spicy tamale balls

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By Donna Graffagnino
from Bayou Country, LA

These are favorites with kids and make great party appetizers. They are gone in minutes! The sage pork sausage really makes a difference in the taste but you can use regular or spicy plain pork sausage if desired.

serves 48 Balls
prep time 20 Min
cook time 2 Hr
method Bake

Ingredients For spicy tamale balls

  • 1 lb
    ground chuck or round
  • 1 lb
    jimmy dean sage pork sausage
  • 1 1/2 c
    yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 c
    v-8 juice, spicy
  • 1/2 c
    all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp
    garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp
    chili powder, mexene
  • 1 Tbsp
    cumin
  • 1 tsp
    oregano (mexican is preferred)
  • 2 tsp
    salt
  • 1 tsp
    cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    crushed chili flakes
  • SAUCE INGREDIENTS
  • 5 c
    v8 juice
  • 1 Tbsp
    chili powder (mexene)
  • 1 Tbsp
    cumin
  • 2 tsp
    salt
  • 1 tsp
    sugar
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How To Make spicy tamale balls

  • 1
    Mix all ingredients together (don't cook meat), and roll into small 1" balls. Put balls into a large baking pan or dutch oven.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 300 F. Mix all ingredients for the sauce and pour over the tamale balls. Cover and bake for 2 hours. DO NOT STIR.
  • 3
    Tamale balls will expand and absorb the juice. After 2 hours check for doneness and if needed bake another 15-20 minutes until done. Enjoy!
  • 4
    Tip: These can be made mild by using regular V-8, omitting the crushed chili flakes, and cutting back just a little on the chili powder. Don't omit the cayenne in the balls as it's not enough to make them hot but gives them a nice flavor. Alternate cook method: Put into slow cooker and cook on high for 5-6 hours. Tamales can be made by rolling the above mixture into softened corn husks. Don't put mixture all the way to the top to allow for expansion. Put tamales in the sauce and cook on stovetop for two hours on low heat.
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