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Just as the Zapotec language has varying dialects along the Central Valleys of Oaxaca all the way to the coast, and in the North Juárez Desert to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec– its cuisine also varies considerably. In the Isthmus region, you can eat rice with beef, pork with corn, stuffed onions, scrambled eggs with shrimp head, dried shrimp mole, bean mole, Fat Beef Tamales, tongue meat and even iguana prepared in very different ways.
Ingredients for Fat Beef Tamales
- 1 ½ kilos tamale dough Note: Unlike dough for tortillas, corn is not finely ground for tamale dough. It should be thick and rough. Sometimes this dough can be bought in a tortilleria.
- ¾ of kilo lard
- ¼ kilo beef or pork grease
- 1 bunch of epazote
- Salt to taste
- 30 pieces of 50 grams each of fatty beef
- 1 mole pot
Dough: Thoroughly beat the dough with the lard and the remaining broth from the cooked meat. Fold in grated zurrapa and ground epazote and beat more.
Filling: The mole that these tamales carry is prepared in the following way: in a saucepan fry finely ground onion a saucepan with salt; add two kilos of roasted, peeled and ground tomatoes; boil mixture until the sourness has subsided. Add leftover beef broth (from previously cooking it) and a bunch of epazote. Thicken mixture with a cup of dough dissolved in the broth.
Tamale preparation: place ingredients on wooden or smooth surface (the meat filling, bowl of beaten dough, and banana leaves previously softened with hot water). In each square of banana leaf smooth over a thin layer of dough about 30 centimeters per side and then add a scoop of the meat filling. Fold the tamale around the dough with each side of the leaf, and tie with ribbons that are taken from the back of the banana leaf. A trusted person, then places them in the pot, at the base of which a grid and water are placed, so they can be steamed. To steam, cook on medium-low heat over stove for 2 hours. To check progress, unwrap one tamale every hour.
After one and a half hours open the pot and revise one tamale to check cooking progress. The dough should be spongy and fluffy. Once the dough is fully cooked, remove from heat and serve.
(Makes 30 pieces.)