Hot Damn, Tamales! with Cabernet Estate Reserve Tomato™ Chili Sauce

Hot Damn Tamales on Decorative Holiday Plate - Photo by Nancy Farrar

I moved to Texas right out of college, and it’s been home now for over 30 years. And as they say:

“I’m not from Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.” 

That old adage is totally true. It’s just a place you want to be. The people, the places, the pride and the food are all what make this state the place I’m proud to call home.

There are lots and lots of food traditions in this great state, but none is stronger and more deeply rooted than making and eating tamales at Christmas. The word tamale actually means “wrapped food” and is found in recorded Mayan history as far back as 5000 BC. The process of making tamales is an all day affair, and that would be the reason why I don’t actually make them.

Now I love to cook and I’ll cook all day long, but why do all that work when there are so many places all over Texas that put every ounce of love they have into making their own tamales? So I buy mine from my friends at www.hotdamntamales.com in Fort Worth, Texas and I make these little packets of deliciousness my own with the sauces I create to go with them. Hot, Damn Tamales! will ship anywhere in the U.S., so you have no excuse not to get some.

Cherry Tomatoes and Chilies - Photo by Nancy Farrar

This first recipe is a tomato chili sauce I created that combines Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes with mild, fragrant, dried Pasilla Chilis. When rehydrated and popped in the Ninja Blender or food processor with some onion, beef stock and spices, you get a tomatoey, smoky sauce that’s just perfect with most any kind of tamale you can buy. I chose the Angus Beef Tamales from Hot, Damn Tamales!, but any flavor would be perfect with this delicious tomato sauce. I chose the Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes for their beautiful deep cabernet color and rich flavor. When combined with the chilis, they’re just amazing.

Mixed ingredients - Photo by Nancy Farrar

If you’ve never used Pasilla Chilis, never fear. Just slice them open, remove the stems and seeds and soak in beef or chicken stock for 30 minutes. Pop them into the Ninja Blender with the other ingredients, and voila – the perfect sauce to go with your holiday tamales.

Hot Tamales on Decorative Holiday Plate - Photo by Nancy Farrar

Hot Damn, Tamales! with Cabernet Estate Reserve Tomato™ Chili Sauce

Serves 6

2 10 ounce packages Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve™ tomatoes, halved

1 medium onion, quartered

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2  teaspoon kosher salt

2-3 dried Pasilla Chilis (a mild and fragrant chili, buy them dried in the package)

1 cup beef stock

1 clove garlic, quartered

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 Tablespoons chill-infused beef stock

1 pinch salt

1 package (6) Hot Damn, Tamales! Angus Beef Tamales www.hotdamntamales.com

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes, onions, olive oil and salt onto baking sheet and mix well. Place on center rack in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Slice the chilis down the center and remove stems and seeds. Place onto a dry baking sheet and bake for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Remove from oven. Place beef stock in a saucepan and heat without boiling. Remove saucepan from heat. Add chilis to the stock and allow to soften for 30 minutes. Remove chilis to a bowl and save all the liquid.

Cook tamales in their sealed package in boiling water for 45 minutes. Remove from package and set aside.

Place tomato/onion mixture, garlic, cumin, 2 Tablespoons chili-infused beef stock, salt and reconstituted chilis into food processor or blender and blend until very smooth. Add more stock to obtain desired consistency.

Place a small amount of sauce on top of your tamales and top with a dollop of sour cream.

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