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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pork Tamales

Tamales are addicting! Moist and full of flavor though these tamales are not spicy, if you want them to be hotter, go with a hotter chili pepper. I always make the meat and sauce the day before and then the next day I assemble and cook them.
This recipe makes a large stock pot full of tamales. I make mine bigger than most tamales.


4 dried ancho chiles
8 dried new mexico chiles
5 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups chicken broth 
hot water for soaking chiles

9lb bone-in pork shoulder roast
3 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup salsa

Masa dough:
4 sticks of shortening or 20oz of lard
7 cups masa harina
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 package dried corn husks
5 cups hot meat broth and some extra as needed

Red Chile Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Remove stems and seeds from chiles, place on baking sheet and take them out when fragrant (it only takes a couple of minutes as soon as you smell them take them out immediately!)

2. lay chiles in a casserole dish and add enough hot water to cover chiles (you may have to put something on top to keep the chiles immersed.) let them steep for 30 minutes. Save the liquid.

3. In a blender or food processor puree chiles, garlic, cumin, and salt. Add enough chile water to the blender to make it about the consistency of apple sauce.

4. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a medium sized pot and add broth, let simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. 

Set aside for meat.

Meat Preparation:

1. Mix all dry ingredients and coat and massage into the pork, place into slow cooker fat side up and top with salsa, turn on low for 8-9hrs. 

2. Shred meat and coat with the chile sauce prepared earlier (make sure all the meat is completely mixed). REFRIGERATE MEAT OVER NIGHT IN A AIR TIGHT CONTAINER.

3. Strain broth from crock-pot and add enough water to make 5 cups save for masa dough.

Masa Dough Preparation:

1.  In a large bowl, combine shortening/lard, baking powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin powder with a hand mixer.

2. In a separate large bowl combine hot broth from the pork and masa harina.

3.  Add masa and broth mixture 1 cup at a time, beating after each cup.

4. Beat with mixer for 1 minute on medium-low speed. (The dough should be the consistency of a soft peanut butter, add more broth if its too thick to spread.)

Assembling Tamales:

1. Soak corn husks in a wide bowl and cover them with hot water, place a heavy pot on top to keep the husks immersed. Soak for about 30-45 minutes, until pliable.

2. Scoop about 1/4 cup of masa dough into the middle of the husk. (The husk should be curled upward on the edges.)Spread dough with a butter knife to make a rectangle, evenly distribute 2-4 tablespoons of meat tamale filling to the center of tamale dough

3. Lift the two long sides of the husk and gently bring them together tucking one end under the other, then fold the long skinny end against the tamal. Lay seam side down against the side of your steamer. (Lay the steamer pot on it's side to stack the tamales.) 

4. Pack tamales tightly into the steamer. Fill the bottom of the steamer with water, do not let it touch the bottoms of the tamales.

(continued below)

Gavin wanted to help :-)
Ready to cook!

Cooking Directions:

1. Place lid onto steamer heat to medium-high making a steady steam, check the water every so often if it boils away add more. When the masa pulls away from the husk the tamales are done. Remove them gently from the pot with tongs, be careful of the steam. Let them cool for 15 minutes on a flat surface, as they cool they will become firmer. 

**Depending on the size you make your tamales they can take anywhere from 2-5 hours to cook, mine usually take 3-4 hours.**

Freezing Instructions:
Let the tamales completely cool and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze in a ziplock freezer bag. They will keep for about 3 months in the freezer. To reheat them, unwrap the plastic wrap but keep the husk on, wrap the tamal in a damp paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes and 15 seconds per tamal.
Yes these take a lot of time and hard work but every minute put into it is worth the reward!!

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