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2 lg. chickens
1 lb. salt pork
1 lb. raw beef
2 lb. suet (beef fat)
1/2 c. chili powder (to taste)
1 c. ground fresh garlic (to taste)
2 tbsp. red pepper (cayenne, to taste)
1 tbsp. salt (to taste)

Cook chicken, cool and bone; then chill before grinding. Grind beef suet and pork fat while raw. Cook separately, beginning with a small amount of water to prevent scorching. Stir often and watch carefully, using a deep heavy pan. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm (may be added to chicken while still warm). Grind chicken, cooked beef, garlic and other spices together. Putting the mixture through the grinder a second time may blend the spices more evenly. Put mixture in a large bowl or dishpan and blend the warm beef and pork fat into mixture, adding enough fat to make the mixture stick together for the meat rolls. Chill the mixture for a couple of hours or overnight to aid in shaping the meat rolls.


5 lb. yellow cornmeal
1 c. flour
2 tbsp. salt, to taste
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
2 - 3 tbsp. chili powder

Add enough warm broth from cooked chicken to make mixture thin enough to spread well without running. (May use hot water if not enough broth.) Also, use first half of liquid very hot to partially cook the meal; leaving about half the meal raw will enable it to swell and hold together in the shuck when it is later cooked.


Prepare shucks by cutting around the ear of corn until ear is reached and shucks will skip off. Trim shucks to desired length for tamales (4 to 6 inches). Dip shucks in boiling water to help clean shucks. Rinse in another water. Spread meal mix over one side edge, going the full length and about 2 inches wide. Place the meat roll which is about as big around as your finger and length of meal mix, roll up, beginning with the filled portion. Place 6 tamales in a bunch, tie with twine string and stand up in a large heavy cooking pot, open end up. Cover with hot water. Cook slowly for 1 hour in a covered pan.


Cook all finished tamales; do not hold overnight as they will not keep unless cooked. When making cornmeal mix, use some very hot broth then some less hot so that some meal will be cooked and some meal will be raw to be later cooked as it is in the shuck where it will swell and pack together to make a firm tamale.
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