Goat Tamales

(8 servings)

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours (includes time to cook goat and steam tamale)
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes

I absolutely love cooking with goat. In taste similar to lamb but more fragrant and fatty!! Growing up my mom always cooked goat curries over weekends. I loved taking all the pieces of with the bone marrow for myself. I remember fighting with my sis for the last piece and mostly coming away with my prize on account of me being the youngest.

A few weeks back I put my name on the “goat list” at my neighborhood local and sustainable Hudson & Charles butcher shop on the Upper West side in NYC. Got lucky when they called me last week saying they had a beautiful goat shank for me. I used this for my goat tamales recipe. The goat recipe has an Indian flair to it, but I substituted dried red chilis with pasilla negro dried chilies I found in the supermarket. These chilies are not spicy but they have a deep flavor and impart a rich dark color to the sauce.

The other very important ingredient for tamales is lard. This is what gives tamales that unique taste that reminds me of the small little pop up stores you find on the corner of the street in Mexico serving up homemade tamales!

This recipe definitely needs time but hey – Food tastes even better when cooked with love and patience


For the tamale dough:

  • 2 cups Maseca blue corn masa
  • 1 can (10 oz) beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3rd cup lard
  • 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 pack dried corn husks

For the goat marinade:

  • 3 tablespoon yogurt plain
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder

For the sauce:

  • 2 pounds goat bone in (Cut in 1 ½ to 2 in pieces)
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 dried pasilla negra chillies (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon all spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the goat:

Mix the cleaned goat pieces in a large bowl with the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric & cumin in quantities mentioned above and set aside overnight in the refrigerator. Ideally marinate for at least 2 hours if you do not overnight.

In a pressure cooker over medium heat add the olive oil and sautee the onions until golden brown. About 5 minutes. Halfway through browning the onions add 1 teaspoon of salt. This lets the onion breath and cooks them better. If you do not have a pressure cooker do not worry. A casserole will do. You will just need to cook the goat longer. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for another minute. Now add the tomatoes and other spices. Note: To grind the pasilla negra chillies, heat on a frying pan for a couple minutes and grind to a powder in a food processor. I’ve found that heating and grinding the chili brings out the flavor better.

Cook the tomatoes until soft and the water from the tomatoes is dried. The oil from the tomatoes should start escaping. About ten minutes. Now add the goat and mix. Fry for about 2 minutes. Now add water till it just about reaches a quarter of an inch from the top of the level of goat and close the cooker. Allow 5 whistles from the pressure cooker and then lower the heat till it simmers for another 40 minutes. Let out the pressure and open the cooker. The meat should now be fall of the bone tender.

Since we are going to use the sauce or curry with the tamale you want it to be thick. If needed take out the goat pieces and cook the sauce further till the right consistency is reached. Separate the bones from the meat and chop the meat to ready it for the tamale.

For the tamale dough:

While the goat is cooking. Combine the masa with baking powder and salt.

Melt the lard by heating the lard in the microwave for about a minute. Lard is the secret ingredient in all tamale recipes that imparts that traditional taste. I bought this from my local butcher as well! Slowly add the lard to the masa continuously stirring. Do the same with the beef broth. The dough should have a pasty consistency.

Now spread a thin layer of dough paste on the center of the corn husk as shown.

If the husks are not big enough use two. Add about a tablespoon of the chopped goat in the center and pour a little sauce over the goat.

Fold over and turn the end of the corn husk to seal. You can also tie with a thin corn strip that I used as a string. Steam in a steamer for about 40 minutes. Depending on how big the steamer is you may have to do a couple batches.

To serve open the corn husk, top the tamale with sour cream, sauce from the goat preparation and chopped cilantro and dig in!   

Published by

Leave a ReplyCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.