Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings from skillet. Chop half the onion. Add to skillet along with the ground beef, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, cloves and 1 pkt. seasoning; mix well. Cook 10 to 12 min. or until most the liquid is cooked off, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, stir remaining seasoning pkt. into chicken broth; gradually add to cornmeal in large bowl, stirring constantly until mixture forms soft dough. Cover until ready to use.
Slice remaining onion half. Place banana leaves in single layer on work surface. Spread about 1/3 cup dough mixture into 6x4-inch rectangle on each leaf; top with ground beef mixture, onion slices, pepper slices, olives, capers, prunes and bacon slices. Fold over both long sides of each leaf, then fold over both remaining ends to completely enclose filling. Wrap each tamale tightly in heavy-duty foil.
Bring 5 qt. water to boil in 8-qt. stockpot or tamalera. Add tamales; cover. Cook on medium-low heat 30 to 40 min. or until cooked through. Remove tamales from water with tongs; drain. Cool 10 min. Top with cheese before serving.
How to Test Beef Tamales for Doneness
Remove 1 tamale from boiling water; cool 3 min. or until cool enough to open the packet. Dough should pull away from banana leaves. If not completely cooked, reseal packet and place back in boiling water.
These tamales can easily be prepared ahead of time. Assemble as directed, then freeze up to 2 months. When ready to serve, cook as directed, increasing the cooking time to 50 min. (No need to thaw first.) Or, assemble and cook the tamales as directed, then cool and refrigerate up to 3 days. Remove the foil, then reheat the tamales in the microwave. Or, steam the foil-wrapped tamales until heated through.
How to Cook Tamales if a Large Pot is Not Available
If a large stockpot or tamalera is not available, cook tamales in batches, or in 2 large 4-qt. pans.
Calories From Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrates 32g
Dietary Fibers 1g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
* Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.