Yesterday I went down to my work friend's* house and she taught Stephanie and I how to make tamales. You can use any meat you want, but this recipe is for pork. They're actually pretty easy (and fun) to make, just time consuming. I'm sure next time, when I'm not learning, and we're not making 8,000, that it won't take as much time.
3 1/2 lbs pork shoulder or butt roast
4 - 6 cloves of garlic minced or chopped
1 Lg onion ﬁnely chopped
1/4 cup spiced dark chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
Place all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low
for 4-6 hours until meat sheds easily.
Alternate cooking method:
Instructions: 1. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, combine pork, water, onion, and salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, tightly covered, about 2 1/2
hours. Remove meat and reserve liquid. Meat should be very tender. Shred meat while
adding dark chili powder.
25-30 dry corn husks, plus more for steaming (you can get a small package of these at the regular grocery store, or a big bunch at a Mexican shop)
Tamale Masa (Dough) Ingredients:
3 1/2 C. Masa Harina (ﬁnd this in Mexican groceries or specialty shops - it comes in a big paper bag, like flour)
2 1/4 C. Hot Water or1 to 1 1/2 C. chicken broth (as needed) or reserved liquid
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
10 oz. pork lard (or vegetable shortening)
Instructions for Dough:
1. In a separate large bowl, beat together the lard/shortening, salt, and baking powder
with an electric mixer on med-high. Beat one minute, or until ﬂuﬀy.
2. Add the masa mix in three additions, beating between each addition.
3. Reduce mixer to med-low, and beat in one cup of broth. Beat for about one minute.
4. Beat in the remaining broth, up to 1/2 C., until your dough resembles a soft but not
runny muﬃn batter.
Get a corn husk (if they're too dry and crack, just soak them in lukewarm water for a bit until they soften up) and open them up so the smooth side is exposed. Take a regular kitchen knife (it's best if it's a little flimsy) and spread the masa up the husk (this is difficult at first, but you'll get the hang of it) until about the top 3/4 is coated.
Next, put your pork in the middle (and whatever else you want - vegetables, hot sauce, whatever...), roll it up, and fold the bottom up or tie it off with a strip of corn husk. Stack them vertically in a pot with about 2 inches of water in the bottom (important: they cannot be in the water, but just above it so they can steam. There are pans that made for this where you can put a liner in the pot that sits just above the water, or you can use an upside down pie tin covered in foil that will sit above the water).
Cover and let them steam for about 2 hours or until the masa starts to peel off the corn husk. You will most likely need to put more water in for steaming throughout this process, so don't just leave them for the 2 hours.
Take out, unfold the husk and enjoy plain, or with salsa or sour cream. You can freeze a bunch and just have them on hand. I ate four today. I almost feel like they were better the day after.
*Big thanks to Shelly for letting us use her kitchen and teaching us how to make these!