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Pork Tamales


Homemade Tamales.
Takes about 5-6 hours total. Cooking the meat, cooling, wrapping and steaming.

This recipe is put together from friends and family giving me bits of recipes and suggestions. I've been tweaking this recipe since around 1998. I moved to New Mexico in 1997. I fell in love with all the wonderful Mexican dishes and have been begging bits of authentic recipes from anyone that will dish the goods!

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  • Ingredients:
  • == The Meat ==
  • 7 lb pork roast, prefer boneless butt
  • 96 oz. chicken broth
  • 5 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 2-3 tsp oil
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh Garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 10 roasted, peeled green chilis if you can get them.
  • 1 can chipolte chilies in adobo sauce.
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • == Tamale Dough - Masa ==
  • 4 1/2 c. masa flour
  • 4-5 c. warm chicken broth
  • 1 lb lard
  • 2 1/2 tbs salt
  • NEW> for a little more flavor to the masa, substitute a couple of cups of the broth for your leftover broth from cooking your meat.


Servings 4


Step 1

== The Meat ==

1. Put the oil and onion into the stock pot. Cook onion until clear. About 10 minutes.

2.Fill the stock pot with the chicken broth and add the bay leaves, cumin, garlic, salt, and chilis.

3. Heat to boiling then cover and simmer on low while you cut up the pork.

4. Cut pork into 4 pieces. Trim as much fat off as you can.

5. Add the cut up pork to the boiling sauce. Partially cover and simmer on low for 2 to 3 hours or until pork is real tender.

6. Remove the pork and let it cool until you can handle it. Take 2 forks, or your hands, and shred it.

7. Add some of the stock from the pot to your shredded meat. About a cup. We want the meat moist not wet.

== Tamale Dough - Masa ==

1. Warm up the broth.

2. In a large bowl add corn flour and 4 cups of the broth. Mix should be like wet sand but not loose. Use more broth if needed.

3. In another bowl, beat the lard until fluffy.

4. Add corn mix to the lard 1 handfull at a time. Add the salt. Scrape down sides of the bowl as necessary.
Don't be afraid to use your hand as a folding tool. If mix becomes too stiff to beat, add up to 1 cup of the chicken broth.

The mix should be light and delicate. The texture of buttercream frosting.

== Assembling the Tamales ==

2 bags of dried corn husks
Pot with Steamer basket

At least an hour before you plan to use them, place the husks in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. They will try to float. I have 3 fist sized, round, river rocks, I have washed in my dishwasher that I use in the kitchen for things like this. I toss one on top and slap a lid on. I have also used a heavy dutch oven lid. Anything to keep them from floating.

Select and drain several husks. Do not unfold the bits with cornsilk in them. It will just get everywhere.

For ease of directions, place the wide end towards your writing hand with the narrow point to your off hand.

With a rubber spatula, spoon or your hand if you feel comfortable with it, spread 1/4 - 1/3 c of masa dough across the wide side. From top to 2/3 of the way to the bottom.. Leave the narrow right side half clean.

Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of your filling in the center of the dough area.

Take the top and fold it over the filling so dough touches dough. The clean side should wrap over the outside.
Fold the bottom pointy side up. It should be snug.

Add a dab of the dough mix to the open top of the roll to seal in your filling. Set aside on a cookie sheet until ready to steam.

== Steaming ==

Arrange them standing in the steamer basket with the open ends up.
Place some of the unused corn husks on top and then a tea towel on top of those to absorb excess steam.
If you don't do this they can get mushy on top.

Water in the bottom should be at least an inch deep, but not seeping into the steamer basket, and boiling.
Put basket full of tamales in. Cover tightly.
Cook at medium heat for about 1 hour.
Add water as necessary until husks pull away from dough.

Remove and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.* Put a couple of pennies in the bottom of the steamer pot. If the water evaporates the coins will start to jump and make noise that will let you know to add some water.

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