Pumpkin Tamales with Shredded Beef and California Raisins

California Raisin Marketing Board
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Cook: 220 mins


2pounds boneless beef chuck or shoulder
1 onion, peeled
1/4cup olive oil
1cup finely chopped carrots
1cup finely chopped celery
1cup California raisins
1teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon pepper
3cups masa harina
1teaspoon baking powder
2teaspoons toasted ground coriander
1tablespoon salt
1cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2cup whipped vegetable shortening
3cups chicken or vegetable broth, warmed
16 dried corn husks, soaked in warm water


  1. Filling: Place roast in a large stockpot and add cold water to cover. Cut onion in half and add to pot. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove beef from broth and let rest for 10 minutes; reserve broth. Shred beef, discarding excess fat. In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots and celery; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in shredded beef and raisins along with 1 cup of reserved broth. Heat and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and cool completely.
  2. Tamales: Measure masa harina, baking powder, coriander and salt into mixing bowl; mix well. Beat in pumpkin and shortening. Slowly, add warm broth, stirring in 1/2 cup at a time until moist enough to form a ball that is wet but not too sticky. Cover with wet towel and set aside.
  3. When corn husks are soft and pliable, separate into individual pieces. Arrange 2 husks, slightly overlapping side by side, and alternating tips and stem ends to form rectangles about 9 x 7 inches. Spoon about 1/3 cup dough onto center of each corn husk; with wet fingers, spread to about 1/4-inch thick. Add about 1/4 cup shredded beef filling down center of dough. Fold long edges of husks over filling, lightly overlapping the edges. Fold ends under or twist and tie each end tightly with a narrow strip of corn husk to form a packet. Arrange the tamales in a large steamer with seam side facing up. Add water to bottom part of steamer and heat to boiling. Steam tamales for about 2 hours or until they are firm to the touch.
  4. To Serve: Arrange tamales on a platter and serve while still very hot.

Rcipe by Chef Pilar Sanchez, courtesy of the California Raisin Marketing Board

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Glycemic Load 9.27
  • Calories 680
  • Fat 31g
  • Saturated Fat 8g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 15g
  • Cholesterol 120mg
  • Sodium 1900mg
  • Potassium 900mg
  • Carbohydrate 54g
  • Fiber 5g
  • Sugars 14g
  • Protein 49g
  • Trans Fat 1.5g
  • Vitamin A 150%
  • Vitamin C 6%
  • Calcium 15%
  • Iron 45%