Tamales are masa (corn flour) dough filled with savory or sweet fillings and wrapped in corn husks then steamed. They are time-consuming to prepare so gather your family and make the preparation a party.
For Chipotle Beef Filling, preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle beef with 2 teaspoons of the garlic salt. Place in foil-lined 13x9-inch baking pan. Add 1 cup of the water to pan. Cover with foil.
Bake brisket 4 hours or until meat is very tender. (Bake chuck roast 3 hours). Transfer beef to cutting board. Let stand until cooled enough to handle. Cut beef into quarters. Finely shred then coarsely chop the shredded beef.
Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add tomatoes, onion, raisins, apricots, chipotle pepper, chili powder, cumin and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic salt; cook and stir 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup water. Cook 5 minutes longer. Add chopped beef; mix well.
For Tamales, soak corn husks in hot water 30 minutes or overnight until soft and pliable.
Mix masa flour, ancho chile pepper, baking powder and salt in very large bowl. Beat lard in another very large bowl with electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in half of the masa flour mixture on medium-low speed until blended. Alternately beat in broth with remaining masa flour mixture on medium-low speed until the consistency of a thick cake batter. (The masa should hold its shape in a spoon). Drain corn husks and pat dry.
To assemble each tamale, spread 3 tablespoons masa into 4 1/2 x 4-inch rectangle starting at wide end of husk. Spoon 2 tablespoons Chipotle Beef Filling in center of masa. Use one long side of husk to roll masa over filling. Repeat with other long side of husk. Do not roll husk into masa. Roll husk around tamale to enclose. Fold up the narrow end of the husk and tie with long thin strips of husk or string.
Pour 1 inch of water into large pot. Stand tamales with open ends up in steamer basket. (Place as many tamales as will fit in basket. You will need to steam in batches.) Cover tamales with a layer of husks. Insert steamer basket in pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Steam on medium heat 1 hour or until husk peels away easily from tamale and masa is slightly firm. (Tamales will continue to firm up when removed from heat.) Repeat with remaining tamales.
To freeze tamales, place uncooked tamales or cooled steamed tamales in large resealable freezer-weight plastic bags. Freeze up to 6 months. To reheat, thaw frozen tamales in refrigerator overnight. Steam uncooked tamales 1 hour. Steam cooked tamales 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through.
Substitution Tip: Use 8 pounds (14 cups) prepared masa (found in Mexican grocery stores) instead of preparing masa.