

Pour the fat with the paprika over the cornmeal and gradually agglutinate:

Knead and add meat cooking broth if necessary until obtaining a plastic paste as shown in the following picture: