Paleo Persuasion

If this blog doesn't persuade you to go Paleo, I've lost all hope. And if you still aren't convinced, I will help you become a badass chef with my non-paleo recipes and cooking tips

Lamb Tamales

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So I am going to start this entry by telling you what is on my mind this very second:

There is a fly in my room that thinks it can escape but sadly this is one stupid fly and keeps hitting the window. And since it has the audacity to continue to make noise, all I want to do is throw my shoe at it.

But let me deviate away from the topic of bugs that make me want to throw shoes and talk about this amazing dinner my dad and I made together.
I am one of those people that loves to cook alone. I like trying new things by myself, I enjoy being in my own mindset in a kitchen so I can think of my next step, I also really enjoy throwing my spatula when I mess up a recipe. But there are days I love the company with me. Getting in flour fights when baking, learning a different cooking technique with someone else, learning from that other person, and being around people that you love. My dad is someone I admire to an extent that I can’t explain. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to live in Colorado or even enjoy my passion for cooking to the extent that I do now. He makes me laugh, plays every sport with me, hikes with me, and is always there if I need advice. However, he is a very busy man, working all hours of the day and going away a lot. So days when he is perky and asking to be my sous chef, how can I refuse? At this point in my life, I will take any possible daughter-dad bonding that there is.

That being said, these tamales are not only delicious and paleo AND healthy (Folks, we hit the trifecta), but they are very special to me, just like those chocolate chip cookies were with my mom. I got the idea for this recipe from Paleo Cupboard but decided to change up the filling. But if you a re a vegetarian or vegan, OR a meat lover, you can change the filing of the tamales to absolutely anything you want.

Servings: 4 tamales (they aren’t very big so doubling the recipe is recommended for families)

1 pound ground lamb
1/2 + 1/8 tsp sea salt
3 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (if you really don’t want to purchase a whole can, it’s not a big deal, won’t ruin the recipe)
2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1/2 tbsp red curry paste (Optional: I didn’t use because I didn’t have but it would definitely be the if it was included)

Masa Ingredients:
Package of dried corn husks
2 cups almonds flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp tapioca flour OR arrowroot flour
2 tbsp bacon fat, tallow, or lard (I used Crisco vegetable shortening)
1/8 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I used vegetable)

– Make sure you place as many corn husks as you need in a bowl of warm water until you need them (my dad put weight on them so they would continuously stay submerged, which was brilliant if you ask me)
– Put up a pot of water (half full) so that the steamer basket can be placed on top of it comfortably. Make sure the bottom of the steamer basket does not touch the water.

Directions for filling:
1. In a sauté pan, on medium to high heat, put in oil and let melt all the way down, then add lamb
2. With a wooden spatula, start breaking up the meat and once it starts browning, add in all of the dry spices either all together or measure as you go. You don’t need to rush it.
3. Once the meet is almost cooked, add in the coconut milk and red curry paste if you decided to use it. Crank the heat to high and let it start to almost boil and evaporate, the pan should have a decent amount of liquid in it because of the lamb letting out it’s juices.
4. When fully cooked, taste it because my dad argued if it needed more salt or curry for about 10 minutes. BUT, before you continue to season, pour the meat in a strainer and get rid of all that excess liquid and put meat back in the pan and leave it on the stove (with no heat on). Then, you season to taste because the liquid would have just soaked up all those spices and you won’t really be able to fully taste it.

Directions for Masa and Assembling:
1. Mix all masa ingredients to form the dough
2. in the corn husks, place a few tablespoons of the masa in the middle of the husk and form a square shape leaving excess space on every side of the husk.
3. Add about 1 tbsp of the filling into the center of the masa (or dough), and make a thin line with the lamb mixture.
4. To fold the tamale, bring up the top and bottom, trying to get the masa to cover the meat and then bring in the sides. Some people use string to bring it all together, but I just put the seam face down on the steamer.
5. When all of the tamales are made, make sure your water is boiling and producing steam. When it is, place the steamer basket on top with the lid on and the tamales inside and let them cook for 1 hour.
6. Take a tamale, top it with guacamole, salsa, sour cream, whatever is calling your name and enjoy!

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This entry was posted on August 27, 2013 by in Dinner, Lunch.
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