Bean Tamales Norteño Style
2 HRS 30 MIN


Bean and Salsa Filling
¼ kg pinto or flor de mayo beans
3 chiles anchos, deveined and seeded
2 cloves garlic
1 cup beef broth or water
¾ teaspoon crushed cumin
4 crushed peppercorns
3 tablespoons pork lard
Salt to taste
The Masa [Dough]
½ kg tamale masa
130 grams pork lard
3 tablespoons chile salsa
⅓ cup beef broth or water
Salt to taste
36 corn husk leaves, cut in half lengthwise, about 8 cm wide in the upper part, soaked in very hot water, drained, and dried with a cloth
Prepare a tamale steamer for use.
Sort through the beans for rocks or other impurities. Rinse with cold water and eliminate any floating residue.
Drain and place in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
Boil until very tender and almost all the water has been absorbed (there should be about 4 cups).
Place the chiles and garlic in a small pan and cover with water.
Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Put ½ cup broth or water in the blender, add the cumin and peppercorns. blend thoroughly.
Tear the chiles into pieces with your fingers, add to the blender together with the garlic and ½ cup of broth or water. Blend to a smooth consistency.
Heat the 3 tablespoons of lard in a deep frying pan, add the beans and mash them over a medium flame until they have a consistent texture.
Add all the salsa except for 3 tablespoonsful and add salt to taste. Continue cooking the beans over a medium flame.
Stir constantly so they won’t stick until reduced—the bean paste barely comes off the spoon—and well-seasoned (15 minutes).
Set aside to cool. There should be about 3½ cups of beans.
In a large bowl mix the masa, the 3 tablespoons of salsa that were reserved, and 1/3 cup of broth or water.
Mix thoroughly with your hands or an electric mixer. Add salt if necessary.
Line the top part of the tamale steamer with corn husks and place an inverted bowl in the center. Fill with water up to the line marked on the steamer.
Spread a heaping tablespoon of masa on the full width of the upper part of a corn husk and about 10 cm down the length. It should be a very thin coating.
Put a small amount of the bean paste in the center of the masa and fold one of the sides of the cornhusk over the other to make a thin tamale. The dough on the flap will help stick it closed.
Fold the end of the husk up to cover the join.
Place the tamales in circular layers: the first will be inclined as it leans against the inverted bowl. Cover the steamer and cook the tamales over a low flame for 50 minutes.
They will be ready when the masa no longer sticks to the corn husk.