Tamales are a Mexican staple, and they’re typically filled with cornmeal and a mixture of meat, beans, and cheese. This recipe uses a pressure cooker to get them out quickly, making them a much easier and quicker meal, especially if you’re on the go. You can also substitute the beef for chicken, if you’re not a huge fan of the red stuff.

The beauty of cooking with a pressure cooker is that you can end up with real meals from the comfort of your own home. With this Instant Pot beef tamales recipe, you’ll be on your way to making a tasty pot of Mexican tamales with this recipe for Instant Pot beef tamales as soon as you finish this recipe for Instant Pot beef tamales.

I love tamales! I make them all the time, and am always trying to find new ways to make them healthier and tastier. This Instant Pot Beef Tamales recipe is a great example of that!

In the Instant Pot, beef tamales are cooked in half the time. Along with masa packed with delicious shredded beef and prepared with bacon drippings.

Tamales are a traditional Christmas meal that may vary from salty to sweet. Traditionally, families prepare big quantities of food, and an assembly line may assist speed up the process. The recipe I’m providing is for a small batch, but it may easily be increased if necessary.

Here’s the link to my first tamale recipe. The tamales were again cooked in the Instant Pot, but this time the masa will be prepared using bacon drippings.

How to Make Tamales in an Instant Pot

To begin, you’ll need an Instant Pot; I use the 8-quart model. If you don’t have one, the shredded beef may be cooked in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, and the tamales can be steamed on the stovetop.

1629015222_82_Instant-Pot-Beef-Tamales-Video-Mexican-Recipes

Second, I used a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to combine the masa. If you don’t have one, use a portable mixer or do it the old-fashioned manner with your hands. Fair warning: mixing with your hands will take at least 15 minutes.

We’re preparing this masa using bacon drippings, like I said, and it’s delicious!

Taste the masa before you begin constructing it to ensure that it is delicious. I used a low-sodium beef broth and increased the salt by a teaspoon.

Third, you’ll need a tasty filling. The filling options are limitless and may be tailored to your preferences. I used my simple Mexican Pot Roast, which is comparable to ropa vieja, for these tamales.

Other filling possibilities include:

Chicken Salsa

Black Beans with Sweet Potatoes (Vegan)

Before filling the tamales, make the filling first and let it cool. You also don’t want too much moisture in the meat since it may seep out of the tamale.

Putting Together the Tamales

Rinse the husks or hojas well to eliminate any dirt or debris. Then grab a big pot, add your corn husks, and fill it halfway with boiling water.

You may alternatively boil water in a saucepan on the stove, then remove it from the heat and add the corn husks. Soak them in warm water for 20-30 minutes, or until they are flexible. After that, drain the water and hang them to dry.

Stock pot filled with corn husks ready to be softened in hot water.

You may start constructing the tamales after the filling is finished and cooled.

All of these processes are shown in the video.

As a work surface, use a cutting board. Place a dry corn husk on the table with the rough side down. On the smooth side, the masa will be distributed. You may overlap two maize husks or hojas together if one is too small.

Corn husk on a cutting board with masa.

In the center of the husk, spread an equal layer of masa, extending out to the sides. The husk is left with a little edge. For easy spreading, I used a spatula.

Then, in the center of the masa, put your filling. Fold all sides to the center, then raise the bottom half.

Thin strips of maize husk may also be used to bind the tamale like a gift.

Wrapped tamales in a glass dish.

Using the Instant Pot to Make Tamales

We can start cooking your tamales after you’ve finished assembling them. I used the trivet insert in my 8-quart Instant Pot. This would be easier if you had a steamer basket.

Another alternative is to use the trivet and cover it with a piece of foil with holes for the steam to escape. All you have to do now is make sure the tamales don’t come into contact with the water.

Tamales inside an instant pot ready to be cooked.

Furthermore, you don’t want the tops of the tamales to touch the lid, since this will prevent the cover from sealing and the instant pot from reaching pressure.

Set the timer for 30 minutes on Manual-High Pressure. I let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.

Remove the tamales from the saucepan and check to see whether the masa has fully cooked. Once cooked, it will readily release from the corn husk. Allow 15 minutes for cooling before serving.

Up close view of a single tamale on a white plate and view of the beef filling.

Method on the Stovetop

Place Fill a steamer pot halfway with water, add the steamer insert, and stack the tamales standing up. Place a layer of foil on top of the pot and cover with the lid. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Bring the water to a low boil for at least 1 hour. Check to see whether there is still water at the bottom of the pot on a regular basis.

Remove a tamale from the pot after an hour to see whether the masa is fully cooked. Once cooked, it will readily release from the corn husk. If it doesn’t, cook for another 15 minutes and check again.

Remove the tamales from the saucepan after they’ve finished cooking and set aside to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Tamales: How to Store and Reheat

Leftover tamales may be kept in a zip top bag in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer for a few months after they have fully cooled.

To reheat refrigerated tamales, cover them with a wet paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes, or until warm. To keep the tamales from drying out while reheating, keep the corn husk on them. Remove the husk before eating.

To view the YouTube video, just click on the image:

Instant-Pot-Beef-Tamales-Video-Mexican-Recipes

All of my Instant Pot recipes may be found here.

Up close view of a single beef tamale on a white plate with a gold fork on the side.

Beef Tamales in the Instant Pot

Renee Fuentes is a model and actress.

In the Instant Pot, beef tamales are cooked in half the time. Along with masa packed with delicious shredded beef and prepared with bacon drippings.

Time to prepare: 2 hours and 15 minutes

30 minutes to prepare

2 hours 45 minutes total time

Course Description:

Mexican cuisine

Instructions 

Husks of corn

  • Rinse corn husks or hojas and put in a saucepan of boiling water on the stove; after boiling, remove from heat. Allow corn husks to soak in water for 20-30 minutes, or until soft and flexible. Remove the husks from the water and set them aside to dry.

Masa

  • Combine corn flour, salt, baking powder, and filtered bacon drippings in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you don’t have any bacon drippings, use oil or lard instead (manteca). To integrate, start mixing on low speed.

  • While the mixer is still on low speed, slowly pour in the heated beef broth. Increase the speed to medium after all of the broth has been added. Every few minutes, keep mixing and scraping down the sides of the basin until a soft, smooth dough develops. To season, taste a little amount of masa. If additional salt is required, add it to the dough and combine it again.

  • Set aside if preparing tamales right immediately; alternatively, cover with plastic wrap or a cloth and chill until ready to use.

Putting the Tamales Together

  • Place a single dried corn husk on a work surface. If the husk is too tiny, combine two of them.

  • In the center of the husk, spread an equal layer of masa, extending out to the sides. On the husk, leave a little edge. Fill the center with shredded beef filling (I used approximately 2 spoonfuls).

  • Fold both sides of the tamale together in the center, then fold the bottom end up to the top. Place in a plate until all of the tamales have been put together.

Tamales are steamed.

  • Method in the Instant Pot: Fill the instant pot halfway with water and put the trivet or steam basket inside. Add 1 cup of water to each batch if cooking in multiples.

  • Place the tamales in the instant pot standing up. If you’re using a trivet, a piece of foil with holes may be placed on top of it to keep the tamales from touching the water. They will be more supported if you fill the instant pot completely. Also, make sure the tamales’ tops do not contact the cover, otherwise the pot will not come to pressure.

  • Set the timer for 30 minutes on high pressure. I let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.

  • Remove a tamale from the pot to see whether the masa is fully cooked. Once cooked, it will readily release from the corn husk. When the masa is initially taken from the saucepan, it may seem undercooked. If the masa hasn’t set, add additional water to the instant pot if necessary and continue to cook on high pressure for another 10 minutes. Remove the tamales from the instant pot after cooked and set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving to enable the masa to firm up.

  • Place the steamer on top of the stove. Fill a steamer pot halfway with water, add the steamer insert, and stack the tamales standing up. Place the lid on top and cover with a piece of foil. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Bring the water to a low boil for at least 1 hour. Check to see whether there is still water at the bottom of the pot on a regular basis. Remove a tamale from the pot after an hour to see whether the masa is fully cooked. Once cooked, it will readily release from the corn husk. If it doesn’t, cook for another 15 minutes and check again. Remove the tamales from the saucepan after they’ve finished cooking and set aside to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

  • Leftover tamales may be kept in a zip top bag in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer for a few months after they have fully cooled.

 

Tamales are an amazing, delicious Mexican treat that I adore and they are usually made with an overnight method, however I wanted to share my method for cooking them with a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker can be used in place of an electric pressure pot, slow cooker, or even a traditional oven. Plus, it makes them so much faster! You can cook them right out of the skillet, using the most basic ingredients.. Read more about instant pot tamales chicken and let us know what you think.

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