Mecca’s Hot Tamales

INGREDIENTS / makes 20 servings

  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, Mexican
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup hatch or New Mexico chiles, soaked in hot water and pureed [Mecca’s special blend]
  • 1/2 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 # ground beef
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 bag corn husks
  • butcher’s twine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, canned
  • Saltines


Blend the onion, garlic, spices together in a food processor. Add honey and red wine vinegar.  Mix about half of the mixture in with the ground beef. You may or may not want to wear gloves when mixing and filling the tamales because of the spice. The remaining spice mix will be combined with the cooking sauce, so set aside. Fry up a small amount of the meat mixture to see if it is seasoned strongly enough to your taste. Add more spice mixture if you like.

To fill the tamales, soak the corn husks in water to soften. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture into a bowl of cornmeal. Roll the meat into a rough cylinder coated with cornmeal and place into the softened corn husk. Fold the husk around the meat on the bottom, then on both sides lengthwise, and then on the narrow top. Tie it close with a length of butcher’s or kitchen twine.

Pack the filled tamales into a large stock pot, putting in upright. Mix chicken stock in with the remaining spice mixture and tomatoes, and pour over the tamales into the bottom of the pot. Cook covered over medium heat, so the stock cooks the meat. Depending on how many tamales you’ve made, it will take between 20 – 40 minutes.

These tamales are served with saltines. To eat, slip off the twine and spread the meat onto a saltine. We recommend sucking  all the flavor and juice from the corn husk.