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Lacquered Beef Cheek Tamales

Updated: Apr 8


Authored by Jake Goza. Jake is a friend of BBQ Distro and Backyard BBQ Box member. Jake's from Alcoa, Tennessee and you can catch his backyard awesomeness anytime in Instagram: @dr_bbq2017


Total Time: 7 Hours

Note: This recipe yields about 30-34 Tamales


Ingredients

For the Tamales:

  • 4 cups Masa Harina

  • 3 cups of reserved and strained braising liquid

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • Corn Husks


Lacquered Beef Cheek Tamales

  1. Trim the beef cheeks of excess fat. It’s hard and won’t render down. Season heavily with Blood Bros Beef Rub.

  2. Put cheeks on smoker at 250 degrees using a hard wood. I used a combination of oak and hickory. Smoke for 2 hours.

  3. After two hours, place cheeks in aluminum pan with sliced onion, whole garlic cloves and the braising liquid made with beef stock and Blood Bros SWAT Sauce. Cover pan and place on smoker for another 3-4 hours until cheeks fall apart.

  4. Once the meat is pull apart tender, remove from smoker and let rest. Strain the braising liquid and reserve 3 cups for the tamales.

  5. Place dried corn husks in hot water and let soak for 1 hour. Add the Masa, baking powder, salt, and cumin in one bowl and mix. In another large bowl, add the lard and 2 tablespoons of liquid and mix with a hand mixer until lard is fluffy about 3-5 minutes. Add the masa mixture to the lard and mix with hand mixer while slowly adding the liquid. Once all the liquid is added, turn mixer to high and mix for several minutes. Final product should look like creamy peanut butter. Cover dough once done.

  6. Once husks have soaked, they them out on board with wide end away from you. Take 1/4 cup of masa mix and place toward the wide end. Use Saran Wrap to flatten out the dough. Then add the shredded cheek meat and top with cojita cheese. Fold one side over then over lap with other side. Take the narrow end and fold up leaving the top open. Place tamales in steamer basket with the open end up.

  7. Steam tamales for 45-1 hour until the dough is firm. Once dough is firm, unwrap the tamale and enjoy.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s very fun and very very rewarding.



 

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