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Cinco de Mayo: A celebration of
Mexican culture

Coriander-Cured Beef Tamales with Barbecue-Onion Marmalade
Tamales by Mark Miller, Stephan Pyles and John Sedlar, Wiley Publishers, 2003
Adapted by StarChefs

Coriander-Cured Beef Tamales with Barbecue-Onion  from Tamales by Mark Miller, Stephan Pyles and John SedlarYield: 8 Servings


  • Masa Seca Tamale Dough
  • ¼ cup coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup black peppercorns
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup kosher salt
  • 6 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 beef tenderloin fillets, 5 ounces each
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (either homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 10 large dried corn husks, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


Pulse the coriander seeds and peppercorns in a food processor for about 1 minute or until coarsely ground. Add the shallots, garlic, salt, and brown sugar. Pulse to make a thick paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the beef, and let it cure for at least 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan until slightly smoking. Add the onions and sauté over high heat, stirring occasionally, until dark brown, about 12 minutes. Add the barbecue sauce and stock to deglaze the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce until syrupy. Remove from the heat and let the onion marmalade cool to room temperature.

Combine half the marmalade with the tamale dough in a mixing bowl and mix well with a large spoon.

Drain the cornhusks and shake dry. Tear 16 strips (about 1/8 wide) from 2 of the husks and set aside for tying the tamales. Lay out the remaining 8 husks and divide the dough into 8 even portions. Place one portion on each husk, and evenly spread the portions out, leaving about 1 ½ inches of exposed corn husk at each end and ¾ inch at each side. Roll up the tamales so that the dough is completely enclosed inside the husk. Twist each end and tie with the strips.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fill the bottom of a steamer or saucepan fitted with a strainer or vegetable basket with 2 to 3 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and place the tamales in the steamer. Cover tightly with a lid or foil, making sure very little if any steam escapes during cooking. Steam the tamales for about 30 minutes over lightly boiling water until firm, adding more boiling water if needed. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until slightly smoking. Add the tenderloins and sear on all sides. Transfer to a roasting pan and cook in the oven for about 8 minutes for medium rare. Remove from the oven and allow the beef to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut into ½ inch slices.

To serve, slice open the tops of the wrappers from end to end. Gently push the ends together, as for a baked potato. Lean the sliced beef against the tamales and serve the remaining onion marmalade on the side.